West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has presented a Bill to Parliament seeking to strengthen workers’ rights and improve terms and conditions for employees.
The local SNP MP published his Employment Bill at the House of Commons. It contains a number of provisions about the rights of workers, including to negotiate pay and join trade unions and employee associations; to amend the definition of worker; to make provision about the employment rights of members of the Armed Forces; and to make provision about employee representatives on company boards.
On the Armed Forces, it looks to ensure Members have the ability like all other workers to engage on the issue of terms and conditions.
The Bill comes after growing concerns over the threat to workers’ rights in post-Brexit Tory Britain. Earlier this year, the Business Secretary confirmed reports that the Tory government intends to review workers’ rights, stating during a Committee session that: “We wanted to look at the whole range of issues relating to our EU membership and examine what we wanted to keep…”
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“This Bill is an important and much needed step to not only protect but also strengthen workers’ rights.
“The reality is that the Tory government’s pledge to protect rights is not worth the paper it’s written on and with each day that passes the threat to workers continues to grow as the Tories pursue a post-Brexit race to the bottom in standards.
“This Bill aims to enhance workers’ rights by seeking to include provisions to ensure workers have a voice at the top table and be able to negotiate pay and join trade unions. It also focuses on expanding the definition of worker to include members of our valued Armed Forces.
“We cannot simply put up with hollow rhetoric and empty promises – we need to put these protections into legislation and implement safeguards against any regression in protections.
“As the Westminster Tory threat to workers’ rights ramps up, it’s clear that Scotland is vulnerable under Westminster control. The SNP has repeatedly called for the full devolution of employment law so that the Scottish Parliament can get on with the job of legislating in these key areas.
“However, it’s clear that the only way to properly protect our interests and workers’ rights is to become an independent country, with control over all powers needed to build a more equal and fairer society.”
The text of Martin’s Private Member’s Bill is available here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-02/0045/21045.pdf