HC Deb 06 December 1983 vol 50 c143
1. Mr. Batiste

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether, in view of the uncertainty caused by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, as exemplified in the recent case of Canning v. Niaz and McLoughlin, he has any plans to amend or withdraw the regulations; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State, Department of Employment (Mr. John Selwyn Gummer)

We are aware that the Employment Appeal Tribunal decision in the case of Canning v. Niaz and McLoughlin has been widely criticised and we understand that an appeal is being considered. In the circumstances we have no present plans to amend or withdraw the regulations.

Mr. Batiste

Is my hon. Friend aware that, almost from their inception, the regulations have caused a great deal of difficulty, because of their complexity, to all those concerned with the sale and transfer of business assets? It appears that the decision is denying payments to people who would ordinarily and on any logical reading of the Redundancy Payments Act 1965 be entitled to a redundancy payment. Is not urgent Government action necessary to correct the position?

Mr. Gummer

As the case is under appeal, I am sure my hon. Friend will agree that it is not possible to take such action at the moment. The Government have welcomed such protection and we wish to make it as simple as possible. In the circumstances, we must await the outcome of the appeal.