21 July 2017
An SNP MP will bring a workers’ rights Bill after summer recess which he thinks could instigate a DUP rebellion.
Chris Stephens’ Fair Rights at Work Bill will be informed by the Institute of Employment Rights’ Manifesto for Labour Law, which has already acted as the blueprint for the Labour Party’s 2017 General Election Manifesto.
He told the Sunday Herald that his Bill would provide further protections for workers in the “gig economy” and that as the Tory-DUP pact does not cover employment law (which is devolved to Stormont), the Northern Irish politicians will be under pressure to abstain.
“There is a new opportunity, given the parliamentary arithmetic, to put forward a Bill that looks at workers’ rights, especially in the so-called gig economy,” he said.
John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said the Bill would have his party’s support, especially given its similarity to his own Trade Union Freedom Bill, which was blocked by the Conservative government.
He joined Stephens in saying the Fair Rights at Work Bill would make it difficult for DUP politicians to provide the backing the Conservatives need for a parliamentary majority.
“The DUP MPs have to decide whether they represent the interests of their working-class supporters or represent the interests of the Tory Party,” he said.