Workers’ Rights

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 11:33 am on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Conservative, Basingstoke 11:33 am, 7th June 2022

What steps he is taking to improve workers’ rights.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

Through unprecedented increases to the national living wage and a range of legislative measures introduced since 2019, we are building a high-skilled, high-productivity, high-wage economy that delivers on our ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to work.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Conservative, Basingstoke

I thank my hon. Friend for his answer, but a great deal of his really good work could be for naught if we still allow employers to use confidentiality clauses to cover up mismanagement and discrimination in the workplace. Ministers have acknowledged this as a problem, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s warning notice, issued four years ago, is not universally understood. When will the Minister act, and put into law measures to outlaw the use of these dreadful clauses?

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

I add my congratulations to my right hon. Friend on being honoured as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire—it is well deserved. The Government consulted on the misuse of confidentiality clauses between workers and their employees back in 2019. In response, we committed to legislating to ensure that employers are not able to intimidate victims into silence. We remain committed to doing so, and I will continue to work with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on ensuring that we introduce this necessary legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.