Clause 33

Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee on 21st February 2008.

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Other amendments of Employment Rights Act 1996

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 9:00 am, 21st February 2008

I beg to move amendment No. 135, in clause 33, page 17, line 35, at end insert—

‘( ) In section 105 (redundancy), after subsection (4A) insert—

“(4B) This subsection applies if the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for which the employee was selected for dismissal was that specified in section 101B.”’.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham

With this it will be convenient to discuss Government amendment No. 136.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners)

What a delight it is to see you in the Chair, Mr. Bercow, particularly given that you look so refreshed after a couple of days’ rest from the Committee’s deliberations. It is also a delight to see the hon. Member for Bristol, West in his place, because we have missed him.

It is important to ensure that young people are not discriminated against at work simply because they wish to fulfil their duty to participate. Clause 32 makes it clear that employers must not discriminate against 16 or 17-year-olds for exercising their right to be permitted by their employer to attend education or training and that it would be deemed as unfair dismissal if someone were dismissed solely on those grounds. As the Committee is aware, young people will be required to participate only until they are 18, so there will be many cases where a young person will not have been continuously employed for a year while they are still subject to the duty to participate.

Normally, there is no right to claim unfair dismissal without a year’s continuous service, but amendment No. 136 means that claims for unfair dismissal under new section 101B, which clause 32 creates to deal with this issue, should be exempt from the usual requirement to have undertaken a year’s continuous employment.  Amendment No. 135 is a further, consequential amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996, which clarifies the fact that it would be unfair to select someone for redundancy for the same reasons. I therefore propose that the amendment be accepted.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 33, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.