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Opposition Day — [12th Allotted Day]: Women and the Economy (9 Dec 2015)

Alistair Carmichael: In the previous Government, I—along with the Minister’s predecessor as Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson—commissioned a report on womenomics, which was produced by Professor Lesley Sawers of Glasgow Caledonian University. What are the Government doing about that report?

Women in News and Current Affairs Broadcasting (Communications Committee Report) — Motion to Take Note (8 Sep 2015)

Baroness Williams of Trafford: ...report we stated very clearly that we agreed with this. We have no plans currently to remove Ofcom’s duty to promote development opportunities for training and equality of opportunity under the Communications Act. I think that partly answers the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson. During the last Government, Jo Swinson wrote to the chief executive of Ofcom in February...

Income Per Capita — Question (14 Jul 2015)

Baroness Kramer: My Lords, I am pleased that the Liberal Democrat plan to help to close the gender pay gap has been reannounced by the Government. Will the Minister join me in congratulating the former coalition Minister, Jo Swinson, who pushed through the relevant amendment on corporate disclosure? Will the Government now take steps to close the pay gap between older people and the under-25s, who will not be...

Opposition Day — [2nd Allotted Day]: Skills and Growth (17 Jun 2015)

Nicholas Boles: ...from his family to go to university, and here he is now. He is going to do his constituents proud in this Chamber. I should like to add a note of thanks for his generous tribute to his predecessor, Jo Swinson, who was probably the Conservatives’ favourite Liberal Democrat. We also heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Derby North (Amanda Solloway), who will be relieved to hear...

Queen’s Speech - Debate (6th Day) (4 Jun 2015)

Lord Stoneham of Droxford: ...that the country will notice. While I thank my colleagues for their contributions today, I think that it is a requirement also to express thanks and appreciation for the work of Vince Cable, Danny Alexander, Jo Swinson and Ed Davey, who played a big part while they were in government in helping the economic recovery after the recession in 2010. It has been an excellent debate with some...

Elections for Positions in the House (26 Mar 2015)

...T. C. (Monmouth) Davies Caroline Dinenage Jackie Doyle-Price Richard Drax James Duddridge Sir Alan Duncan Mr Iain Duncan Smith Michael Ellis Jane Ellison Tobias Ellwood George Eustice Graham Evans Jonathan Evans Nigel Evans Mr David Evennett Michael Fabricant Michael Fallon Mr Don Foster Dr Liam Fox Mr Mark Francois George Freeman Mike Freer Lorraine Fullbrook Mark Garnier David Gauke Nick...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Ceramic Products: Origin Marking (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: We have no plans to introduce a requirement for origin marking for ceramic products. However, ceramics companies continue to be free to use origin marking on a voluntary basis. Industry sectors with well-deserved reputations for design and quality, such as the UK ceramics industry, may find this a helpful promotional tool.

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Zero-hours Contracts (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: All employees on a zero-hours contract can already, after 26 weeks, request a move to a fixed-hours contract. That flexible working legislation measure was implemented on 30 June 2014. In the Small Business, Employment and Enterprise Bill, we will ban the unfair use of exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts, and the employment status review is looking further at the employment rights...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills: Topical Questions (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: ...on both sides of the House for their engagement in the debate on my portfolio issues in the past two and a half years? I never expected to become a Minister when I was elected in 2005. I have enjoyed it immensely and I hope I have made a difference in protecting consumers, improving corporate responsibility and modernising workplaces.

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Fire Prevention: Furniture (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has been carefully analysing the responses to the consultation on the proposed amendments to certain test schedules in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. The Government response to this consultation was published on 25 March 2015 and can be accessed at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/furniture-fire-safety-re...

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Textiles: Labelling (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: It is important that consumers have accurate information to enable them to make informed choices when they are buying textile products that contain non-textile parts of animal origin. The 2012 regulations on textile labelling replaced three separate Directives and simplified and improved a complex framework which was difficult to enforce and confusing for business. Responsibility for...

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Pay (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: In the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the average hourly rate of pay for White or White British employees is £23.53. For BIS employees that are Black, Asian or other minority ethnic groups (including mixed race), the hourly rate is £20.07. Please note that the above figures reflect the different levels of seniority of the employees that have provided their...

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: All of the increased resources in the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate have been allocated to front line posts We have recruited two additional EAS Inspectors and an Operations and Prosecutions Manager, all of whom carry warrant cards and carry out both complaint investigation and targeted enforcement operations in high risk areas.

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: The resources in Employment Agency Standards (EAS) have doubled this year and will increase again in the next financial year. All of the staff in the EAS Inspectorate carry out both complaint investigation and targeted enforcement operations in high risk areas.

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Employment Agencies: Inspections (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: Across the agencies visited in Sheffield in February, the following potential breaches of the Conduct Regulations were found: Regulation 5 – Cannot make the provision of work-finding conditionally upon buying goods or services supplied by the agency Regulation 10 – Transfer fees for a temporary worker moving to a permanent position with a hirer or third party Regulation 13...

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Employment Agencies: Inspections (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: The most common breaches of the obligations under the Conduct Regulations are: Regulation 12 - Withholding payment for work undertaken Regulation 13 – Information to be given in writing about goods or services provided by the agency Regulation 14 – Terms to be agreed with a work-seeker Regulation 15 – Specific information to be contained in the terms agreed under...

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: The resources in EAS have doubled this year and will increase again in the next financial year. Since November 2014, three staff who were on loan to HMRC have returned to EAS. We are currently undertaking a recruitment exercise to further increase EAS resources and the remaining EAS staff on loan may apply to return if they choose.

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: EU Law (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: Since making the Reports on Payments to Government Regulations and the introduction of the Financial Conduct Authority rules in December 2014 the government has continued to have discussions with all stakeholders. The most recent meeting between the department, civil society and industry representatives was held in February 2015. I have since spoken to representatives from the Publish What...

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Arts: Pay (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: We are committed to improving compliance with the National Minimum Wage. We do not currently have plans to publish guidance for individual sectors; however we will carefully consider the Low Pay Commissions (LPC) recommendations. We continue to work with the LPC and HMRC to ensure we provide clear and comprehensive information on the minimum wage rules, particularly in those sectors...

Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Public Houses (26 Mar 2015)

Jo Swinson: This Government is committed to supporting a fair and flourishing pubs sector. We have scrapped the beer duty escalator, and in Budget 2015 we cut beer duty for the third year in a row. Through the Community Right to Bid, we are giving community organisations in England a better chance to save their local pub by listing it as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). And, from 6 April, we will...


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