Wed, 29 September 2021

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By Lord Blunkett, Dawn Butler MP, Ian Byrne MP and Margaret Hodge MP
By Matt Zarb-Cousin
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Government to enshrine workers' rights pledge in new bill, Number 10 confirms

Government to enshrine workers' rights pledge in new bill, Number 10 confirms
2 min read

A promise by Boris Johnson not to water down workers' rights after the UK leaves the EU is to be enshrined in a new law, it has emerged.

The Prime Minister had initially included the proposed changes in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as he tried to secure Labour MPs' backing for it before the general election.

Downing Street hinted on Monday that when the WAB returns to the Commons this week, it will be stripped of those pledges - triggering an angry backlash from opposition parties.

But a spokesman for the Prime Minister insisted that the promises on workers' rights will be contained in a new employment bill.

He said: "The Prime Minister was clear that he is determined to make the UK the best place in the world to work. 

"The manifesto on which he won a majority made clear that that would be done in parallel to the Withdrawal Agreement and the issue will be dealt with in its own legislation. 

"Once Brexit is done, we will continue to lead the way and set a high standard, building on existing employment law with measures which protect those in low paid work. This is on top of the largest upgrade to workers' rights in a generation that the Government is bringing forward."

A senior government official said: "The Prime Minister won't be doing anything at all that downgrades workers' rights. He is going to be enhancing workers' rights. He will be doing nothing to diminish them."

The move came as a new YouGov poll revealed that more working class voters backed the Conservatives than Labour in last week's general election.

Mr Johnson has also vowed to repay the trust shown in the Conservatives by voters in former Labour heartlands in the north of England, the Midlands and Wales.

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