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Employment Law: Devolution

Volume 741: debated on Wednesday 29 November 2023

4. If he will have discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of devolving employment law to the Scottish Government. (900320)

The UK Government have no intention of devolving legislative competence for employment rights to the Scottish Parliament. Employers and employees benefit hugely from a single, simple system where employment rights are the same across Great Britain, whether in Derby or Dundee. We do not see any benefit from changing that arrangement.

Devolution of employment law is supported by the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Trades Union Congress, workers’ rights groups, a majority in the Scottish Parliament and the public. It would benefit workers by having their Governments compete to give them better rights and preventing a race to the bottom. What is not to like? Why will the Secretary of State’s Government not consider it?

I refer the hon. Gentleman to my original answer. We believe it is right to have a simple system that works across the United Kingdom, whether one is in Derby or Dundee.

Does the Secretary of State agree that to have different employment laws either side of the border of the two nations would be a mistake, because it would increase the regulatory burden on companies and deprive British companies of our excellent tribunal system?

I completely agree with my right hon. and learned Friend, who absolutely makes the right arguments.