Commons motion

Labour seeks vote to protect workers’ rights

Doosan Babcock worker

Labour wants to protect workers’ rights

Labour will force a vote in the Commons on Monday to protect holiday pay entitlements and safe working limits following Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s admission that employment protections are being reviewed.  

Mr Kwarteng, who stepped into the job last week when Alok Sharma moved to take control of the COP26 agenda, told MPs this week there would be no “bonfire of rights” following the UK’s departure from the EU but confirmed there will be a review of the bloc’s labour laws.

“The view was that we wanted to look at the whole range of issues relating to our EU membership and examine what we wanted to keep, if you like.”

Labour says it could mean ending the inclusion of overtime in how holiday pay is calculated, leaving workers hundreds of pounds out of pocket.  

It would also mean no legal cap on the number of hours employers can make their employees work and n end to the legal right to rest breaks at work.

Labour’s motion calls on the Government to specifically rule out any changes to the 48-hour working week, rest breaks at work, or holiday pay entitlements. The motion also calls on the Government to outlaw fire and rehire tactics.   

Andy McDonald, the Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Protections, said:  “In the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis, Ministers are considering ripping up workers’ rights. This could see people across the country worse off, losing out on holiday pay and working longer hours. 

“Scrapping the 48-hour working week cap could mean many key workers feel pressured to work excessive hours. The Government should be focused on securing our economy and rebuilding the country, not taking a wrecking ball to hard-won rights.   

“The Government’s true colours are on full display once again and it’s clear their priorities couldn’t be further from those of workers and their families. But on Monday MPs across the House will have a chance to vote on the side of working people and protect our key workers.”

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