Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 01 June 2011

Venue: Room 29

The meeting opened in public session at 10.02 am.

Agreed : Members agreed that all meetings of the Committee should be held in public session unless there is an overriding reason otherwise.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

10.05 am Mr Chris Lyttle joined the meeting

10.05 am Mr Barry McElduff joined the meeting

10.08 am Ms. Michelle Gildernew joined the meeting

2. Committee Membership

Members noted the membership of the Committee for Employment and Learning.

3. Staff Contact Details

The Chairperson introduced the Committee Office staff and explained their role in supporting members in their work as Committee members.

4. Declaration of Members’ Interests

The Chairperson reminded members that the requirement to register their interests extended under Standing Order 69 (4) to the proceedings of the Committee.

Mr David McIlveen declared an interest in PhD studentship funded by the Department. No other members declared an interest.

5. Procedures.

Members noted policy papers on:

  • the Powers and Operation of Statutory Committees for Chairpersons and Members;
  • the Role of the Chairperson; and
  • the Role and Functions of the Committee Office.

In addition members received a short briefing on the paper, “Providing an effective Research Service to Committees – Good Practice Guidelines”, by representatives of Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe).

6. Guidance for Committees on working with Departments.

Members noted the above guidance which were agreed by the Chairpersons Liaison Group and the Northern Ireland Executive.

7. Legacy Report 2007-2011

Members noted the content of the Legacy Report 2007 – 2011 of the previous Committee.

8. Subordinate Legislation

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the procedures for consideration of subordinate legislation and on the role of the Examiner of Statutory Rules.

Agreed: “That the Committee for Employment and Learning, under Standing Order 43, resolves to delegate to the Examiner of Statutory Rules the technical scrutiny of statutory rules referred to the Committee under the above mentioned Standing Order.

The Committee further resolves that in carrying out this function the Examiner shall be authorised to report his technical findings on each statutory rule to the Assembly, and to the relevant Department, as well as to the Committee itself and to publish his report.”

9. Department for Employment and Learning First Day Brief

Members considered the above briefing paper and noted that the Minister and his officials will brief the Committee at its next meeting.

10. Briefing from Departmental officials on the June Monitoring round

Andrew Hamilton, Deputy Secretary, and Maryann Smith, Financial and Business Branch, briefed the Committee on the details of the June monitoring round submission.

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session, when the Department agreed to provide further information on the submission and on the outcome of the bid.

11. Briefing from Departmental officials on the Agency Workers Directive

Members were briefed by Tom Evans, Conor Brady and Deirdre Walsh, Employment Relations Policy and Regulation Branch, on the responses received to the public consultation on the transposition of the EU Directive on conditions for temporary agency workers (Directive 2008/104/EC).

The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information from the Department of Employment and Learning, and Department of Education on the supply of teachers as temporary workers.

Agreed: The Committee further agreed to draft a motion on this issue for a debate in the Assembly.

11.59 am Mr Pat Ramsey left the meeting

Agreed: Members agreed to forward the Hansard transcript of their discussion to the Department as the Committee’s response to the consultation.

12.02 pm Mr Jim Allister left the meeting

12.03 pm Ms Michelle Gildernew left the meeting

12. Subordinate Legislation

Members considered the following Statutory Rules and were briefed by John Neill, Student Finance Policy Branch, and Tom Evans, Employment Relations Policy and Regulation Branch, on the policy content of each Rule.

• SR 2011 No.137: The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

The Committee considered the above Statutory Rule, which has been laid in the Assembly.

Question put and agreed:

“That the Committee for Employment and Learning has considered SR 2011 No.137, The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011, and has no objection to the rule”.

12.07 pm Ms Michelle Gildernew rejoined the meeting

• SR 2011 No.159: The Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (Commencement No 1 Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011

Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this Rule, which is not subject to any Assembly procedure.

• SR 2011 No.160: The Code of Practice (Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures) (Appointed Day) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011

The Committee considered the above Statutory Rule, which has been laid in the Assembly.

Question put and agreed:

“That the Committee for Employment and Learning has considered SR 2011 No.160, The Code of Practice (Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures) (Appointed Day) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011, and has no objection to the rule”.

• SR 2011 No. 161: The Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

The Committee considered the above Statutory Rule, which has been laid in the Assembly.

Question put and agreed:

“That the Committee for Employment and Learning has considered SR 2011 No. 161, The Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011, and has no objection to the rule”.

• SR 2011 No.162: The Fair Employment Tribunal (Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

The Committee considered the above Statutory Rule, which has been laid in the Assembly.

Question put and agreed:

“That the Committee for Employment and Learning has considered SR 2011 No. 162, The Fair Employment Tribunal (Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011, and has no objection to the rule”.

• SR 2011 No.163: The Transfer of Undertakings and Service Provision Change (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

The Committee considered the above Statutory Rule, which has been laid in the Assembly.

Question put and agreed:

“That the Committee for Employment and Learning has considered SR 2011 No. 163, The Transfer of Undertakings and Service Provision Change (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011, and has no objection to the rule”.

13. Draft Forward Work programme

The Committee considered the draft Forward Work Programme for the period before summer recess.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content to schedule these briefings.

Agreed: Members outlined various issues of relevance to the remit of the Committee and it was agreed that these would be added to the Forward Work Programme at a later date.

Agreed: Members agreed to request a briefing on the responses to the public consultation on student fees and finance at an earlier date than presently scheduled by the Department.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to clarify the type of legislation required to effect the merger of Stranmillis College and Queen’s University, Belfast.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a paper from RaISe on the value of Higher Education.

Agreed: Members agreed to support the establishment of an all-party group on Science.

14. Correspondence

Members considered a number of items of correspondence and agreed appropriate responses.

15. Any Other Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committees for Education, Social Development, OFMDFM, HSSPS and Agriculture and Rural Development to explore the possibility of establishing a cross-Committee group to review strategies on NEETs and Early Years.

16. Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 at 10.00 am in Room 29, Parliament Building

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.34 pm.

Mr Basil McCrea
Chairperson, Committee for Employment & Learning
8 June 2011

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