07/03/2017 Ten Minute Rule Bill


07/03/2017

Recorded coverage of the introduction of a Ten Minute Rule Bill on HM the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee, from Tuesday 7 March.


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MrSpeaker, I beg to move that legal be given to bring in a bill to make

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provision for a national public holiday marking the Queen's Saphire

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Jubilee in June this year and to establish a framework to ensure that

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the United Kingdom, its overseas territories and Crown dependencies

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appropriately commemorate this occasion and for connected purposes.

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On 6th February this year marked the 65th anniversary of Her Majesty the

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Queen's accession to the throne. This is a truly remarkable milestone

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for our longest serving monarch in the history of our proud nation and

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peoples. Her Majesty the Queen's sapphire Jubilee must surely be a

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cause of great celebration across the British Isles. In all corners of

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the kingdom, and indeed throughout Her Majesty's overseas territories,

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Crown dependencies, her other realms and across the Commonwealth of

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nations. As you will know, MrSpeaker, during Her Majesty's

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reign there have been three Royal Jubilees, the Silver Jubilee of

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1977, the Golden Jubilee of 2002, and the Diamond Jubilee of 2012. In

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each case the British people paid tribute to Her Majesty for her

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service to the nation with spectacular events in Counties,

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cities, towns and villages throughout these Islands. Including

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parades, street parties, Church services, fetes, school Assemblies,

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and the lighting of beacons up and down the land.

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National celebrations also took place, usually in June, with

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services of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, combined with

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military parades throughout the streets of London, and for the

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Diamond Jubilee a flotilla along the River Thames. Her Majesty and the

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Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal family have appeared on

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the balcony of Buckingham Palace as the spectacle of a fly pass by the

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Royal air force, the red arrows and in the case of the golden jubilee,

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Concorde flew overhead. Millions of people filled the streets of London,

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gathering in the Mall to celebrate the Queen, singing and dancing. On

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each occasion the nation's spirits were lifted. Come rain or shine, the

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people rose to the occasion the length and breadth of the nation.

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The silver, golden and diamond jubilee is brought the country

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together in nationwide displays of affection for the Queen and the

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Sapphire Jubilee must surely do so again this year. It will remind us

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of our rich heritage, our cultural identity as part of a great British

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family, sharing a union of the crowns, unbroken since 1603. Whether

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we consider ourselves to be English, Scottish, Ulstermen, Irish, Welsh,

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Manx, Jersey men, Guernsey men, from the Gibraltar, from Bermuda or

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whichever identity within the British family we happened to call

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our own, the celebration of the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee must be a

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cause that brings each and every one of us together in honour of Queen

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and country. Mr Speaker, just look around the world today and see

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politicians as presidents. Prime ministers and leaders of nations who

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come and go, but here in the United Kingdom how fortunate we are to have

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such a dedicated mutual head of state as a constitutional monarch,

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who defends our laws and upholds our democracy and is the guardian of our

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Constitution, providing the foundations for stable and

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accountable government. Just as previous jubilees have been

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celebrated far and wide, it must surely be right that the Sapphire

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Jubilee is as well. In fact, I say to this House that Her Majesty's

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Sapphire Jubilee should be the greatest jubilee of all as no other

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monarch has reached 65 years on the throne. And it is inconceivable that

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any future king or queen will reach such an achievement for years to

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come. We can't let the year passed without a celebration befitting the

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occasion, saluting Her Majesty for all she has done for our nation and

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the wider commonwealth, but also to prove to ourselves once again that

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what unites our country and people is much greater than what divides

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us. Her Majesty the Queen is undoubtedly the most uniting figure

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of our nation. She is the fundamental component of our common

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British identity. As a people we shared beliefs, principles and

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obligations and so let us cherish our common heritage and in so doing

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ensure our common destiny. It is my fervent belief that the Queen

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exemplifies all that is great and good about our nation and represents

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the continuity that our forebears did so much to hand to us. Most

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especially the freedom of our island home that we today cherish so much.

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As our Queen and sovereign, Her Majesty brings steadfastness and

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stability to our Constitution, our parliamentary democracy and

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throughout our society. The importance of this dead fastness

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cannot be understated. Her Majesty is the single greatest flag bearer

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of stability and continuity. And so the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee must be

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a time for everyone to celebrate this great milestone in the history

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of our island people. Whether from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland

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or Wales, the Crown dependencies, the Jersey and Guernsey Islands,

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overseas, people of British ancestry scattered across the globe, the

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United kingdom taking believed will encourage Her Majesty's other rams

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to celebrate the Sapphire Jubilee. After all, the Queen is Queen of

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Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Canada, grenade, Jamaica,

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New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, said Lucio, Saint Vincent, the Solomon

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Islands. Our friends in these nations must also have the chance to

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celebrate as the Sapphire Jubilee is as much their celebration as it is

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the British are else. All the people of the United Kingdom, Northern

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Ireland, overseas territories and dependencies should mark the

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occasion of the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee with a celebration that such

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a significant landmark deserves. It will give councils the authority to

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make plans now for local celebrations. Providing the street

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parties, carnivals and special events to take place without the

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tiresome bureaucracy that can get in the way. One weekend in June could

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be designated Sapphire Jubilee weekend with an additional bank

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holiday immediately afterwards that could be a national day for a

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thanksgiving service. The weekend of Trooping the Colour might also be an

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option for the official Sapphire Jubilee celebrations. As the first

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ever Sapphire Jubilee of a reigning British monarch, we cannot allow

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this great occasion to go on celebrated. On the contrary, Mr

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Speaker, Her Majesty's 65th anniversary as our sovereign and

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head of state must be an opportunity to unite all British people,

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together with those of other nationalities who have made Britain

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the home and who might also want to celebrate with pride and patriotism.

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And so in presenting this bill today my hope is that it will draw

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attention to this highly significant event. Time may be short to arrange

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celebrations for June, but I believe the spirit of our nation will

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inspire the people to make Her Majesty's -- Her Majesty the Queen's

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Sapphire Jubilee a spectacular occasion that will be remembered for

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years to come and we will be able to demonstrate our heartfelt thanks to

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Her Majesty for what she has done. I commend this bill to the House. The

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question is that the honourable member has lead to bring in the

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bill. Whilst I have no objection whatsoever to the people of the

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United Kingdom and wider celebrating the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee, I do

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feel that as with most proposals, the devil is in the detail and that

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is why I am forced is big against this bill. I would like to press for

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greater detail and that we may learn from the problems created for UK

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workers from the most recent extra public holidays which were held on

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April 29 2011 to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate

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Middleton and on June the 5th 2012 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond

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Jubilee. On both those occasions I was working for the NHS and I was

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also an elected workplace trade union rapped for Unite. Not everyone

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in the NHS was able to ensure the public holidays. Essential public

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services still have to be provided many staff were required to remain

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in work on those days in order to provide and urgent care. Problems

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arose with how these staff were to be remunerated because NHS terms and

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conditions under a gender -- under agenda for change says that staff

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are entitled to eight bank holidays and these extra bank holidays

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counted as nine. My NHS boss refused to pay staff working on those days

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at the bank holiday rate and paid them at the normal rate. I tried to

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negotiate a better rate of pay, but I came up against a blanket refusal

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from management to recognise these days as bank holidays and therefore

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not qualifying for the high rate of pay. Before the Diamond Jubilee

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celebrations are replied to -- I wrote to David Cameron. His reply

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was unhelpful. We were left with a situation where hard-working

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dedicated NHS staff who gave up their days off to provide a service

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were not adequately remunerated. I don't want to see this happen again

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with this new build. Unite revealed that some NHS trusts treated the

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Diamond Jubilee as a normal working day. Unite had even written to the

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Queen of behalf of its 100,000 members in the health service on

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this issue, but alas, to no avail. Additionally in April 2011, prior to

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the royal wedding, the Daily Mail reported that more than a tenth of

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employers said that they would not be giving the workers are paid day

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off, according to a poll by the chartered Institute of payroll

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professionals. Employment law experts said that workers were the

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victims of a lottery which depended entirely upon the wording in the

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contract. For example, if the contract states that the employee is

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entitled to 28 days holiday including all back and public

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holidays, the worker will be entitled to paid time off. However

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if the contract stated the worker was in total to 28 days holidays

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including eight bank and public holidays that would not infer the

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right to be off because the Royal wedding constitutes a nine bank

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holiday. -- ninth bank holiday. On that day in 2011 or 163 Debenhams

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stores were open but the staff did not achieve extra pay. Conversely,

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Tesco's stores said that people who worked the bank holiday would be

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paid up to three times the normal rate. Following the royal wedding

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holiday where some employers fail to give the day off, the TUC rate to

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this government to add a provision to holiday entitlement to take

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account of any special bank or public holidays, but sadly no such

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provision was made. And with that in mind, one way to avoid this

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situation arising every time that an extra public holiday is announced

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would be to increase the number of bank holidays from eight up to nine

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per year, with the extra bank holiday to be used to celebrate a

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significant occasion that year, and that occasion to be determined by

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Parliament. As I have stated when I rose to speak, I think it is right

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that we should celebrate the Queen's record of an amazing 65 years of

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long service, but what I'm asking for is more clarity to enable

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employers and employees to reach a better understanding of the

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practicalities of arranging an extra public holiday. Most importantly on

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rates of remuneration for those emergency workers who give up their

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time so that others may enjoy the day off and the celebrations. I will

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end by asking the questions. Will this bill specify how this holiday

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should be characterised and what rates are paid those who have to

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work on the date should receive? How will the bill ensure that all

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employers participate and give staff the day off without resorting to the

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use of loopholes? And will the government now take heed of the TUC

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recommendation that provision should now be made to workers was not

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holiday entitlement to take account of additional public holidays? Thank

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you. The question is that the honourable member have leave to

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bring in the bill. I think the ayes have it. Who will prepare and bring

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in the bill? Sir Julian Brazier, Mr Douglas Carswell, Tom Elliott,

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Michael Gove, Kate Hoey, Norman Lamb, Angus Brendan McNeill, Albert

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Owen, Gavin Robinson, Michael Tomlinson and myself, sir.

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I beg leave to ask the question standing in my name on the order

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paper. My Lords, according to the latest data from the office for

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national statistics, income inequality in the UK is at its

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lowest level since 1986. The key to economic success and to reducing

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inequality is to improve activity which determines living standards in

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the long run, that's why the Government has established a

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national productivity investment fund and published a Green Paper on

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industrial strategy highlighting

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