§ 17. Mr. A. Roberts
asked the Minister of Labour if he will introduce legislation to ensure that private firms provide special funds for financial assistance to redundant employees.
§ Mr. Hare
Methods of improving arrangements for dealing with redundancy are being studied by my Ministry and by the employers, nationalised industries and trade unions on my National Joint Advisory Council. The subject will be discussed at the next meeting of the Council in April. At this stage I do not want to prejudge the best ways of handling this problem.
§ Mr. Roberts
Does not the Minister appreciate that it is when an industry is enjoying good times that money should be put away to meet future redundancy? Is he aware that many industries which are making a profit are prepared to do this and to dissociate the funds from their own companies?
§ Mr. Webster
Are not severance payments by the individual firms concerned the most appropriate method of dealing with the problem?
§ Mr. Marsh
In recognising all the difficulties, may I ask whether there is any reason why at least all Government Departments cannot make a start in providing redundancy agreements for their own employees? Whatever the problems for the private employer, at least the Government could surely give a lead.
§ Mr. Gunter
Is the Minister aware that this matter has been under consideration for a very long time? In view of its urgency, will he expedite the discussions which he is having with both sides of industry on this matter and give us a report and let us know what he is doing as quickly as possible?
§ Mr. Hare
As the hon. Member knows, I am not very good at making promises. He also knows, however, that I am fairly impatient in these matters. [Interruption.] That is not true. I think I have carried out every promise which I have given as Minister of Labour. I assure the hon. Member that I shall not delay unnecessarily.