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Nov. 30th, 2011

This may seem quirky, but Parliament is not bound by the laws that it creates. It usually goes along with standard practice regarding health and safety, employment law and so on, but it makes clear that it is doing so only out of courtesy. When it actually matters, though, in true British upper-class fashion that courtesy melts away and you're left with the gimlet-eyed resolve of the utter sociopath.

Witness, then, this edifying sight: the House of Commons is refusing to make progression pay awards to its staff earning under £21,000, so their union took the House to an employment tribunal. In response, the Commons explained that employment tribunals have no jurisdiction to hear those claims as its staff are not covered by that section of employment law. Parliament's staffing practices are meant to be “broadly in line” with those applying to civil servants outside the House, except, clearly, when it decides arbitrarily that they are not. The unions have been advised that they should pursue any pay claims in the County Court, which, oddly, does turn out to have jurisdiction in this area.

Parliament is, of course, unabashed about all this, which should come as no surprise from a place that used to legislate to heavily restrict pub opening hours while having more than 17 drinking establishments on its own premises.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
Seventeen! I have only seen one! I feel diddled!
Nov. 30th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
Ah, this would be why the important changes to make public sector pensions affordable don't apply to the MPs then?
Nov. 30th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC)
as with many things, there is no percentage in being a hypocrite.

you either are, or you ain't.
of course, they can argue that they must be exempt from laws to make sure that illegal things should definitely be illegal. Or some such nonsense.

the word 'Dogfood' springs to mind.
Nov. 30th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm a bit puzzled by this news. I thought that the legal challenge to Parliament's decision to suspend pay progression was that it was a breach of contract - i.e. the contracts upon which we are employed with Parliament. That is certainly subject to employment law.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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