Taylor Review: Working Practices

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 11th July 2017.

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Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade Unions and Workers' Rights) 12:42 pm, 11th July 2017

I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests and my trade union activity over the 20 years before my election.

Today’s response to the Taylor review from the Government tells us everything we need to know about their frailty and approach to workers’ rights—a weak set of proposals that probably will not be implemented and a set of talking points that leaves the balance of power with employers and big business. It was interesting that neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister mentioned or commended the role of the trade unions in securing fair rights at work. Does the Minister agree that a “right to request” is different to a fundamental right enshrined in law? If a request is refused, what enforcement action will the Government take to force employers to do better?

Does the Minister accept that the report makes no distinction between a flexible workforce and the exploitation of that workforce? Does she also agree that while the Taylor report tries to propose new rights, some of those rights have been secured by trade unions taking employers to court, as the shadow Minister suggested? Can the Minister tell us what action the Government will take to enforce minimum wage payments when 200,000 workers in the UK are not paid the minimum wage? Will the Government advertise rights at work services, such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and does the Minister agree that it is time for a fair rights at work Act to guarantee fundamental rights at work?