Employment Bill [Lords]

– in a Public Bill Committee at on 14 October 2008.

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[John Bercow in the Chair]

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham 10:30, 14 October 2008

Before we begin, I have a few preliminary announcements. When I am in the Chair, right hon. and hon. Members may, if they wish, remove their jackets. Mr. Caton, my co-Chairman, will take his own view, and I am sure that he will inform you of that. Please ensure that all mobile phones, pagers and other such devices are turned off or switched to silent mode during Committee sittings.

There is a Ways and Means resolution in connection with the Bill, and copies are available in the room. I remind hon. Members that adequate notice should be given of amendments. As a general rule, my fellow Chairman and I do not intend to call starred amendments, including any that might be reached during an afternoon sitting.

The Committee will first be asked to consider the programme motion, on which debate is limited to half an hour. We will then proceed to a motion to report written evidence, which I hope we can take formally before we start clause by clause scrutiny.

Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Employment Relations and Postal Affairs), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I beg to move,

That—

(1) the Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday 14th October) meet—

(a) at 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday 14th October;

(b) at 9.25 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 16th October;

(c) at 10.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday 21st October;

(d) at 9.25 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 23rd October;

(2) the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion at 4.00 p.m. on Thursday 23rd October.

It is a great pleasure, Mr. Bercow, to serve under your chairmanship. I am sure that you will guide us fairly and wisely during our debates.

The programme motion sets out up to eight sittings for consideration of the Bill. That should be adequate time to consider the key issues. The Bill is not the longest before the House in this Session, but it contains many important measures, which we will come on to. I welcome the hon. Member for Huntington to his place. Reshuffles have not disturbed our ongoing dialogue, which has been in place for some time and will certainly continue for up to another eight sittings.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Justice), Shadow Solicitor General

It is, as ever, a pleasure to serve under your great chairmanship, Mr. Bercow. As the Minister said, it is good to be doing yet another Bill together, as the constant team amid the  changes that we have seen. I congratulate the Minister on his recent elevation to the Privy Council. We broadly agree with the programme motion, but that depends, of course, on the number of amendments that appear over the next few days. However, as things stand, that is our position, and I hope that it remains so.

Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr. Bercow. I congratulate the Minister on his promotion to the Privy Council. He will find that the programme motion is as controversial as it was in yesterday’s meeting, which took about two minutes.

Question put and agreed to.

Ordered,

That, subject to the discretion of the Chairman, any written evidence received by the Committee shall be reported to the House for publication.—[Mr. McFadden.]

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Conservative, Buckingham

Copies of any memorandums that the Committee receives will be made available in the Committee Room.