Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

Tŷ Hywel

Meeting date: 14 February 2023

Meeting time: 09.00 - 09.47







Committee Members:

Elin Jones MS, Llywydd (Chair)

Lesley Griffiths MS

Darren Millar MS

Siân Gwenllian MS

Committee Staff:

Graeme Francis (Clerk)

Yan Thomas (Deputy Clerl)

Others in attendance

Jane Dodds MS

David Rees MS, Deputy Presiding Officer

Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive and Clerk

Siwan Davies, Director of Senedd Business

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

Julian Luke, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service,

Helen Carey, Welsh Government



1       Introductions, apologies and substitutions

The Llywydd welcomed Members to the meeting



2       Minutes of the previous meeting

The Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed for publication



3       Organisation of Business



3.1   This week's business



The Trefnydd drew Business Managers’ attention to the following change:


The Trefyndd confirmed that she will be answering FMQs on behalf of the First Minister this week.









3.2   Three week timetable of Government Business

The Trefnydd drew Business Managers’ attention to the following changes:


Tuesday 28 February 2023


·         Statement by the Minister for Economy: Net Zero Skills Strategy (30 mins)

·         Statement by the Minister for Social Justice Education and Welsh Language: Wales: a community of communities (30 mins)

·         Debate: The Estyn Annual Report 2021-22 (60 mins) – postponed until 21 March


Tuesday 7 March 2023


·         The Non-Domestic Rating (Alteration of Lists and Appeals) (Wales) Regulations 2023 (15 mins)

·         Debate: Welsh Rates of Income Tax (15 30 mins)



3.3   Three week timetable of Senedd Business

Business Committee agreed to move the Member Debate on 1 March to 8 March due to Ministerial availability and, subsequently, agreed to make the following changes:


Wednesday 1 March 2023 –


Wednesday 8 March 2023 –


Wednesday 15 March 2023 –


Business Committee held an initial discussion around the potential impact of industrial action announced for 15 March and noted that further information will be provided at the Committee’s next meeting on the implications for committee meetings, Plenary business and tabling deadlines.



4       Legislation



4.1   Correspondence from the Chair of the Economy, Trade, and Rural Affairs Committee regarding the Food (Wales) Bill timetable

Business Committee agreed the requested extension to the timetable for Stage 1 scrutiny of the Food (Wales) Bill from 28 April to 12 May and that, subject to the general principles of the Bill being agreed by the Senedd, Stage 2 proceedings should be completed by 14 July 2023.



4.2   Update on LCMs

Business Committee received an update on current LCMs and:




5       Review of proxy voting



5.1   Parental leave: matters for consideration

As part of its review of proxy voting arrangements, Business Committee considered the responses to its consultation with Members and a range of matters relating to the temporary Standing Orders on proxy voting for parental leave.


Business Committee agreed, on the basis of a majority view, to propose that the current provisions on proxy voting for parental leave should be made permanent. Darren Millar stated the opposition of the Conservative Group to retaining the current provisions.


Business Committee agreed to propose that the maximum durations should be revised to seven months for the mother or father of a baby, the partner of a person giving birth, an adoptive parent or carer in a surrogacy arrangement, of which a maximum of one month shall be taken before the due date or adoption date and a maximum of six months after the due date or adoption date. The Llywydd noted that it should not be for the Presiding Officer to determine which parent is the lead carer. Siân Gwenllian asked for consideration to be given to the arrangements that would relate to premature births when the guidance is drafted.


Business Committee agreed that, in the event of any ambiguity, the Presiding Officer should continue to be able to use their discretion in determining matters around the eligibility of individuals to be granted a proxy vote and the duration of such arrangements. However, the Committee agreed that when a Member or their partner suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth that discretion should only be used to determine the length of a proxy voting arrangement and not the Member’s eligibility.


Business Committee agreed to return to the issue of what information is published when a proxy voting arrangement is agreed once it has considered the possibility of extending proxy voting provisions at a subsequent meeting.


Business Committee agreed to propose that proxy voting should be permitted in all types of voting in Plenary and a Committee of the Whole Senedd, including those that require a resolution or motion to be passed on a vote in which the number of Members voting in favour is not less than two-thirds of the total number of Senedd seats, or when the proxy vote would count toward the number required for quorum.





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