Jobs and skills

Mike Wood: What assessment has my right hon. Friend made of the announcement’s impact on the recruitment and retention of prison officers?

 

Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

My hon. Friend makes a very important point. Prison officers will receive a 2% rise and a 0.75% bonus. Prison officers who were newly recruited on fair and sustainable terms will receive additional progression pay to make sure that we retain those really important workers.

Mike Wood: What will the impact be of the measures associated with this deal on the cost of new nuclear power stations and on decommissioning former nuclear sites?

 

Sam Gyimah Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Higher Education), Minister of State (Education)

Mike Wood: What progress the Government have made on improving the safety of prison officers.

 

Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Mike Wood: Given my hon. Friend’s personal interest in this matter, will he join me in supporting the Government’s “Share the joy” campaign to encourage greater take-up of shared parental leave?

 

Andrew Griffiths (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy))

Mike Wood: Mandatory reporting requirements are an important step in eliminating the gender pay gap, but does my hon. Friend agree that it will be key for shareholders and customers, as well as employees, to hold businesses to account on those reports?

 

Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

Mike Wood: What sanctions are available if companies fail to meet their legal obligations to help to close the gender pay gap?

 

Amber Rudd (The Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women and Equalities)

What is the law is that gender pay gap reporting takes place. The EHRC has the ability to take measures that can end up with fines and further sanctions. In terms of proposals for companies to actually close the gap themselves, we encourage them to put forward their own plans.

Mike Wood: What steps his Department is taking to support the use of small businesses in Government procurement.

 

Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Over the past two and a half years I have met many constituents who have been directly affected by the various changes to the state pension age. Listening to them, it is impossible not to feel every sympathy, given the circumstances in which many find themselves. If I suddenly found out that I would not be able to retire at the age I had expected, I am not sure that I could say how I felt—actually, I probably could, but I fear my language would not be parliamentary.

Mike Wood & James Cleverly (Braintree)

What steps the Government are taking to support women back into work when they have had time out of the workplace to look after children or other relatives.

 

Anne Milton 

(Minister of State (Education), Minister for Women)

Mike Wood: On the 100th anniversary of the communist revolution’s introduction of a system that impoverished and imprisoned tens of millions, what is the Department doing to promote the benefits of free markets for workers, consumers and society as a whole?

 

Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

I beg to move,

That this House 
has considered taxation of the beer and pubs sector.

Mike Wood: I thank my hon. Friend for taking forward the excellent work begun by my hon. Friend Will Quince in the previous Session. He rightly says that most employers would grant leave under such terrible circumstances, were it asked for. Is not the point of the Bill that no parent should, in almost unimaginably horrible and difficult circumstances, have to make such a request and fear what the answer might be?

 

Kevin Hollinrake Conservative, Thirsk and Malton

Mike Wood: The hon. Lady’s position seems to be that there is legal uncertainty about whether it is necessary for the UK to leave Euratom and that we should have left the issue until further in the negotiations, finding out whether we were leaving later on in the process. Would that not have just left rather less time to prepare if we did have to leave?

 

Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Mike Wood: Does the hon. Lady recognise that an independent study put the cost of providing childcare for three and four-year-olds at about £3.72 per hour, whereas the average amount that goes to a council is £4.94—significantly more?

 

Ruth George Labour, High Peak

Mike Wood: I declare an interest: my wife is a primary school teacher who is currently working as a teaching assistant.

Will the Chief Secretary ensure that both the rising cost of living and recommendations of the independent pay review bodies are properly taken into consideration in the setting of public pay policy for next year’s settlements?

 

Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Mike Wood: Our West Midlands police have done a fantastic job in cutting crime and doing more with less. Will the Minister ensure that the police funding formula is reformed to deliver a fair deal for the West Midlands?

 

Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

Mike Wood: I rise as a member of the Campaign for Real Ale and one of the vice-chairmen of the all-party group on beer and brewing.

Given what we hear about the number of pubs closing each week, a proposal such as new clause 9 has a superficial attraction. After all, pubs are at the heart of our communities not only as a place for people to come together, with all the social and health benefits that that brings, but increasingly as community hubs, as more and more services are operating out of licensed premises.

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish guidance to clarify whether overnight sleep-in shifts are exempt from the national living wage rate; and if he will make a statement.

 

Margot James (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy))

Mike Wood: I wonder whether the Minister agrees with David Blunkett, the former Labour Home Secretary, who reportedly said that he

“would take some convincing that another agonising internal inquiry would shed more light than is already known.”

 

Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing and the Fire Service)

Mike Wood: What assessment has my right hon. Friend made of opportunities to increase apprenticeship-based routes into the legal professions and prison services to increase social mobility?

 

Elizabeth Truss The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Mike Wood: My father was a West Midlands policeman in the 1980s and spent some days policing at Orgreave. Clearly, where there is solid evidence of police malpractice, it must be dealt with effectively and with the full force of the law. Does the Home Secretary recognise the concerns of many serving and retired police officers about what they perceive to be a political campaign with a predetermined outcome?

 

Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Mike Wood: The previous Chancellor announced a new light rail link between the Midland metro and the new enterprise zone in Brierley Hill in my constituency. Will my right hon. Friend meet me to discuss how we can extend that to the main line rail link at Stourbridge so that we can support businesses, communities and jobs in my constituency?

 

David Gauke The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Mike Wood: In my constituency, rather like in the hon. Gentleman’s, Lloyds Banking Group announced two further bank closures yesterday. He is speaking movingly about the impact of bank closures on our communities, but that impact also extends to the staff. Does he agree that banks need to do far more to redeploy staff, and, where redeployment cannot take place, to make sure that retraining and support are in place so that staff are treated fairly?

 

Chris Evans Labour/Co-operative, Islwyn

Mike Wood: On that very point, the family-owned Hinton Perry & Davenhill brickworks in my constituency has recently invested £5 million in new energy and production efficiency measures. Does my hon. Friend agree that undermining the business model on which such brickworks operate reduces investment in energy efficiency, thereby worsening the situation, rather than helping?

 

Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire

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