Parliamentary Session January 2011 - July 2011
- The Education Bill provided another opportunity to attempt to re-introduce compulsory PSHE in schools. Baronesses Walmsley and Tyler put down amendments in the House of Lords proposing statutory PSHE.
Parliamentary Session May 2010 - November 2010
- The Academies Bill provided an opportunity to attempt to re-introduce a statutory requirmenet for PSHE in schools. This requirement was agreed in principle by the last Government but then fell victim to the end of parliament negotiations called 'the wash up'. It was therefore dropped at the last minute before the election. Baronesses Massey and Gould moved an amendment to re-instate the measure as part of the new Government's Academies Bill, however this was unsuccesful. The debate can be read here.
Parliamentary Session November 2009 - April 2010
- The Health Bill provided an opportunity to ask the Government again to end charging for HIV treatment for certain immigrants.
Baroness Tonge and Baroness Barker tabled amendments to the Bill in the Lords (where this Bill started) for this purpose. As a result of the debate, the Government agreed to review its policy; it announced this in a statement to the Commons. When the Bill moved to the Commons, Richard Taylor MP called for prescription charges to be ended for people with HIV. At the Public Bill Committee in the Commons, Sandra Gidley MP introduced a new clause that would also end charging for HIV treatment, the clause was withdrawn but it enabled MPs to debate the issue.
- The Equality Bill provided an opportunity to restrict the use of irrelevant pre-employment health questionnaires, that put off many people with HIV from applying to jobs and which enable employers to discriminate against people with HIV and other stigmatised conditions.
The APPG was succesful in lobbying for this change and irellevant pre-employment health questions are now outlawed!
Lynne Jones MP raised the issue of pre-employment health questionnaires at the Bill's second reading, in the Commons. Lynne Featherstone MP, who sat on the Bill Committee, used the Bill as an opportunity to raise the issue of charging for HIV treatment again. Later in the Committee, she and John Penrose MP both introduced amendments to restrict the use of pre-employment health questionnaires. Mark Harper MP also spoke on the issue.
- The Welfare Reform Bill contained some worrying provisions around access of welfare benefits workers to personal information about their clients, which if not amended could extend to confidential health records. It also contains provisions for that information to be passed on to other unspecified people. This could have serious implications for people with stigmatised health conditions, such as HIV. Our concerns about this were shared by the BMA and Liberty and the Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Lord Rea tabled amendments in the Lords to ensure that benefits officers could not force health or social workers to disclose confidential information about individuals applying for employment-related or welfare support. The Minister put on record that the Bill would not be used to access medical details and agreed to meet with the Lords to discuss it further. The amendments were withdrawn.
For the most up-to-date information on Bill before Government go to the Bill Page on the Parliament website.
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