HC Deb 02 August 1971 vol 822 cc1161-78

Lords Amendment: No. 42, in page 15, line 16, after "agreement" insert: or an approved closed shop agreement".

7.0 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Dudley Smith)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment is consequential to the inclusion in the Bill of the provisions in Clause 16 and Schedule I for approved closed shop agreements, which were added on Report in this House.

The rights conferred on employees under Clause 5 in respect of membership or non-membership of trade unions and taking part in trade union activities will apply to all contracts of employment. It is important that employees should be properly informed about them, and this can be most appropriately done through the written statement of the terms of their employment which employers are required to give to their employees under Section 4(1) of the Contracts of Employment Act, 1963. Clause 18(2)(a) therefore requires employers to include in that written statement a note indicating employees' rights under Clause 5 and, if an agency shop agreement applies to him, how it will affect those rights.

Now that the principle of the approved closed shop agreement has been incorporated in the Bill it becomes equally important that the note to be given to employees under this provision should indicate the effect of their rights under Clause 5 and any approved closed shop agreement that applies to them. We feel it necessary that this should be included; in fact it is the only reason for the Amendment.

Mr. Orme

The hon. Member refers to ''rights under Clause 5". I take it that he is referring to Clause 5(1)(a) and (b).

Mr. Smith

Yes, I am. As I was saying, the only reason why we are moving the Amendment is to regularise the situation by mentioning an approved closed shop agreement in the Clause.

Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)

It is an interesting commentary on the way the Government have handled the Bill that this is the first opportunity which this House has had of discussing those parts of the Bill which deal with the Contracts of Employment Act and the amendments to it, and so minor has our rôle been in the discussions on the Bill that even now we are prevented from considering this important part of it except in the narrow context of what has been decided in the other place. That is why we are now dealing with what may seem to be a small drafting point. I say "may seem to be" because those of us who have studied all the parts of the Bill, even though we have not been allowed by the Government to discuss them, know that the Under-Secretary of State was correct in a sense wider than mere drafting when he said that this Amendment is consequential on Clause 16, on the agency shop Clauses and, above all, on Clause 5.

We intend to vote against the Amendment because its significance goes far wider than mere drafting. The insertion of these words at this point in the Bill is a further mutilation of the right of an employee to belong to a trade union, a right which, in our opinion, ought to be embodied simply and expressly in his contract of employment. In discussing the Amendment, we are again highlighting the vast difference between the Secretary of State's approach to industrial relations and that of the Labour Government and my own Bill.

In preparing my White Paper and introducing my Industrial Relations Bill to the House just before the election, I always intended that the basic right to belong to a trade union should figure as an express provision in every worker's contract of employment. I went further: I intended that the written statement to which each employee is entitled under the Contracts of Employment Act should become a recruiting poster for trade unionism. Unlike the right hon. Gentleman, I believe that trade unionism is a good thing, that it is an expression of industrial democracy—

Mr. David Mitchell (Basingstoke) rose

Mrs. Castle

I have not mentioned the hon. Gentleman. I am sure that his right hon. Friend is perfectly capable of looking after himself.

Mr. Mitchell

How can the right hon. Lady assert that my right hon. Friend is opposed to trade unionism when the first part of the Bill specifically spells out that this is one of its objectives?

Mrs. Castle

I was about to prove my statement. The hon. Gentleman should have contained himself. I think I am right in saying that, during the Committee stage on earlier parts of the Bill, he himself joined a chorus from his side saying that the Bill as then worded contained a distinct discouragement to join a union, and that is why the right hon. Gentleman had to modify his initial presentation in certain respects. I was about to substantiate the point I was making, in the context of the present Amendment, inhibited though we are—I say it again—by the narrowness of the scope within which we have to argue.

Unlike the right hon. Gentleman, I wanted the worker's little bit of paper which by law he must have after a certain period to be an active encouragement to him to join a union. In keeping with the propositions of the Donovan Commission, I believed it to be a good thing to suggest to workers, by every means in our power, that they ought to belong to a trade union.

7.15 p.m.

Therefore, in the Bill which I introduced just before the election, I set out in Clause 57 that the right of employees to belong to an independent trade union shall be a term of the contract of employment of every employee and in Clause 61 I went on to express that in these terms: In section 4 of the Contracts of Employment Act 1963 (written particulars of terms of employment) the following subsection shall be inserted after subsection (3):— 'In addition to any particulars required by the foregoing provisions of this section to be included or referred to in it, the statement shall include the following words:— The right of an employee to belong to an independent trade union … must not be obstructed by his employer; and an employee who is prevented or deterred from, or penalised for, belonging to an independent trade union, or is required or compelled to belong to a non-independent trade union or penalised for not belonging to it, may have a right to compensation from his employer".'". That was to be on the written piece of paper which I thought the employee should have. What do we find in the present Amendment? The right hon. Gentleman has gone through the workers' rights provisions of my Bill and has parodied and mutilated them. In Section 5 I spelled out the right—

The Solicitor-General

If the right hon. Lady is accusing my right hon. Friend of parodying and mutilating the workers' rights provisions of her Bill, would it not be fair to add the sentence in the notice which she omitted to read?— An employer may, however, in some cases restrict an employee's choice as between two or more independent trade unions which are available to him". It was an important part of the balance of her proposals that machinery was being established to enable selection of unions to be made. It is important that the whole notice should be read to the House.

Mrs. Castle

I am delighted that the hon. and learned Gentleman has mentioned that. The only reason I did not was that it would have taken me into an elaborate separate argument, but I am perfectly happy to pursue it. Those words were put in in order to pinpoint the entitlement to the 100 per cent. union shop. If an employer has a union shop agreement with a particular union or unions, then, in order to enable that 100 per cent. union shop agreement to continue, one has to qualify the right to belong to an independent trade union by the words which the Solicitor-General has just read out.

But the Secretary of State and the Solicitor-General do not believe in the 100 per cent. union shop. They have made it clear in their version of the little bit of paper. They make clear that the right to belong to the trade union is paralleled by the right not to belong to a trade union. The little bit of paper will make clear that there is to be no right to a 100 per cent. union shop. Instead, as the subsection shows, we are to have written into the bit of paper the provisions for an agency shop agreement. Equally, by this Amendment it is to be made clear in the little bit of paper that there is no right to a closed shop. [Interruption.] There is no right for a union so to organise and pressurise that it can have its closed shop, and the approved closed shop agreement, limited as it is, can be introduced only with the agreement of the employer. There must be a joint application by the employer and the union.

Therefore, in the little bit of paper all those qualifications of trade union rights are now to be written in. The Amendment is to write into the contract of employment one more of the Government's restrictions on the simple trade union rights which trade unions thought they had won by organising and struggling over the years, and which we on this side think the law should underpin and no! mutilate in this way.

Therefore, we draw the attention of the House to the vast change the Bill introduces compared with my proposals. The statement is no longer to be a recruitment poster for trade unionism but on the contrary is to be one in which every employee is to be warned that this Government have decided what are the limits of trade union rights and that they intend to enforce them through their new machinery of unfair industrial practices. We shall oppose the Amendment.

Mr. Orme

It is evident that the Government are feeling so anxious that if they think that they have left a loophole anywhere they quickly take action to close the door or batten down the hatches. [Interruption.] I am using nautical language because I think that my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) may have something further to say about how the Amendment will directly affect seamen.

The Government are not satisfied with having the agency shop mentioned in the contract of employment, but feel that they must underline it by dealing with any concession they may appear to have made. My hon. Friends in the industries affected feel that there has been no real concession. But where it appears that there may be a concession the Government feel that they must write in that the same conditions must apply in an approved closed shop agreement.

It was very interesting that the Under-Secretary also felt it important to mention Clause 5. When I asked whether he was referring to subsection (1)(a) and (b) he confirmed that he was. In other words, it will be made crystal clear to employees when they receive the contract of employment, whether they work in an agency shop or an approved closed shop, that the non-union clause operates and is cardinal to the Government's policy.

Since we have begun consideration of Lords Amendments, the Secretary of State and the Solicitor-General have often reacted violently when we have said that their proposals are anti-trade union, and they have gone out of their way to try to refute our allegations.

Mr. David Mitchell

Very successfully.

Mr. Orme

Does the hon. Gentleman wish to intervene?

Mr. Mitchell

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. I merely commented that the Government have been very successful in refuting the charge that they are in any way anti-trade union.

Mr. Orme

If that is so, why have the Government gone to the lengths of inserting the provision in the contracts of employment? Why do they feel it so essential to insert those words?

Throughout the Bill, whenever we have a reference to trade unions, an agency shop agreement or the right to organise, it is always counter-balanced with the right not to belong to a trade union and not to organise. The Government are more in favour of non-organisation than of organisation. The Minister would not have referred to Clause 5 if he had not intended this to be taken seriously. When the contract of employment is handed to an employee, what is provided in the Amendment will be a cardinal point of that contract.

Mr. Tom King (Bridgwater)

I find great difficulty in following the hon. Gentleman. I accept his dislike of Clause 5, but, putting aside the merits of the contents, as we are dealing with an individual's rights and Parliament decides what those rights should be, surely the hon. Gentleman is not saying that there is something improper in telling individuals where they stand?

Mr. Orme

My right hon. Friend said that she wanted to have written in fully the right to join a trade union. When we start off on the Government's premises, the exact opposite can be written in if the Government think fit. I am completely opposed to that. The question of trade unions and employers is a matter for them. That is why my hon. Friends and I are so opposed to the Bill, because it starts off by writing in these rights or non-rights, which become part of the legal system, supported by references to all types of unfair industrial practices, the right to go to the courts and so on. That sets us off down a trail to which I am completely opposed. When people are in favour of the sort of thing the Government are in favour of, they start writing it in, and that is why the Bill has become so thick. It has grown like Topsy, because the Government's advisers say "When you come to the contract of employment you should insert these words to safeguard the position". So it goes on. There is no end to the way in which such points can be added with a legal application.

Mr. Ronald King Murray (Edinburgh, Leith)

Has my hon. Friend noticed that whereas the right join a union has set against it the right not to join, the right of organisations of workers to become trade unions does not have a corresponding right not to be trade unions? That is, an organisation of workers has a right to register, but not a right not to do so, because if it does not it is no longer even a trade union.

Mr. Orme

My hon. and learned Friend, with his legal expertise, has put his finger on a salient point, that the Government do not honestly follow through their own dictum. Where it suits them, they start to bend the rules and put the emphasis where they think it is in the interests of the Bill. That is why we say that the Government are anti-trade union. We are opposed to the way in which they are trying to tighten up everything and do not want to leave any loophole.

The Clause is meant to be a simple exposition of contracts of employment, spelling out to the worker his basic entitlements with regard to conditions, holidays and so on. That is a normal procedure which has developed quite extensively in recent years in industrial relations. But it is felt now that it is a matter of policy to tell a worker that he has a right not to belong to a trade union It is because of that that my hon. Friends and I will vote against the Amendment.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. David Mitchell

I have been listening with growing astonishment to hon. Members opposite. Indeed. I have had to thumb through the Order Paper to ensure that they were speaking to the same Amendment as appears there. Their speeches appear to have been addressed to some totally different Amendment. The Amendment is consequential upon acceptance of the Opposition's case that in certain circumstances there should be permitted a closed shop. The Government are amending the Bill in that sense.

Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, North)

Our case is not that in certain circumstances there should be a closed shop but that in all circumstances there should be a closed shop.

Mr. Mitchell

I was saying that the Government have accepted Opposition pressure for a closed shop in certain circumstances. Consequently, it is necessary to amend Clause 18 in a minor way. How the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) can pile his mountain of rhetoric on this small Amendment by the Government, put down in order to meet a case which the Opposition has made, is beyond comprehension.

Mr. John Prescott (Kingston upon Hull, East)

We are concerned particularly with putting into the Contracts of Employment Act a so-called right being proposed by the Government. This is the right, if he so desires, for a worker to be a member of a trade union of his choice, or, if he so desires, not to be a member of a trade union or other organisation of workers, with, of course, certain exceptions.

It has been my experience with contracts of employment that they are worth very little in that an employer required to give them is not subject to great sanctions if he fails to observe them. I myself have appeared before industrial tribunals on behalf of members of my union, when it has been found that, whilst a contract of employment was given to a person, the fact that it was not observed did not carry a penalty upon the employer. I have been looking through the Contracts of Employment Act to see what sanctions are available against employers who do not observe them. If these rights are so important, perhaps the Government will explain what sanctions there are against an employer who does not embody them in a so-called contract of employment.

We are considering an Amendment extending the right of a written contract of employment into an approved closed shop situation. It has been strongly emphasised by hon. Members opposite that the closed shop situation has been introduced in order to deal with certain circumstances—namely, those of the shipping industry and of Equity. Other bodies may be involved, but these are the two instances most quoted in discussion of the approved closed shop and the agency shop. But Section 6(2) of the Act says: The foregoing Sections of this Act shall not apply to—

  1. (a) a person employed as master of or a seaman on a seagoing British ship having a gross registered tonnage of 80 tons or more, including a person ordinarily employed as a seaman who is employed in or about such a ship in port by the owner or charterer of the ship to do work of a kind ordinarily done by a seaman on such a ship while it is in port …"
The point here is that the provision exempts seamen from contracts of employment and they are surely, therefore, exempt from this proposal. Perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will explain the situation.

The Solicitor-General

The general attack mounted by the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) and the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme), and to some extent by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), has been to the effect that this is another part of our attack on the concept of the closed shop. That is wide of the mark. As my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) pointed out, this provision will ensure that where a closed shop agreement or agency shop agreement exists, in effect it diminishes the right not to belong—that is, there is an obligation on the worker to belong to a union in an approved closed shop or to belong or to contribute in an agency shop—and his rights should be clearly set out under the Contracts of Employment Act. So far from this being a derogation of trade union rights, we are requiring the employer to make clear to the worker the conditions of employment in that place of work. That is surely a logical step.

Mrs. Castle

But the hon. and learned Gentleman is missing the logical point. If the Government had not started off by eroding trade union rights in the first place by prohibiting the closed shop, it would not now be necessary to highlight the restriction by saying that now there might be a loophole.

The Solicitor-General

The right hon. Lady is entitled to hark back to what has been debated time and time again, but the House and the country know the Government's attitude to the closed shop. All we are providing here is that when a worker is in employment or is going into employment he is entitled to know what his obligations are where a closed shop or an agency shop exists. The right hon. Lady sought to make a retrospective commercial for her own legislation, saying that her Bill would have had the effect of being a recruiting poster for trade unionism, stressing that this would be done by making trade union rights part of the contract of employment. But that was one of the substantial deficiencies in her approach, because if one confines trade union membership rights to contracts of employment one makes those rights available only to a employee—someone already in employment—and they are of no effect at all in preventing an employer from refusing to engage someone on grounds of union membership.

We go further in two respects. We do so in Clause 5(2)(c) in which we ensure that the right extends to, for example, labour-only sub-contractors and by making a remedy available even to those who have not been engaged. I do not want to make a great virtue out of the semantic difference between operating on contracts of employment and the way in which we have chosen to proceed, save to point out that the foundation for the right hon. Lady's claim is fairly slender.

The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East mentioned the machinery. Of course the Contracts of Employment Act does not apply, as he has indicated, to people in the merchant shipping industry. In fact the notice issued under the Contracts of Employment Act does not have to be issued in any event until 13 weeks after entry into employment. Of course that was the position as provided for in the original 1963 Act.

That position was not changed in the right hon. Lady's Bill. The right hon. Lady's great charter, her recruiting poster for trade unionism, applied or did not apply to exactly the same extent as this to the industry with which the hon. Gentleman is concerned. We cannot on either side of the House achieve perfection in the application of these provisions extending and annunciating rights so as to cover every industry at the outset. It is not a valid criticism to say that in these two respects our machinery is not exactly the same as that proposed by the right hon. Lady.

I return to the somewhat uncharacteristically abstruse point raised by the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Ronald King Murray) in which he sought to cast across to the other side of the Chamber, to his hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West, a rather elaborate and very difficult to follow parallel between a trade union member's rights and a trade union organisation's rights. I admired the way in which the hon. Member for Salford,

West was just able to pick up the pass without knocking it on. He says that the Government are inconsistent when we provide that the status of registration is not something which should be fundamental to a union in the sense that to achieve the definition of being a trade union one needs to be registered. In that respect we are consistent with the Donovan Commission and "In Place of Strife".

I fancy that the hon. and learned Member had best return to Murrayfield and handle a ball more adapted to his purpose, although we always welcome his adventurous intrusions into these debates.

Question put, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 273, Noes 235.

Division No. 451.] AYES [7.43 p.m.
Adley, Robert Cockeram, Eric Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Cooke, Robert Gray, Hamish
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Coombs, Derek Green, Alan
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Grieve, Percy
Atkins, Humphrey Cormack, Patrick Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.
Awdry, Daniel Costain, A. P. Grylls, Michael
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Critchley, Julian Gummer, Selwyn
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Crouch, David Gurden, Harold
Balniel, Lord Curran, Charles Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hall, John (Wycombe)
Batsford, Brian d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen.James Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Dean, Paul Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Bell, Ronald Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Hannam, John (Exeter)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Dodds-Parker, Douglas Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Benyon, W. Drayson, G. B. Haselhurst, Alan
Berry, Hn. Anthony du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Hastings, Stephen
Biffen, John Eden, Sir John Havers, Michael
Biggs-Davison, John Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hawkins, Paul
Blaker, Peter Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Hay, John
Boardman, Tom (Leicester. S.W.) Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Hayhoe, Barney
Body, Richard Emery, Peter Hicks, Robert
Boscawen, Robert Eyre, Reginald Higgins, Terence L.
Bossom, Sir Clive Farr, John Hiley, Joseph
Bowden, Andrew Fell, Anthony Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Hill, James (Southampton, Test)
Braine, Bernard Fidler, Michael Holt, Miss Mary
Bray, Ronald Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Hooson, Emlyn
Brewis, John Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Hordern, Peter
Brinton, Sir Tatton Fookes, Miss Janet Hornby, Richard
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Fortescue, Tim Hornsby-Smith, Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Foster, Sir John Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Fowler, Norman Howell, David (Guildford)
Bryan, Paul Fox, Marcus Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Hunt, John
Buck, Antony Fry, Peter Hutchison, Michael Clark
Bullus, Sir Eric Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Iremonger, T. L.
Burden, F. A. Gardner, Edward James, David
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Gibson-Watt, David Jesse, Toby
Carlisle, Mark Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Jopling, Michael
Chapman, Sydney Glyn, Dr. Alan Kaberry, Sir Donald
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Kershaw, Anthony
Chichester-Clark, R. Goodhart, Philip Kilfedder, James
Churchill, W. S. Goodhew, Victor Kimball, Marcus
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Gorst, John King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Gower, Raymond Kinsey, J. R.
Clegg, Walter
Kirk, Peter Normanton, Tom Stanbrook, Ivor
Kitson, Timothy Nott, John Steel, David
Knox, David Onslow, Cranley Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Lambton, Antony Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Lane, David Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Langford-Holt, Sir John Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Stokes, John
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Page, Graham (Crosby) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Le Marchant, Spencer Paisley, Rev. Ian Sutcliffe, John
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Parkinson, Cecil (Enfietd, W.) Tapsell, Peter
Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Peel, John Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Longden, Gilbert Percival, Ian Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Loveridge, John Pink, R. Bonner Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Luce, R. N. Pounder, Rafton Tebbit, Norman
McAdden, Sir Stephen Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch Temple, John M.
MacArthur, Ian Price, David (Eastleigh) Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
McCrindle, R. A. Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Proudfoot, Wilfred Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
McMaster, Stanley Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Tilney, John
Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Quennell, Miss J. M. Trafford, Dr. Anthony
McNair-Wilson, Michael Raison, Timothy Trew, Peter
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Tugendhat, Christopher
Maddan, Martin Redmond, Robert Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Madel, David Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Maginnis, John E. Rees, Peter (Dover) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Marten, Neil Rees-Davies, W. R. Vickers, Dame Joan
Mather, Carol Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Waddington, David
Maude, Angus Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Mawby, Ray Ridsdale, Julian Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Meyer, Sir Anthony Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Wall, Patrick
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Rost, Peter Walters, Dennis
Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W) Russell, Sir Ronald Ward, Dame Irene
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) St. John-Stevas, Norman Wells, John (Maidstone)
Moate, Roger Scott, Nicholas White, Roger (Gravesend)
Molyneaux, James Scott-Hopkins, James Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Money, Ernle Sharples, Richard Wiggin, Jerry
Monks, Mrs. Connie Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Wilkinson, John
Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Monro, Hector Shelton, William (Clapham) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Montgomery, Fergus Simeons, Charles Woodnutt, Mark
More, Jasper Sinclair, Sir George Worsley, Marcus
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Skeet, T. H. H. Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Mudd, David Soref, Harold TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Murton, Oscar Speed, Keith Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Neave, Airey Spence, John Mr. Hugh Rossi.
Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Sproat, lain
Albu, Austen Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Faulds, Andrew
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Conlan, Bernard Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.
Allen, Scholefield Corbet, Mrs. Freda Fisher, Mrs.Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Armstrong, Ernest Crawshaw, Richard Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Ashley, Jack Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Foley, Maurice
Ashton, Joe Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Foot, Michael
Atkinson, Norman Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Ford, Ben
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Dalyell, Tam Forrester, John
Barnes, Michael Darling, Rt. Hn. George Fraser, John (Norwood)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Davidson, Arthur Freeson, Reginald
Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton) Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Galpern, Sir Myer
Beaney, Alan Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Garrett, W. E.
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Davies, Ifor (Gower) Gilbert, Dr. John
Bidwell, Sydney Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil) Ginsburg, David
Bishop, E. S, Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Golding, John
Blenkinsop, Arthur Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.
Booth, Albert Delargy, H. J. Gourlay, Harry
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Grant, George (Morpeth)
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Dempsey, James Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)
Bradley, Tom Doig, Peter Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Driberg, Tom Hamling, William
Buchan, Norman Duffy, A. E. P. Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Dunnett, Jack Hardy, Peter
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Eadie, Alex Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Edelman, Maurice Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis
Cant, R. B. Edwards, William (Merioneth) Heffer, Eric S.
Carmichael, Neil Ellis, Tom Horam, John
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara English, Michael Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Evans, Fred Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Huckfield, Leslie Marquand, David Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Marsden, F. Roper, John
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Marshall, Dr. Edmund Rose, Paul, B.
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Sandelson, Neville
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Meacher, Michael Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Hunter, Adam Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Irvine, Rt.Hn.SirArthur (Edge Hill) Mendelson, John Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Janner, Greville Millan, Bruce Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Jeger, Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras, S.) Miller, Dr. M. S. Silverman, Julius
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Skinner, Dermis
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Small, William
John, Brynmor Molloy, William Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Spearing, Nigel
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Spriggs, Leslie
Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Stallard, A. W.
Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Moyle, Roland Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Jones, Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.) Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Strang, Gavin
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Murray, Ronald King Summer-skill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, w.) Ogden, Eric Taverne, Dick
Kaufman, Gerald O'Halloran, Michael Thomas, Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff, W.)
Kelley, Richard O'Malley, Brian Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Kinnock, Neil Oram, Bert Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Lambie, David Orme, Stanley Tinn, James
Latham, Arthur Oswald, Thomas Tomney, Frank
Lawson, George Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Tuck, Raphael
Leadbitter, Ted Padley, Walter Urwin, T. W.
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Palmer, Arthur Varley, Eric G.
Leonard, Dick Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Wainwright, Edwin
Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Parker, John (Dagenham) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Wallace, George
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Watkins, David
Loughlin, Charles Pendry, Tom Weitzman, David
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Pentland, Norman Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Perry, Ernest G. Whitehead, Phillip
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
McBride, Neil Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg. Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
McCartney, Hugh Prescott, John Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
McGuire, Michael Price, J T. (Westhoughton) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Mackenzie, Gregor Probert, Arthur Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Mackie, John Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Woof, Robert
Maclennan, Robert Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Rhodes, Geoffrey TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
McNamara, J. Kevin Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Mr. Joseph Harper and
Mallalieu, J. P. W, (Huddersfield, E.) Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon) Mr. Donald Coleman.
Marks. Kenneth Robertson, John (Paisley)

Lords Amendment: No. 43, in page 15, line 18, after "specifying" insert "by description or otherwise".

Mr. Dudley Smith

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

It will be for the convenience of the House if we also discuss Lords Amendments No. 44, in Page 15, line 18, leave out from "whom" to "and" in line 21 and insert: the employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to his employment and No. 45, in page 15, line 24, leave out "subsequent steps in that procedure" and insert: steps consequent upon any such application".

Mr. Dudley Smith

The sole purpose of these Amendments is clarification. They make it plain, first that when specifying a person to whom the employee can apply when he has a grievance concerning his employment the employer is not required in that note given under subsection (2) of Clause 18 to identify the person by name.

Secondly, the Amendments make it clear that the note should tell the employee about the further steps in any grievance procedure which is available to him. The wording of subsection (2)(b) and (c) of Clause 18 was clarified in another place when these matters were debated, and as a consequence the Government undertook to look at the matter and to make Amendments.

Subsections (2)(b) and (c) require employers to include in the written statement of the terms of employment which they are required to give employees under the Contracts of Employment Act, 1963, a note specifying a person to whom an employee should apply if he has a grievance relating to his employment. The note should also say how he should apply and explain the subsequent steps in any grievance procedure which is available.

It was stated in another place that the requirement in subsection (2)(b) to specify a person appeared to require employers to identify someone for this purpose by name and that this could create considerable difficulties, particularly for firms which experience frequent changes in personnel. We all know that this can happen in some industries. It is not our intention to create a stumbling block here by imposing the need to name a person. What we have in mind is that an employer should identify a person in such a way that the employee clearly knows to whom he should apply, when he has a grievance concerning his job. The person might well be identified for example by his title, "section foreman" or "departmental manager". The obligation over identification certainly can be used by the employer, if he wishes, to put a name to an individual, but this should not be obligatory.

In the circumstances, for the sake of clarity, we believe that it will be more helpful if the employer were able to delineate the job held by the person to whom application should be made rather than the name of that individual. I believe that this helps to clarify the matter, and I hope it will commend itself to hon. Members opposite.

Mr. Paul B. Rose (Manchester, Blackley)

I accept that these are basically drafting Amendments for the purpose of clarification. In a sense, they are an acknowledgement of the impossibility of precision in many aspects of industrial relations. At least that small acknowledgement is welcome, because, as the hon. Gentleman has said, this avoids the need for identification by name and helps with the steps in relation to the grievance procedure. I must enter a caveat that what I find wholly abhorrent about the entire question is that the right to be a free rider or the so-called right to pay to two trade unions by reason of the agency shop is written into the contract of employment with instructions as to the person, now by description or otherwise, to whom application should be made when redress is sought.

To write into the contract of employment matters which ought to be within the province of purely personal and working relationships with one's fellow employees is something that I find not only unnecessary but a violation of an employee's fundamental rights in a free society. To make thmat objective felt we on this side of the House will not divide on the Amendment but will make our opposition felt with regard to the Clause. It would not be right to divide on the very narrow ambit of the Amendments because they simply seek to clarify. Having said that I must add that we on this side of the House reject the entire context in which these Amendments are placed.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.

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