HC Deb 20 January 1969 vol 776 cc20-1
23. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if she will take steps to ensure adequate employment opportunities for those employees who for urgent domestic reasons are prevented from accepting a liability to work on night shift as a condition of employment.

Mr. Fernyhough

The employment exchanges will always try to find suitable day work for people in this position. If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind, I shall be glad to look into it if he will let me have details.

Mr. Smith

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is entirely wrong of both employers and unions to discriminate against a skilled man purely because on medical advice he is not allowed to leave an invalid wife at night to do night shift work? Would not a little more intervention by his Department help the situation in an admittedly small number of cases?

Mr. Fernyhough

As I have already said, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will let me have particulars of the case he has in mind. I have no knowledge of it, and nor have I any knowledge of any agreement between unions and employers on the lines intimated.

Dr. Gray

Would not one of the consequences of equal pay for equal work be that women would be called upon to do night shift duties on an equal basis with men?

Mr. Fernyhough

I would prefer to answer that question when we have equal pay.