HC Deb 11 April 1956 vol 551 cc179-80
4. Mr. Page

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what organised suggestion scheme is in operation in his Department; how many suggestions are received from employees through that organisation annually; how many are adopted; what awards are made for such suggestions; and what he estimates to be the savings made by the adoption of employees' suggestions.

Mr. Watkinson

The staff have a standing invitation to submit suggestions to improve methods of work and increase efficiency. A joint committee of the Departmental Whitley Council satisfies itself that every suggestion is given full and unbiased consideration in the Department, obtains advice from the responsible officers about the merits of each suggestion, ascertains to what extent it is being put into effect and recommends awards for the more meritorious.

The average number of suggestions received is 180 a year. Approximately one in six is adopted and attracts a cash award. Awards range mostly between two and five guineas, but substantially larger awards are made in important cases. While many of the suggestions lead to substantial savings of money and effort, others are concerned variously with safety, health, effectiveness, convenience and amenity. It is not possible to estimate the financial benefits of the scheme, but I am satisfied that they are appreciable.

Mr. Page

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that his scheme compares favourably with those adopted by some of the more successful commercial firms in this sphere, as the figures of the number of suggestions coming forward seem a little low. Would he investigate this a little further?

Mr. Watkinson

I think that if the majority of British industry did what my own Department is doing we should see a bigger increase in the number of suggestion schemes. While I agree that we might, and I hope will, do more, I also hope that my hon. Friend's question will encourage private firms to adopt more of these schemes.

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