HC Deb 18 February 1964 vol 689 cc1015-6
28. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to make it easier for public employees to work on secondment in developing countries without loss of seniority or pension rights; and what discussions he has had with employers' organisations and trade unions with a view to achieving the same object in respect of private employees.

Mr. R. Carr

Standing arrangements for seconding civil servants have recently been improved. A working party is examining means of facilitating the secondment of local government officers. There are special arrangements for teachers and for staff of nationalised industries and statutory boards.

In respect of private employees, I have had discussions with some individual firms and organisations including the Federation of British Industries and the British Iron and Steel Federation. I have not as yet had direct discussions with trade unions; but there is a trade union member on the Council for Technical Education and Training for Overseas Countries and the National Union of Teachers is represented on the National Council for the Supply of Teachers Overseas.

Mr. Noel-Baker

May I take it from that reply, which will be received with some satisfaction, I think, by a number of my hon. Friends, that the right hon. Gentleman attaches the very greatest importance to enabling people, perhaps in the 40–45 age range, in the middle of their careers, to go out and do service overseas without losing opportunities here at home when they come back, since it is not only in the interest of the developing countries but in the interest of their employers when they return?

Mr. Carr

Yes, indeed.

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