Workers (Definition and Rights) Bill - 2nd reading – Chris Stephens.
Chris Stephens: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Rosindell. So far we have been subjected to what one can only call buzzword bingo. I am only waiting on one from either the Labour or Conservative Benches. The hon. Member for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock (Bill Grant) complained, on the one hand, that not enough was being done and then, on the other hand, complained about what has already...
Chris Stephens: It is not a handout; it is a human right. Language is important. The hon. Member for Stirling can shout all he likes—it is social security we should be talking about, not welfare. That is a big difference between my party and his in terms of how we view the issues. We need to ensure—
Chris Stephens: I thank the hon. Gentleman for most kindly giving way on my birthday. Does he believe that social security is also a human right?
Chris Stephens: The hon. Gentleman is being most generous in giving way. Is the role of the private sector in assessments not best covered by the recent Work and Pensions Committee report, which documented individual men being told by the DWP that they were in actual fact pregnant? Does that not tell us that there is something wrong with the private sector dealing with assessments?
Chris Stephens: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Chris Stephens: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way again. In terms of flexibilities, does he not accept the evidence that has been given to the Work and Pensions Committee, and to the consultations on the Social Security (Scotland) Bill, is that those moving on to universal credit who have been in work are paid weekly and fortnightly. The majority are paid that way, not four-weekly.
Chris Stephens: To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the liquidation of Carillion on their facilities management contract at the British Museum; whether that contract included clauses to deal with potential liquidation; whether there are plans to bring that work back in-house; and if he will make a statement.
Chris Stephens: I, too, have made my views clear, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Chris Stephens: I thank my hon. Friend and constituency neighbour for giving way and, obviously, congratulate him on bringing forward this Bill. He organised a drop-in this week. We heard from Maxine Clifford, a Glaswegian, who is regularly put on unpaid trial shifts of at least 10 hours a day. That is one of the principal reasons why we need this Bill to go through this afternoon.
Chris Stephens: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department provides to claimants receiving job seekers allowance who volunteer for a Credit Union; and if she will make a statement.
Chris Stephens: Thank you, Sir Christopher, for giving me the opportunity to speak, and I also thank the hon. Member for Nottingham North (Alex Norris) for securing this debate. There have been many jokes about the World cup, but I am looking forward to 2022, when Scotland are victorious in the final against England. Like the hon. Gentleman, I am a proud member of that international organisation called the...
Chris Stephens: To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what steps the Commission takes to ensure all hospitality establishments on the Parliamentary Estate comply with (a) consumer protection regulations and (b) employment legislation in respect of tipping and gratuities; and if he will make a statement.
Chris Stephens: The Minister will be aware that there is a Kurdish community in my constituency, too, as we have discussed this in the recent past. The Kurdish community in Glasgow has a mixture of sadness and anger about the events that are going on in Afrin. Given that the city of Afrin is under siege, with no water and electricity, can I invite him to join Members on both sides of the House in condemning...
Chris Stephens: Will the Leader of the House clarify something: if a House of Commons staff member raises a complaint today, or in the next few days, under what policy or procedure would that complaint be dealt with?
Chris Stephens: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to issue guidance to employers on pay for employees who were unable to travel to work as a result of red weather warnings.
Chris Stephens: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will issue guidance to employers on payroll deductions for employees who were unable to travel to work by public transport during the recent winter storms; and if he will make a statement.
Chris Stephens: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether officials at the British High Commission in Pretoria meet regularly with (a) the Swaziland United Democratic Front and (b) the People's United Democratic Movement in Swaziland or in South Africa; and if he will make a statement.
Chris Stephens: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department meets regularly with (a) Action for Southern Africa, (b) the Swaziland Human Rights Network UK and (c) other civil society groups in the UK to discuss human rights and democracy in Swaziland; and if he will make a statement.
Chris Stephens: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether political rights and democracy are planned to be a priority agenda item for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April 2018; and if he will make a statement.