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Conditions of Employment

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL14331, tabled on 7 March 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Lord Henley on 7 March, whether the proposed clauses on workers' rights for inclusion in the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill will include improvements to air quality and water quality both outside and inside the workplace.

Answered on

15 March 2019

New EU legislation that provides workers’ rights which member states are obliged to confer will be covered by the proposed clauses. Workers’ rights include labour protections regarding health and safety at work. The Government will be required to report on those new rights, whether they go further than current domestic rights, and if so the action the Government proposes to take. Air and water quality standards are only in scope to the extent that they fall within the definition of workers’ rights.

The Government has been clear that the UK will maintain and enhance environmental protections as it leaves the EU. As part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Government has set an ambition to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than it found it – and has already put in train a number of policies to achieve this.

The Environment Bill will be introduced early in the second Session of this Parliament, and will include ambitious legislative measures to take direct action to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age: air quality, nature recovery, waste and resource efficiency, and water resource management. In the Environment Bill the Government will legislate to ensure there is a robust framework for the maintenance and strengthening of environmental standards as the UK leaves the EU.