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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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Children and Families Bill

Public Reading is an initiative to give members of the public the opportunity to provide their views on Bills before they are made into law

Your comments on the Children and Families Bill will be made available to the Committee of MPs responsible for examining the Bill in detail so that they can take them into account when deciding whether to make changes to the Bill. The Public Reading for this Bill will close on 26 February to allow time for your comments to be collated and made available to MPs on the Bill Committee.

Adoption and Looked After Children
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The Children and Families Bill would change the law relating to adoption and children looked after by local authorities

Childminder Agencies etc.
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The Bill would make changes to legislation relating to childminder agencies and childcare providers

Public Reading terms and conditions
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The terms and conditions to the Public Reading forum for the Children and Families Bill.

Family Justice
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The Bill would make changes to family law, including the law relating to care proceedings, and arrangements for children after divorce or separation

Children's Commissioner
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The Bill would amend the Commissioner’s functions and powers and is intended to increase the Commissioner’s independence from Government

Flexible Working
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The Bill would provide new entitlements for employees relating to the right to request flexible working

Children and Families Bill Public Reading: Additional Comments
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Read the additional comments made that relates to the Children and Families Bill's public reading.

Time Off Work
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The Bill would provide new entitlements for employees relating to time off work for ante-natal care etc.

Statutory Rights to Leave and Pay
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The Bill would provide statutory rights for employees relating to parental leave and pay

Related information

What is Public Reading?


Public Reading is an initiative to give members of the public the opportunity to provide their views on Bills before they are made into law. This is the first Public Reading to be run by the House of Commons and is a pilot of the process. Comments on the Bill will be made available to the Committee of MPs responsible for examining the Bill in detail so that they can take them into account when deciding whether to make changes to the Bill.

About the Children and Families Bill


The Children and Families Bill contains provisions to change the law in several areas relating to children and families.

Explanatory Notes


The Government publishes explanatory notes alongside a Bill to assist readers in understanding the proposed legislation

Additional Comments?


Comments on areas not covered by the listed Bill topics, or broader comments on the Bill as a whole (including anything that you think should have been included in the Bill but is not) should be posted as an additional comment. As this Public Reading is a pilot, we are also keen to hear your views on the public reading process itself.

Public Bill Committees


A Bill Committee is appointed for each Bill that goes through Parliament and is named after the Bill it considers. Public Bill Committees have the power to take written and oral evidence. The Committee examines the Bill line by line and reports its conclusions and any amendments to the Commons, where MPs debate the Bill further.

Pre-legislative Scrutiny


Some provisions in the Children and Families Bill were published in draft form last year so that MPs could scrutinise them and recommend changes to be made before the Bill itself was introduced to Parliament. Four different Committees from the House of Commons and the House of Lords examined draft clauses.