Results 1–20 of 6000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Andrea Leadsom

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: I am glad that the hon. Gentleman recognises the Government’s efforts, particularly on the repatriation of customers stranded overseas and, of course, in the work, which I know through chairing the Government taskforce, to try to ensure that we get the best possible arrangements for Thomas Cook staff. He asks why the Government did not bail out Thomas Cook. He will be aware that, according...

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Gentleman asks from a sedentary position who the auditors were. They were EY, and they will be investigated by the official receiver. The hon. Member for Sefton Central (Bill Esterson) asked how the Insolvency Service supported Thomas Cook employees. It has received over 8,000 claims for unpaid liabilities from former employees and has paid out over £41 million so far to claimants...

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his recognition of the fact that it felt important to raise this before the House prior to Dissolution. He is absolutely right. In doing so, we seek to provide some sort of reassurance to those who have been profoundly impacted by accidents and illnesses overseas on Thomas Cook holidays. He asked whether there could have been any legitimate expectation that...

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Lady gives me the opportunity to say this again: I call on all similar travel and tour operators to ensure that they covered this and that they have not got a similar arrangement to the one that Thomas Cook had. I can assure her that BEIS officials during the next few weeks will bring forward proposals for ensuring that this does not happen again

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: There are certain types of public liability and employers’ liability that are required to be insured by law, and there is no expectation that any business would not have provided that kind of insurance. Officials are looking carefully to satisfy themselves, as they do as a routine matter, but I say again in this particular instance, it was a great surprise and shock to see that there was...

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: It has been a difficult time for all those affected whether they were customers on holiday, customers who had paid for a holiday but not yet taken it, or employees and those in the supply chain. The Government have sought to tackle all those issues as far as we are able to do so. The hon. Gentleman will be aware that the ATOL scheme is designed to provide refunds and repatriation costs that...

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his contribution to the taskforce and join him in thanking all those who have played their part. People from right across Government, from trade unions and from local enterprise partnerships and so on have all sought to find new work. The Department for Work and Pensions rapid action taskforce has been helping people write CVs, and there has been mental health...

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. I have written to the Official Receiver today asking him to take carefully into account in his review the behaviour of directors in the run-up to the insolvency of Thomas Cook and to consider whether this further appearance of failure on their part should require further action with regard to his statutory duties. This will be thoroughly...

Thomas Cook Customers (5 Nov 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: May I first sincerely congratulate you, Mr Speaker, on your new role? I also wish all hon. and right hon. Members who are retiring today every success for their future. With your permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on the Government’s actions to support customers of Thomas Cook. As the House knows, Thomas Cook entered into insolvency proceedings on 23 September. This...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The UK has a long and proud tradition of leading the way in workers’ rights and for setting the highest standards. The Government have been clear and consistent that the decision to leave the EU does not change that in any way whatever. The Government have absolutely no intention of lowering standards on workers’ rights. To suggest otherwise is scaremongering and is untrue. The EU has...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: Well, Mr Speaker, that was incredibly disappointing. The hon. Lady obviously was not listening to a thing I said. If she will allow me, I will just repeat what I actually said, rather than what she asserts I said. It is this Government’s ambition to make the United Kingdom the best place in the world to work. I find it extraordinary that the hon. Lady thinks that the only valid protector of...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. He has done so much to promote social justice in the United Kingdom and he deserves respect from right across this place. What I would say to my right hon. Friend is that one of the EU’s own agencies, Eurofound—Opposition Members obviously do not want to hear this, because they are all chatting—ranks the United Kingdom as the second-best country...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Gentleman describes my defence of our ambitions on workers’ rights as energetic. It also happens to be true, which is extremely helpful to workers in the United Kingdom. Let us look at the facts. He asserts that somehow the EU is the only thing that lies between us and the poor house, but in reality there is no minimum wage in the EU, whereas this Government are raising the...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. To give some further cheery news, 80% of jobs created since 2010 are full-time jobs. The introduction of the national living wage delivered the fastest pay rise in at least 20 years for the lowest earners. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough (Gill Furniss) might like to look at the facts rather than listen to the...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Lady knows that that is simply not the case. Since 2015 the Government have doubled the budget for enforcement on compliance with the minimum wage. The enforcement activity of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has meant that 200,000 workers could access nearly £25 million in national minimum wage arrears in 2018-19. The employment agency standards inspectorate has received a 50%...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: Yes. My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We have consulted on proposals for a single enforcement body for employment rights. That consultation closed on 6 October and the Government will respond to it. She will know very well that this Government are committed to extending, improving and enforcing some of the best workers’ rights in the world.

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Lady will know better than I the TUC’s view of the Government’s deal. She says that the reality is not the same as what I am saying from the Dispatch Box, but she should recognise that almost 32.7 million people are in work, including a further 280,000 over the past year; that 80% of jobs created since 2010 are full-time jobs; and that we have experienced the fastest growth in...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: I have to say that I completely agree with my hon. Friend, because what I am hearing from Opposition Members does not resemble any of the facts. It is this Conservative Government who are protecting and enhancing the rights of the workforce and ensuring a benign economic situation, which means that more people than ever before are in work, more women are in work, fewer young people are out of...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: The hon. Gentleman will be aware that, in leaving the European Union with the withdrawal agreement negotiated by the Prime Minister, if the European Union makes any changes to workers’ rights and employment legislation, the Government will have the facility to consult businesses and trade unions, and this House will be able to express its view on whether any changes could or should be...

Leaving the EU: Workers’ Rights (29 Oct 2019)

Andrea Leadsom: My right hon. Friend raises a really important point. In terms of zero-hours contracts and the gig economy, the number of people on zero-hours contracts is falling, and less than 3% of the people in work are employed on them. He mentions the Taylor report. Matthew Taylor said that banning zero-hours contracts would be like using “a sledgehammer to crack a nut”. However, it is important...


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