Results 1–20 of 1091 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Victoria Atkins

Women and Equalities: Shared Parental Leave (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: The Minister for Women and Equalities takes her responsibilities to the House very seriously and regrets that she cannot be present this morning because she is attending an important Cabinet meeting on EU exit. If there are any urgent matters, she will of course be available to discuss them with colleagues this afternoon. Earlier this year, the Government Equalities Office and the Department...

Women and Equalities: Shared Parental Leave (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: The hon. Lady has hit on the point that this is about not just businesses, but cultural change. That is why we are building the evidence base to understand what works best in encouraging a parent to take up shared parental leave. There are 285,000 parents or couples who can access this scheme across the country, and we encourage them to do so. We are also funding a research programme, which I...

Women and Equalities: Shared Parental Leave (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Again, we are conscious that this is not just a matter for businesses; it is about cultural change as well. That is why our evidence-based programme will, we hope, bring real results. We look constantly at what other countries are doing to encourage parents to share their parenting responsibilities while maintaining their place in work, because we know that work helps women through financial...

Women and Equalities: Shared Parental Leave (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Very much so. I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who does a great deal of work on gender issues. Before making any changes to shared parental leave and pay schemes, it is important to evaluate the situation, and we will be doing that this year. We will look carefully at what the evidence tells us, and also learn from other countries, before committing to a particular course of action.

Women and Equalities: Shared Parental Leave (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: As I said, we have to look carefully at the repercussions of any changes to shared parental leave. For example, we want to help self-employed mothers in this space. If they qualify for maternity allowance, they are allowed to share parental leave and pay with an employed father or partner. We are not ruling out providing further support for working parents. We very much agree with the...

Women and Equalities: Shared Parental Leave (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: First, I welcome the hon. Lady to her role. I am sure that working with her across the Chamber in the coming months will be a pleasure. As I said, I am going to make an exciting announcement in response to the first topical question about our detailed programme looking not just at shared parental leave, but at other gender equality issues in the workplace. This Government are committed to...

Women and Equalities: Gender Pay Gap: Reporting Process (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: May I first thank the hon. Lady for her role in introducing gender pay gap reporting? I have good news because it has emerged that 100% of employers identified as in scope have reported in the first year. I think that may be unprecedented in Government schemes. My thanks, as I say, to the hon. Lady, to everyone in the Government Equalities Office involved in making that happen and of course...

Women and Equalities: Gender Pay Gap: Reporting Process (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: That is a very good point. We are committed to looking not just at gender, but BAME and issues such as mental health. This reporting is opening up conversations about gender, as I say, but we hope that, as part of that, it will open up conversations about how employers treat their workforce generally and ensure that fairness is extended to everyone regardless, as the hon. Lady says, of...

Women and Equalities: Gender Pay Gap: Reporting Process (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Very much so. We have a packed agenda of meetings with business leaders but also with industry leaders, so that we can trickle down good practice from the largest employers, who obviously have the most resources in terms of HR departments and so on. We want to get the best practice from them and trickle it down so that we help those employers who under the legislation are required to report....

Women and Equalities: LGBT Equality (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: In July, we launched the Gender Recognition Act 2004 consultation and a 75-point LGBT action plan in response to the findings of the national LGBT survey. The action plan includes a £4.5 million fund to support delivery of these commitments—ranging from bringing forward proposals to end conversion therapy to appointing a national LGBT health adviser. This work marks a culture...

Women and Equalities: LGBT Equality (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Very much so. I thank my hon. Friend for the work that she does in the national health service looking after ill children. I am admiring her badge from afar. It looks very colourful. I hope that it will draw exactly the sort of reaction intended—namely, encouraging people who perhaps need extra reassurance that they are welcome and they are safe in the NHS to talk about their needs.

Women and Equalities: LGBT Equality (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Of course I am concerned to hear about LGBT people in Venezuela being treated as despicably as the hon. Gentleman has described. If I may, I will take the opportunity to invite him to write to the relevant Minister. I would certainly hope that we can look into the matter in more detail.

Women and Equalities: LGBT Equality (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: I thank my hon. Friend for his work. I know that he campaigned strongly on this issue, and he adds colour to the House, as I am sure he added colour to that campaign. I regret that I do not have the precise figures to hand, but if I may, I will take the opportunity to write to him, and I would, of course, be happy to discuss the matter with him after this session.

Women and Equalities: LGBT Equality (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Wow, Mr Speaker—a good memory.

Women and Equalities: LGBT Equality (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: There are so many ways I could go with this. I congratulate the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) on his civil partnership. He will know that my hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton) is promoting his Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill, and I will have the pleasure of responding to that as the Minister responsible. We are...

Women and Equalities: LGBT Equality (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: I never mix business with pleasure, Mr Speaker.

Women and Equalities: Access to Abortion Services (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Since June 2017, women from Northern Ireland have been able to access abortion services in England free of charge. We have also introduced a central booking system to simplify the process and there is support for travel costs where appropriate. The numbers of women from Northern Ireland accessing abortion services in England and Wales has increased as a result: up 25%, to 919 in 2017, which...

Women and Equalities: Access to Abortion Services (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: Department of Health and Social Care Ministers only have the power to approve English homes as a class of place for medical abortion. The definition of what “home” means in this context is not straightforward and will be determined as we take this work forward. DHSC officials are working with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to develop a protocol that will set...

Women and Equalities: Topical Questions (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: The Government are committed to ensuring that the UK is an international leader on gender equality research, so that employers have the tools and knowledge to act on their gender pay gaps. We are investing £3.1 million in research on gender equality in the workplace over the next two years. That includes £2 million in the gender and behavioural insights programme, to help us to...

Women and Equalities: Topical Questions (13 Sep 2018)

Victoria Atkins: One of the advances of this Parliament is that we are beginning to talk about the menopause and its effects more than we did three, four or five years ago, and I think that that is a good thing. I very much take the hon. Lady’s point about encouraging employers to recognise the effects of the menopause as part of their treatment of employees. That goes to the point that we have been...


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