HC Deb 10 May 1965 vol 712 cc31-2
46. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Labour if he will take steps to prevent certain employers from deliberately dismissing workers before the Redundancy Payments Bill becomes operative in order to avoid such payments.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Richard Marsh)

My right hon. Friend does not expect that this will be a serious problem but he will watch the situation.

Mr. Allaun

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for that Answer. To prevent this kind of victimisation taking place, will he do everything possible to get the Bill through and into operation quickly? Could he give the House any idea how soon this will be?

Mr. Marsh

I am afraid it would be impossible to give a clear indication of when we can put the Bill into operation without knowing how much obstruction there will be from right hon. and hon. Members opposite.

Mr. Ronald Bell

While no one wants victimisation, would it really serve the economic purpose of the country if men were retained for an indefinite period in employment after any useful function they could perform had disappeared?

Mr. Marsh

I cannot see the point of the question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer it."] Hon. Members Miss the point. If I cannot see the point of a question, it is difficult to answer it.

Captain W. Elliot

Has the hon. Gentleman any evidence at all that employers are carrying out this sort of action?

Mr. Marsh

No. At the moment we have no evidence that redundancies are being created for this reason. My right hon. Friend would be reluctant to take any action unnecessarily which could prevent the scheme beginning in an atmosphere of trust. I repeat what I said at the beginning—my right hon. Friend is watching the position and if any evidence were to come to light he would certainly look at it.