HC Deb 13 November 1967 vol 754 cc27-9
56. Mr. Milne

asked the Minister of Labour if he will introduce legislation to make it a crime for employers in Great Britain to refuse to employ people between 40 and 65 years of age because of their age, along the lines of the Bill recently passed by the American Senate, details of which have been sent to him.

Mr. Gunter

No, Sir. I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement of the Government's position made in the Adjournment debate of 26th January and to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. John Lee) on 5th June.—[Vol. 747, c. 92.]

Bristol area for a current date compared with those of the previous month; how many young persons have left school without obtaining employment; and what is being done to assist them.

Mr. Fernyhough

The answer to the first part of the Question consists of a table of figures which I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT. On 9th October, out of a total of 5,363 young persons known to the Youth Employment Service to have left school this summer, 35 were still registered for first employment. Youth employment officers are making every effort to help them find suitable employment.

Mr. Dobson

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Bristol Trades Council is becoming increasingly concerned about the matter and the need for planning to be started on a regional basis? Will my hon. Friend ensure, as a first step anyway, that his local officers will consult through the local employment committee and the youth employment committee with members of the Bristol Trades Council about the matter?

Mr. Fernyhough

I have no authority to say that we will consult with the Bristol Trades Council, but I will certainly see whether my right hon. Friend will agree to that proposition.

Following are the figures:

Mr. Milne

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, while appreciating the previous statements that have been made on this subject, too many capable and able people in the age groups mentioned in the Question are finding it difficult, and if he cannot see his way to introduce legislation about the matter, will he make much stronger statements to the employers to ensure that people of this age level are given equal opportunity of employment with others?

Mr. Gunter

I certainly have emphasised the importance of it in this House. As my hon. Friend knows, I have had many talks with employers, particularly through the C.B.I. To return to the point of the Question, I doubt very much whether legislation would help. My hon. Friend refers in his Question to American legislation. It is certainly not legislation yet.