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Employment and Workers’ Rights

Volume 615: debated on Thursday 20 October 2016

11. What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on employment and workers’ rights deriving from EU legislation and rulings of the European Court of Justice being given domestic effect upon the UK leaving the EU. (906698)

A large component of the people who voted to leave the EU could be characterised as the British industrial working class. It is no part of my brief to undermine their rights—full stop. As a Government, we have been clear that we will do nothing to undermine workers’ rights. All law in this area at the time of exit will be brought under UK law as part of the great repeal Bill, ensuring continuity.

The 2000 part-time workers regulations implemented the EU directive that guarantees that the rights of part-time workers are equal with those of their full-time colleagues. Will the Secretary of State guarantee that those rights will not be removed or diluted in any way when the UK leaves the EU?

On that point, employment law is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland, so under the great repeal Bill will that competence be automatically devolved, or will it be held in some sort of holding room here before it is devolved?

The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. That is why I said last week when we were talking about the great repeal Bill that we will have extensive discussions with all the devolved Administrations to ensure that each appropriate piece of law goes to the right place.