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From maternity rights to terminal illness support: The House guide to 2022 Private Members' Bills

From maternity rights to terminal illness support: The House guide to 2022 Private Members' Bills
11 min read

Out of 460 MPs who entered the Private Members' Bill ballot in May, a total of 20 were drawn – allowing these parliamentarians to introduce their chosen bills to the House of Commons today.

The top seven MPs are guaranteed a full day of debate on their bill, whereas the rest can only hope there is enough parliamentary time available to get theirs discussed in the Commons. Here is a run-down of all the PMBs from this session's ballot...

1. Stuart C McDonald: Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill

The SNP MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East hopes to pass legislation on leave and pay for employees with responsibility for children receiving neonatal care.

2. Dan Jarvis: Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill

This bill aims to prevent employers from automatically putting new mothers, pregnant workers and those on adoption leave and shared parental leave first in line to lose their job by extending redundancy protections

The Labour MP for Barnsley Central said: “No one should be penalised for having a family, but pregnant women and new mums face grotesque levels of discrimination in the workplace. This bill will help tackle the appalling injustices they face.

“From the extortionate cost of childcare to difficulty in finding flexible hours, balancing family life with a job is already hard enough. The last thing soon-to-be and new parents need is getting forced out the door.

“The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill is a step towards providing working families with security and dignity in the workplace.”

3. Greg Smith: Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill

The Conservative MP for Buckingham said: “When equipment is stolen from a farm, a builders van, a construction site, people suffer and their businesses are set back, often by days and sometimes weeks.

"My bill will bring in measures that seek to prevent the resale of such stolen equipment, cutting off routes – especially online – for thieves to monetise their ill gotten gains. There is no magic bullet here, but this bill is about upping the stakes when it comes to beating rural crime and wider thefts from businesses.”

4. Sir Mark Hendrick: Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill

The Labour and Co-operative MP for Preston is introducing a bill about the types of share capital issued by co-operatives and the taxation of mutual insurers and friendly societies that issue deferred shares. It would permit the capital surplus of co-operatives, mutuals and friendly societies to be non-distributable, and amend the Friendly Societies Act 1992.

Hendrick said: "The new Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill looks at how to make it easier for co-operatives to get more investment whilst retaining their democratic structures, ensuring they work in the interest and are owned by their members.

"As a Liverpool Victoria member, I supported the campaign last year when venture capitalists Bain Capital threatened the democratic status of one of our oldest and most historic mutuals.

"From this, it’s clear more needs to be done to make sure this never happens again and our mutual and co-operative sector is protected for years to come. My bill would make sure these protections are secured into law."

5. Dr Liam Fox: Electricity and Gas Transmission (Compensation) Bill

The Conservative MP for North Somerset aims to establish an independent mechanism to determine claims for compensation in cases where land will be or has been subject to the acquisition of rights or land, through compulsion or by agreement, for the purposes of electricity and gas transmission. The second reading for his bill will take place on 25 November 2022.

6. Bob Blackman: Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill

“Following the success of my previous PMB, leading to The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, I was keen to draw on further improvements in tackling homelessness. Regulation of Exempt housing remains a big issue, often with inadequate housing and insufficient support being provided. I am therefore keen to see an improvement in the regulation of the properties and care provided so that everyone receives the best chance at getting back on their feet.”

7. Greg Clark: Protection from Sex-based Harassment in Public Bill

The Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells would like to pass legislation designed to prevent the causing of intentional harassment, alarm or distress to a person in public where the behaviour is done because of that person’s sex.

8. Dean Russell: Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill

The Conservative MP for Watford is intrdoducing a bill to ensure that tips, gratuities and service charges paid by customers are allocated to workers.

Russell said: "Having been successful in the ballot, I chose this topic as it is a campaign I have been leading for over a year. There are many hospitality workers in my constituency, so it is important to me that they receive the tips which customers leave in recognition of their good service.

"My Tips Bill is ultimately about fairness and ensuring workers have the rights to keep tips they have been given. It is wrong that any business would take a worker's tips given to them by a customer.

"I am sure most people who give a tip or gratuity would assume the money they give is rightly going to the staff and not to the business. This bill will ensure both customers and workers can have confidence businesses will not take the tip or gratuity meant for staff.

"I have had universal encouragement and support for my Tips Bill so far. In fact, several parliamentarians have shared their own stories of working in hospitality when they were younger and recognise the need for this Tips Bill to come into law. As such I hope Members from across the House will support the Tips Bill so it can become law."

9. Yasmin Qureshi: Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill

Before presenting her bill, the Labour MP for Bolton South East said: “During the pandemic we saw the potential to work flexibly in more jobs than was thought possible. It redefined the workplace.

"It also demonstrated that we need a new understanding on flexible working and why employers should embrace flexible working arrangements beyond home working, to give more opportunity and choice.

"Parents of young children, single parents or individuals with disabilities and health conditions so often need flexible working, but access to these arrangements is not equal for all.

"Improving access would help older people stay in work longer and help parents and carers return to and stay in work.

"This bill will ensure more people can access flexible working and act as a catalyst to address the barriers faced by women, the disabled, carers, and older people. It is also important for people’s wellbeing and productivity.

"For employers too, flexible working will create a stronger more diverse workforce which will pay dividends.”

10. Wendy Chamberlain: Carer's Leave Bill

The Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife is proposing a bill to make provision about unpaid leave for employees with caring responsibilities.

Chamberlain said: “Unpaid carers are the absolute backbone of our society. According to government estimates, there are at least 2.3 million working carers who could be eligible for leave under this bill: a huge number of people who currently receive far too little support.

"This bill will help carers juggle work and care whilst supporting employers to maximise retention and wellbeing. Passing it will be a significant step forwards from all sides.”

11. Mark Jenkinson: Offenders (Day of Release from Detention) Bill

The Conservative MP for Workington is introducnig a bill to make provision about the days on which offenders are released from detention.

12. Alex Cunningham: Terminal Illness (Support and Rights) Bill

The Labour MP for Stockton North said: “If you or a loved one is terminally ill the last thing you need is extra stress caused by worrying about whether you can afford to pay your energy bills. Yet research by Marie Curie and others shows that people who are terminally ill often face a loss of income and increased pressures on their finances.

“I’ve proposed a Bill that will require utility companies to provide financial support through existing hardship funds to customers with a terminal illness, hopefully some stress in what a deeply anxious time will be, and make sure no one is forced into fuel poverty as a result of being terminally ill.

”The Bill will also protect the employment rights of terminally ill people.”

13. Henry Smith: Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill

The Conservative MP for Crawley is putting forward a bill to ban British hunters from bringing hunting trophies of endangered and vulnerable animals into Britain.

Smith said: “The world’s wildlife faces an extinction emergency of extraordinary proportions. We have to do everything we can to support conservation and to put a stop to these horrendous activities. They are unnecessary, cruel and only make matters worse. 

“Trophy hunting is frankly barbaric. It is something the British public rightly finds repugnant. This bill is supported by the government and by opposition MPs alike. It shows Britain living up to its image of a nation of animal lovers and as a country that takes animal welfare and protecting wildlife seriously.”

14. Claire Coutinho: Child Support (Enforcement) Bill

The Conservative MP for East Surrey said: “Far too often, I've heard from single parents – mostly women – who are struggling to get child maintenance payments from their former partners. As a result, they find themselves disempowered, in poverty, and struggling to make ends meet.

"This legislation will make it easier for the Child Maintenance Service to get hold of the cash these parents are entitled to so that they aren't waiting endlessly to get a Liability Order to get the funds they need to take care of their children.”

15. Wera Hobhouse: Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill

This legislation – the unofficial name of which is the Protection from Workplace Harassment Bill – makes provisions about the duties of employers and protection of workers under the Equality Act 2010.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Bath said: "My winning number on the ballot was 461. I chose this because I was the 461st woman to be elected to Parliament. This encouraged me to choose an issue that will tackle violence against women and girls as hrassment in the workplace is experienced by 40 per cent of women in the workforce in their career.

"This bill would shift responsibility from the individual to the institution and make employers responsible for protecting their employees. There is no place for harassment anywhere. At a minimum, sexual harassment is experienced by 40 per cent of women in the workforce. It causes various harms, and employers should be morally and legally required to take all reasonable steps to stop harassment from occurring.

"Workplace harassment has no place in our society and this bill will take steps to prevent cases of harassment."

16. Ian Mearns: Online Sale of Goods (Safety) Bill

The Labour MP for Gateshead said: “The bill would ensure that consumers are afforded the same protections when they are shopping on an online marketplace as they receive when shopping on the high street.

"Online marketplaces, sadly, currently have no responsibility for ensuring the safety of products advertised and sold on their platforms.   

"Research from organisations including Electrical Safety First, the British Toy and Hobby Association, and Which? have consistently found unsafe products being sold on online platforms. This is further evidenced by the Office for Product Safety and Standards’ (OPSS) own research.

"Our constituents need to be protected from the potential harm that could be caused by unsafe products being sold on online platforms!"

17. Christina Rees: Shark Fins Bill

The Labour MP for Neath wants to ban the import and export of shark fins and legislate to block the removal of fins from sharks.

18. Matt Hancock: Dyslexia Screening and Teacher Training Bill

The Conservative MP for West Suffolk said: "I'm reintroducing my Private Members' Bill into Parliament so all children at primary school are screened for dyslexia, and we get better training for teachers to teach children with dyslexia, as well as other neurodiverse conditions like ADHD and dyspraxia.

"Astonishingly still only one in five dyslexic children get identified at school. I know from my own personal experience that if you're diagnosed with dyslexia late, then you don't get the support that you need.

"I was diagnosed aged 18, and it was only then that I got the support that I needed. I was essentially retaught how to read and write, and it was transformative but, too many children leave school who are dyslexic and haven't had that support – we need to make sure that happens."

19. Sally-Ann Hart: Child Support Collection (Domestic Abuse) Bill

The Conservative MP for Hastings and Rye said: "Ensuring that child maintenance is paid is both morally right and economically important for many children and young people across the country.

"This is especially the case given the current financial pressures families are facing, and that is why I am seeking to amend primary legislation through a Child Maintenance Bill focused on domestic abuse and collect and pay.

"Importantly, this bill will add the option for moving to collect and pay without the consent of the other parent if there is evidence of domestic abuse, bolstering the government's commitment to victims who are overwhelmingly women and often in difficult financial situations."

20. Stephen Metcalfe: Powers of Attorney Bill

The bill by the Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock will make provision about lasting powers of attorney and proof of instruments creating powers of attorney.

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