HC Deb 09 July 1968 vol 768 c321

Amendments made: No. 14, in page 2, line 14, leave out from beginning to 'him' and insert: 'or deliberately omitting to employ'.

No. 15, in page 2, line 18, leave out 'neglecting' and insert 'deliberately omitting'.—[Mr. Hattersley.]

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (Mr. Roy Hattersley)

I beg to move Amendment No. 16, in page 2, line 22 after 'persons', insert 'of the like qualifications'.

This Amendment stems from a fear expressed in Committee, or, at least, expressed by some members of the Committee, that the Clause as it stands would give rise to danger in a situation in which an employer chose applicant A rather than applicant B because applicant B lacked the talent, education, experience or aptitude of applicant A.

As it stands, the Clause makes no reference to the qualifications of two rival applicants for a job. I advised the Committee that the phrase "in like circumstances" met the point and that the man who chose one candidate rather than another because of character or qualifications could not be subject to the penalties under the Bill. However, the Committee asked me to be more specific, and I agreed. This Amendment meets that concern.

Sir D. Renton

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman. I think that he has met the point, and I advise the House to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Gower

I regard the Amendment as a big improvement, but I have one question. The term "qualifications" is a rather special one having a definite connotation. Does it embrace the wider matters of character or other qualities which also might be important?

Mr. Hattersley

Yes, it does. I tried to list the sort of attributes covered. Aptitude, character and experience are as much included as any formal qualifications.

Amendment agreed to.

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