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?
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?
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?
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))