Clause 3

Health and Safety (Offences) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 26 March 2008.

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Short title, commencement and extent

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

We have touched on the issue of publicity, which my hon. Friend the Member for Poole mentioned in particular, but I should like to deal with it briefly. Given that clause 3 deals with the commencement of the Act and states in subsection (2) that it should come

“into force at the end of the period of three months beginning with the day on which it is passed”,

that three month period would be an apposite time to ensure that the publicity mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Poole takes place. In general, I am not a fan of massively increasing the Government’s advertising budget, but the Health and Safety Executive has a website and makes regular publications to a wide section of industry. I should be grateful if the right hon. Gentleman let the Committee know how it is intended to spread the message about the Bill’s implications if it becomes an Act and what employers must do to ensure that they do not fall foul of the law.

Photo of Keith Hill Keith Hill Labour, Streatham

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that proposal. I will work with the Government and other interested parties to secure maximum publicity. There is the will to do that, and I will keep him up to  speed on the progress that we make in spreading the message, as he puts it, just as I will keep him up to date on sentencing guidelines.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedules 1 to 3 agreed to.

Question proposed, That the Chairman do report the Bill to the House.

Photo of Keith Hill Keith Hill Labour, Streatham

May I draw the proceedings to a close by repeating my thanks to you, Mr. Pope, for the truly magisterial fashion in which you have presided over our proceedings? I thank Opposition Members for their extremely constructive and consensual approach to this  matter, and I thank all my hon. Friends and the Minister for their support and attendance. We shall consign the measure to another place, but we should remember that the health and safety legislation has proved amazingly successful and durable over the period, and as a Committee, we can pride ourselves on how we have made a little bit of history.

Photo of Greg Pope Greg Pope Labour, Hyndburn

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his kind remarks and for his mention of Judge Judge. It was for fear of a similar fate that I did not enter the Catholic clergy.

Bill to be reported, without amendment.

Committee rose at seven minutes to Eleven o’clock.