§ 9.58 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT (LORD LINDGREN)
My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill be read a second time. It is a Bill which I take great satisfaction in moving. I think it is a measure which is generally supported. It should help to improve the climate of our industrial relations and will, I believe, make an important contribution towards the solution of some pressing economic problems with which we are faced at this time of scarce manpower and rapid technological change.
The Bill gives employees a legal right to compensation when they become redundant. This is the heart of it. And the compensation payable reflects the worker's earnings, age, and service with his employer. These basic principles have now come to be accepted as right by a wide section of opinion—in industry, in the Press and in Parliament. The main scheme of the Bill is acceptable to both the Trades Union Congress and the British Employers' Confederation. The provisions it contains are the outcome of long and careful consultations, which were in fact begun, through the Minister of Labour's National Joint Advisory Council, by the previous Government. But this consensus of opinion has come about, on the historical scale, very quickly indeed. Ten years ago it was only the exceptional employer who made financial provision for redundancy, at any rate in the case of his manual workers. It has, of course, been common practice for rather longer, in the form of the "golden handshake", for redundancies among managerial and executive staff. In this respect the Bill achieves a form of "levelling up" and helps to remove some of the disparity of treatment which still exists in industry to-day as between staff employees and the shop floor.
1138 I suggest this change of opinion has come about because though we have been able to achieve full employment, the problem of redundancy has remained with us and is likely to remain with us for the future. Since the war, large and important sectors of industry have undergone drastic reorganisation or have contracted overall as others have expanded and grown. It has happened in new industries as well as old—in aircraft as well as in cotton textiles, railways and the coal mines—and large-scale redundancy has been the result. We cannot expect that this will be a temporary phenomenon, because our economy—in these days of rapid advance in science and technology, and their application to industry—can only prosper by ready acceptance of change.
We have long ago laid the foundations on which we provide for the hardships of unemployment. But redundancy is a hazard that remains with us whether or not national unemployment is high. Hence, I think, the very proper focusing of attention on it. I think that we in this country are entitled to take some credit for having recognised this problem as one that is specially pressing to-day. This scheme is the first comprehensive statutory arrangement of its kind in a major industrial country. In voluntary provision for redundancy we are still some way behind many of our overseas competitors. Less than one quarter of the working population is covered. But this Bill will bring us abreast—and indeed put us ahead—of practice elsewhere.
The Bill recognises the fact that a worker's need for security in his job increases with his years of service. It also provides proportionately greater compensation for the older worker, whose problems, as confirmed by all recent experience of redundancy, are greater than those of his younger colleagues. It is thus a scheme which, taken by and large, provides the biggest benefits for those who are likely to suffer the biggest disruption of their working lives from redundancy and who will regard the prospect of it with the greatest anxiety. I suggest that this is in every way right. First, it is fair and just, in that those individuals who would otherwise be bearing far more than their share of the cost of economic and industrial change will receive compensation adequate by the more 1139 enlightened standards of to-day. Second, it is good sense and practical economics. These are the people who will feel most resentment and will be most likely to resist the sort of changes in industry which we have to carry through if we are to be competitive. These changes will demand more efficient deployment and use of manpower throughout industry, and the abandonment of restrictive working practices which have outlived their usefulness. This is a big challenge to industry which poses substantial human problems. We think it is one which the Bill can help us to meet.
My Lords, while we regard this Bill as important in itself, I would emphasise that it has always been conceived as one element in a wider programme. The Government have never believed that the problems of redundancy and change can be solved by one measure alone. Many others are in hand. We are carrying out a large-scale review of the National Insurance Scheme, including the problem of earnings-related unemployment benefit. This, too, will have an important part to play in influencing attitudes to redundancy. The object would be to mitigate the drastic fall in income which most workers now face if they become unemployed. But changes in unemployment benefit are not enough in themselves. In the Government's view, compensation for redundancy is an essential complement which is justified on its own merits. Changes in unemployment benefit, for instance, will not affect the position of redundant workers who go straight into another job without intervening unemployment. But such workers may still suffer substantial loss of security—reduced rights to fringe benefits, loss of seniority and perhaps future earnings, i and the knowledge that they may be first in the queue for the next redundancy.
We think action is needed both on un-employment benefit and on redundancy compensation. We have, however, not felt it right to delay the latter until we have completed our examination of the complex problems of unemployment benefit—which cannot be considered in isolation from other elements in the National Insurance Scheme. Our measures to improve and extend industrial training, the substantial increases announced in grants and allowances for 1140 workers moving to other areas, and the better and more up-to-date employment services we plan to provide are further elements of our programme. I would suggest to your Lordships that, seen in this setting, the redundancy scheme of this Bill is a sensible and necessary part of the whole plan. I hope employers and unions will not regard this Bill as doing all that is wanted to cope with redundancy. There will still be as much need as ever for intelligent and humane handling of redundancy which can be just as important—if not more so—than financial compensation. We still need improvements on such matters as consultation in advance with workers and their representatives giving long advance warning and establishing clear principles governing the order of dismissals. These have always been cardinal points of a good redundancy policy.
My Lords, I had prepared a detailed journey of explanation through the major clauses of the Bill. However, in view of the time, I do not propose to use this unless pressed to do so. I have my notes here, and should there be any particular point any of your Lordships wish to raise, I shall be only too happy to deal with it. This is a complex and important measure, and one to which the Government have given the high priority they feel it deserves. Although there is a considerable administrative machine to be set up, and a substantial amount of subordinate legislation to be passed after it is enacted, we hope that the scheme can be operating before the end of the year. We accept the need to see that before then it is properly publicised and that industry is given proper guidance on the interpretation of the many detailed provisions of the Bill. But we believe that the scheme is in general well-conceived and will be favourably received. I commend the Bill to your Lordships as a major addition to the body of our social and industrial legislation. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Lord Lindgren.)
§ 10.10 p.m.
My Lords, although the hour is late, I should like to take up a very few minutes of your Lordships' time. I cannot declare any vested interest in this Bill, but I live on the edge of an important industrial neighbourhood, important particularly from 1141 the export point of view. I have heard this Bill discussed outside this House by so many people that, in spite of my inexperience, I have decided to risk saying a few words on it, and as this is only the second time that I have spoken in your Lordships' House I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, will be lenient with me in his reply if I make heavy weather of what I want to say.
I am sure we all agree that the principle behind redundancy payments, to minimise the hardships owing to loss of employment, is just and fair, and I find it disappointing that I cannot entirely support the Bill because of what I think are certain defects in detail. There seem to be three aspects to these redundancy payments: first, compensatory payments in respect of long service and the expectations that arise from it; secondly, payments for the immediate financial loss that may arise from a period of unemployment, and, finally, possible expense incurred through a residential change to a district with improved employment prospects. Surely, taking the last two points, these could be compensatory and strictly related to the loss involved, since remaining in an area of less opportunity would be likely to incur a longer period of unemployment, whereas moving to an area of higher labour demand would incur the cost of disturbance but early re-employment. If I am right here, compensation on redundancy requires calculation, not only on the basis of length of service, but additionally on a payment for loss of employment after the required service period, irrespective of the total length of service.
Having, I hope, established this point, I would go further and suggest that the payment for loss of employment and the immediate expenses arising therefrom should be withheld if in fact no financial loss is involved. It does not follow that a worker who is made redundant is necessarily in an area of low employment, or that to obtain employment he must move to another area—and if part of the redundancy payment is to cover these specific factors it must surely be restricted to the cases where these factors apply. We are told that one of the main purposes for which this Bill is designed is to increase the mobility of labour and so increase the utilisation of the limited manpower at our disposal. I cannot see 1142 that payment of a sum designed to encourage movement of labour will do so if it is paid whether or not movement takes place. Indeed, I strongly suspect that, with the unrestricted payment of a lump sum, it is human nature to extract the greatest immediate personal benefit by avoiding the expense of movement, in which case mobility of labour is discouraged by this Bill rather than encouraged. Therefore I feel strongly, in the circumstances which I have briefly outlined, that there is every justification for partial exclusion from the redundancy payment, whereas Clause 2 of the Bill as it now stands admits total exclusions only.
Another aspect of the Bill—and to me the most worrying feature—is what can be termed the legalisation of strikes of any kind by Amendment of the Contracts of Employment Act 1963. I use the word "legalisation" intentionally, because the only interpretation that the public can place on Clause 37 of the Bill is that the Government endorse, and indeed support, strikes. The Minister of Labour has suggested in justification of Clause 37 that the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Organisations will include the question of strikes in their investigations, and that he would hesitate to lay before the House any proposals for fresh legislation to deal with any aspect of the problem of strikes in advance of the Royal Commission's Report. Surely, therefore, the Amendment to the Contracts of Employment Act 1963 should also be deferred until the Royal Commission's Report, which will at least help to discourage irresponsible action during this interim period.
I have personal knowledge of strike action in the industry centred near my home, where only last year it appeared obvious to me that a minority of workers ignored the advice of their trade union and employer and took unofficial strike action, in direct breach of their contracts and with complete indifference to the financial loss to their employers, colleagues and, indeed, the national economy. Yet, under this Bill they would receive almost equal compensation with others in industry who remained loyal to their employer and trade union, had redundancy resulted from their irresponsible attitude. Indeed, the distinction is so slight as to be virtually non-existent. It 1143 is a strange paradox that proposed legislation designed to improve the industrial relations position in industry in this country as a whole should include within its provisions encouraging features to those few who have anything but the improvement of such relations at heart, and I can only hope that as the Bill passes through the Committee stage of this House the fullest possible regard will be paid to this point.
§ 10.15 p.m.
§ LORD MCCORQUODALE OF NEWTON
My Lords, I wonder if I might intervene, even at this late hour, to make just one or two remarks about this Bill. First of all, we employers are grateful to the Government for the very great care with which the Minister of Labour has discussed the details of this measure with the representatives of the employers and the trade unions, and from that point of view I think the Bill is to be welcomed, although there are a number of things in it I would rather have altered. Having said that, I still have strong objection to the way this Bill has come ahead of the other Bill about which the Minister spoke.
The noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, referred to the unemployment insurance reorganisation, and I am one who regards that as of much more importance than redundancy. I believe that to improve unemployment pay in the first few months of unemployment, to introduce some form of earnings rate of unemployment pay, is of much more value to the man who loses his job and is unfortunate enough not to fall into another one straight away. The loss of earnings, week after week, is not really covered in cases of this sort by a £100 or £200 redundancy payment. I believe that it would be much more valuable to the man if the order of precedence of bringing in these Bills had been changed, and we had had first the National Insurance Bill. If we had first dealt with this 1144 unemployment benefit problem we could have had, I believe, a very much simpler and less complicated, and possibly less expensive, redundancy Bill.
I would make one other point which I believe is of great importance. The operation of this Bill is to start on the appointed day. But as soon as the Bill becomes law, and even in advance of the Bill becoming law, those who may become redundant will naturally wish to claim their redundancy monies. They will not understand why they are not legally entitled to redundancy money as soon as the Bill has received the Royal Assent; and much industrial unrest will ensue if they cannot get it and there is long delay. The employer, however, cannot be expected to pay out the redundancy money stipulated in this Bill until he is able to claim back his dues from the levy and the fund, partly to recompense him for the monies paid out.
So I would strongly urge, in the cause of industrial peace, that the appointed day should be at the first opportunity, within a very few weeks of the passing of the Bill. The noble Lord mentioned that he hoped it would be by the end of the year. I hope that he manages that, and improves on it, because I believe that much of the good will that this Bill is designed to engender may disappear if we have some increase in unemployment in the autumn, more redundancy than we have seen in the past, and yet these men cannot claim the redundancy pay which would otherwise be due to them because the appointed day had not been fixed. I am glad to see that in Clause 35 powers are being taken to borrow money to set up the fund in advance of the collection of the 5d. stamp. Really nothing stands in the way except the setting up of the machinery before this Bill, when it becomes an Act, can get into operation. I hope, therefore, that there will be no delay in setting the appointed day and getting the whole scheme started.
§ 10.20 p.m.
§ LORD BLYTON
My Lords, before I deal with the Bill I should like to say this. Last Wednesday, during a debate on industrial disputes, I made an intervention when the noble Earl, Lord Jellicoe, was speaking, and I stated that Maurice Edelman was not a trade unionist. I have known Maurice Edelman for years. When I made this statement I did not know that he had been a member of the National Union of Journalists for over twenty years. In fairness to Mr. Edelman, I should like to take this first opportunity of unreservedly withdrawing my statement.
I support this Bill, because it gives employees the legal right to compensation when they become redundant, and the compensation reflects the worker's earnings, age and service with his employers. This is a great step forward, because in my time I have seen men who have served their employers for over fifty years thrown on the scrapheap with nothing but their unemployment pay to live on. There was no reward for service then. This was after they had given many years of service to their employer. I think it is fair to say that redundancy payments have now become accepted as a right by a substantial part of the community, and this policy is accepted by the T.U.C. and the employers. A few years ago it was only the exceptional employer who gave any financial assistance for redundancy to the manual worker; and I believe it was only the fact that in recent years there have been golden handshakes for redundancy among managerial and executive staffs that has created the climate for bringing in this Bill. At least this Bill achieves a recognition for the redundant worker and helps to remove the disparity of treatment which still exists in industries to-day between staff and employer.
Redundancy has been with us, and is likely to remain with us in the foreseeable future. My own industry, mining, since 1950 has contracted, and this is likely to continue. The same applies to railways and also to the cotton industry. Long ago the nation laid down the foundations upon which we provide for the hardships of unemployment. But redundancy is a problem that always remains with us, whether unemployment is high or is low. 1146 The country and the Government are therefore entitled to take great credit for having recognised the problem as one that is specially pressing. This Bill, to my knowledge, is the first comprehensive statutory arrangement of its kind in a major industrial country. In our voluntary schemes less than one-quarter of our working population is covered, and this Bill will bring us abreast, if not ahead, of many countries in the world.
A pleasing feature of the Bill recognises that a worker's security in his job increases with his years of service. As the Minister has said, it provides greater compensation for the older worker whose problems, especially if he is over 55 years of age, are greater than those of a younger man. The scheme embodied in the Bill is one which provides the biggest benefits for those who are likely to suffer the biggest disruption in their lives from redundancy, and who regard the prospect of redundancy with great worry. It is also right that those workers who will bear more than their share of the cost of economic and industrial changes will receive compensation for their loss of employment. It will help to take away the great anger that men feel, the men who would be most likely to resist the sort of changes which are needed in these days of automation if something is not done.
I hope that we can regard this Bill as one part of a greater programme. I believe that a large-scale review of the National Insurance Scheme is now in process, including the problem of unemployment benefit related to earnings. This would also play an important part in improving the attitude of men to redundancy. The great objective at which the Government should aim is to mitigate the large fall in income which workers face if they become unemployed. Again, changes in unemployment benefit will not affect the position of redundant workers who go straight to another job without any intervening unemployment, but even these workers can suffer substantial loss of security, reduced rights as to their fringe benefits and loss of seniority in earnings, with the possible knowledge that they will be the first in the queue in the next redundancy, because in many industries it is "Last come, first go". Whilst the Government know that action is needed on both unemployment benefit and redundancy compensation, I think 1147 that they are entirely right to bring forward this Bill rather than to wait for the completion of the complex problem of unemployment benefit, which cannot be considered in isolation from the other elements in our National Insurance Scheme.
I should like to deal with only one clause in the Bill before I conclude. Clause 11 of the Bill allows the Minister to exempt employers and trade unions who conclude agreements which provide for an alternative system of payments. There is a redundancy scheme in the mining industry and in other industries as well. It will be possible that some industries can pay more than that embodied in the Bill, and it is right that this flexibility should exist. I cannot see a Minister agreeing to any scheme which provides less than that which is contained in the Bill.
I note also that disputes are to be referred to tribunals consisting of a legally qualified chairman with employers and workers represented, and that they will also adjudicate on appeals against assessment to levy under the Industrial Training Act. These tribunals are like the Court of Referees under the Insurance Acts. Could I be told if the applicants to the tribunal under this Bill will have leave to appeal to an umpire, such as exists in the other tribunals under the Insurance Acts? It will be recognised that considerable experience will have to be gained, as this is an entirely new field and we ought to watch it with great interest.
I also hope that the Government will see that the scheme is widely publicised and that industry is given proper guidance on the interpretation of many of the detailed provisions of the Bill. I support the Bill as a measure long overdue to those who serve our industries and who, when redundancy becomes their lot, are not, as in the past, to be thrown on the scrap heap with no recognition at all.
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ LORD DRUMALBYN
My Lords, first of all, I should like to thank the noble Lord, Lord Lindgren, for the graceful way in which he introduced this Bill. I am sure that we all excuse him for not having gone into the detail, clause by clause; the more so as on this occasion 1148 the Explanatory Memorandum is pretty full and noble Lords will have read that in detail, even if they have not been able to study what the noble Lord rightly described as a complex measure with the complete attention that is required to understand it. The noble Lord also described this as an important measure, and I noted that in another place the Minister described it as "a landmark of first importance in our industrial policy." May I make a somewhat carping observation to start with, and say that this is perhaps an odd time of night to discuss landmarks, and I do not think that it is the choice of any of us in this House that we should have to discuss this matter for the first time now.
The subject of redundancy payments has been under consideration for some time, and there has undoubtedly been growing acceptance over a period of time of the principle. Undoubtedly, everyone will agree that if, in the interests of economic progress, a man has to lose a job, which he may have held for many years, he should receive special consideration. But the acceptance of that principle does not absolve us from examining this scheme and the application of that principle. It has been argued, and it can be argued, that the question of what financial arrangements should be made in such circumstances can best be left to negotiation. This is a matter that has been pioneered by negotiation, both in private enterprise and in the public corporations, and, as so often happens, that has led to a national scheme. We accept the principle of a national scheme, and we believe that it could, and we hope that it will, improve industrial relations and help to change attitudes for the better in the course of time.
So, too, of course, would other reforms, and the first thing to consider is a point that has been referred to by several of your Lordships: which has the higher priority, in terms of social and economic betterment? I accept entirely that this Bill is part of a general plan and will fit into the developing social and economic programme, but we have to consider which should come first. We have to consider the question: will hardship be reduced more by redundancy payments or by the introduction of wage-related unemployment and sickness benefit? Will the need for mobility and 1149 economy in the use of manpower be accepted more readily by employees, when they have been in the service of the same employer for years or for weeks, if they are assured of unemployment benefit related to their current wage for so long as they remain unemployed, or if they receive a lump sum indemnity related to their length of service and their current wage?
We think that wage-related unemployment and sickness benefits are more important than redundancy payments, both to relieve hardship during the transition between one job and another, and to promote acceptance of the need for economy in the use of manpower. We should therefore have preferred to see wage-related benefits introduced before redundancy payments. That is not to say that we oppose redundancy payments—far from it. My noble friend Lord Blakenham worked very hard for their introduction, and he and my right honourable friend Mr. Godber deserve much of the credit for the whole conception of a national scheme for redundancy payments, the application of which it has fallen to the present Government to work out.
But, my Lords, it is not enough just to approve the idea of redundancy payments. Here a new statutory right is being created, and Parliament has a duty to consider what kind of scheme would be the fairest between one redundant employee and another; what kind of scheme would contribute most to social and economic betterment; and what would be the best way to pay for it. In another place, the Minister said that the purpose was to compensate the worker for loss of a job—and, of course, in some measure this is true: to compensate a worker for loss of a job through no act or omission of his own. But some of your Lordships have already questioned whether this is really compensation. As my noble friend Lord Falkland said, compensation is related to loss or damage actually sustained. The noble Lord, Lord Blyton, in, if I may say so, an extremely delightful speech, made it clear that loss and damage are involved, especially to those who have been employed for a very long time—loss of security; loss of seniority, as the noble Lord said; loss of pension rights; and the possibility that, having lost his job 1150 this time, he will lose it again because he has not been in the next one very long.
All the same, this is a scheme especially for a payment to be made in the event of redundancy, or what might be called constructive redundancy; a payment of the nature of insurance. This payment is not related in any way to the actual loss or damage sustained, in the sense that where there are two men in identical jobs who lose their jobs at the same time they may not have the same experience. One may get a new job right away; the other may be unemployed for a long time. One may have to move to another town, or even another country, whereas the other may get a job in his own town. One may get a job in his own trade, while the other may have to submit to a period of re-training. There is a strong contrast here which I think illustrates that this is not compensation, in the true sense of being related strictly to loss or damage suffered. It seems to me that, in essence, it is a mutual insurance policy, coupled with an element of deferred wages payable in the event of redundancy; payment of benefit on the occurrence of the event insured against—that is, redundancy—being supplemented by a smaller payment on the part of the employer. In fact, of course, the employer pays the lot and the mutual fund reimburses him in part, if I understand the situation correctly.
My Lords, is it right—and this is another point which I think my noble friend Lord Falkland put—that the employer should in all circumstances have to pay part? In some cases he can afford it: where, for example, greater production is to be achieved by fewer employees and at less cost. In others, he manifestly cannot: for instance, where, because of loss of demand or markets, he is forced to close down a part or the whole of his enterprise. He is asked to find the whole of these payments in the first place. He is reimbursed in part later, but he is asked to find the whole of these payments in the first place, at a time, it may be, of great financial stringency himself, and possibly at a time when he is verging on bankruptcy.
Ought not a distinction to be made between planned or voluntary dismissals and those which are forced on an 1151 employer? If the noble Lord says that it is impossible to make such a distinction, I would ask: why should the redundancy payments not fall wholly on the fund? I agree that there is something to be said, from the point of view of employer/employee relations, for the employer's making the payment. I think it can help in employer/employee relations. I also agree that it is probably more convenient and practical for him to make it at the same time as he pays off his employee. But surely it would not be impossible for the fund to pay direct, especially now that, under the Contracts of Employment Act, the period of notice is longer, which would give the fund more time to "get set to pay."
I turn from that to another aspect. It has been said that redundancy payments will reduce opposition to change and facilitate mobility of labour. That, of course, should benefit the community as a whole. That being so, why should not the community pay part, at least, of the premiums? Under the Bill there is not even to be the statutory contribution of one-quarter of the joint employer/employee contributions which the Exchequer pays to the National Insurance Fund; although, in fact, the contribution is being added to the National Insurance stamp.
These are all matters which we shall not be able to debate on Committee because, by giving the Bill a Second Reading, we shall have decided the broad framework of the Bill; but these are important matters and I hope that the noble Lord will be able to answer—
§ LORD DRUMALBYN
My Lords, this is an important Bill. It is described as a landmark. Surely we ought to have answers on matters of this importance.
§ LORD DRUMALBYN
The noble Lord says we will not get them. We have had a long debate today; but, all the same, the noble Lord and I have debated matters far into the night on past occasions, and I do not see—
§ THE EARL OF LONGFORD
My Lords, with respect, I must point out that the noble Lord's colleagues hardly attach the same importance to this great issue as he does himself.
§ LORD DRUMALBYN
My Lords, I am sure that the country attaches importance to it, and I think it wise that we should do so, too. There are important matters which we shall have to raise on Committee. I am just going to refer briefly to these to give the noble Lord some warning about them. For example, there is Clause 2 which seems to me to make it impossible for an employer to sack a man for misconduct, except on the spot. If he gives him notice, he is liable in every case to have to prove to the tribunal that the man's dismissal was not on account of redundancy. Then, secondly there is the point of whether a strike in breach of contract should or should not be treated as a break in the continuity of employment for the purposes of both this Bill and the Contracts of Employment Act. There is a third point which the noble Lord, Lord Blyton, mentioned, the question of the appeal from the tribunals.
While we fully support the principle of a national scheme for redundancy payments, and, indeed, we ourselves started the preparatory work and carried it a long way, we regret that the Government have given it priority over wage-related benefits. Landmarks of the first importance should be set with care and circumspection so that they may withstand the ravages of time and tempest. We are sorry that this one is being rushed through your Lordships' House so late in the Session, as well as so late at night, and with so little consideration of how a good principle should be applied in practice. I hope that I have said enough to make it quite clear that we fully support this principle, although we have some doubts about its application, and we have some points to raise on Committee.
§ LORD LINDGREN
My Lords, I must thank all noble Lords who have spoken this evening, for the support they have given to the Bill. I think most of your Lordships will agree that the points that have been raised are really Committee 1153 stage points. We can have a full discussion of them in Committee rather than at this late hour tonight. The only substantial point is whether wage-related benefits or the Redundancy Payments Bill should have come first. The noble Lord who has just spoken knows well that one cannot deal in any national insurance scheme with unemployment benefits alone. They are part of a series of benefits which are all related. He also knows that so far as an unemployment insurance scheme is concerned, there is a relationship between the payment of contributions and the benefit received. This scheme will include all workers, and is an additional scheme.
Is the worker who gets the sack the only one who is not to benefit? I have never heard noble Lords opposite say that a director who loses his directorship, or a managing director whose contract is cut short, should not take a "golden handshake". I think that we can deal with all these points during the Committee stage discussions, and I shall be happy to do so at that time.
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.