Motion on Standing Orders
That, in the event of the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill having been brought from the House of Commons:
(1) Standing Order 46 (No two stages of a Bill to be taken on one day) be dispensed with on Thursday 25 February to allow more than one stage of the Bill to be taken on that day;
(2) The report of the Committee on the Bill shall be received forthwith, whether or not the Committee amends the Bill, and no amendments shall be tabled for consideration on Report; and
(3) In accordance with Standing Order 48 (Amendments on Third Reading), amendments shall not be moved on Third Reading.
My Lords, the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on Thursday last week. It is expected to be taken through all of its remaining Commons stages on Thursday this week. The Bill will have its Second Reading in this House on Monday 22 February, for which the speakers’ list is open. This Motion will allow us to take the Bill through its remaining stages on Thursday 25 February. The Motion provides for a substantive Committee stage, but not for a Report stage. In accordance with Standing Order 48, amendments will not be possible on Third Reading. Noble Lords will be able to table amendments for Committee between the point at which the Bill arrives and 4 pm on Monday 22 February. Any amendments will be marshalled and grouped in the usual way. I am grateful to the Legislation Office for the arrangements it has put in place. I beg to move.
My Lords, this is a short, necessary Bill and the procedures are right to ensure it is in place in time for the Attorney-General’s maternity leave. We support it and particularly welcome the agreement with the Government for the Front-Bench teams in the Commons and the Lords to meet and go through related areas, such as paternity and adoption leave, and consider how they can be taken forward later this year. Indeed, we on these Benches look forward to the day when all women can get the maternity leave and pay which means they can take the time off to care for a newborn without a dramatic fall in income.