Clause 12

Part of Employment Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 5:00 pm ar 14 Hydref 2008.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Justice), Shadow Solicitor General 5:00, 14 Hydref 2008

Let me first thank the Minister for his comprehensive response to my points. We are moving from a lax system—everyone agrees on that—that does not work especially well, to a tougher regime. No one has a problem with moving to a tougher or better regime, but the question is whether we have retained proportionality, because of the level to which we are increasing the powers. I have voiced the Opposition’s doubts on that.

It could be that because the powers of investigation in the clause are triggered only by an indictable offence, we move from a lax regime that brings no prosecutions, to an extremely harsh regime, rather than to a system that brings more prosecutions for non-indictable offences, say. The enforcement authorities would have to go for an indictable offence to get the investigatory powers, and I can understand why businesses are concerned that we are going from one end of the spectrum to the other.

That is as far as I wish to take the matter at this stage, but on the basis that we are going to think further about the measure, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.