HL Deb 16 July 1968 vol 295 cc242-3

5.46 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that the Iron and Steel (Compensation to Employees) Regulations 1968, which were laid before the House on July 1, 1968, be approved. These regulations give effect to the duty imposed on the Minister by Section 41 of the Iron and Steel Act 1949, as revived and amended by the Iron and Steel Act 1967. They require the British Steel Corporation to pay compensation to those staff, or former staff, of the Iron and Steel Board and the nationalised companies who suffer loss of employment or loss or diminution of emoluments or pension rights in consequence of nationalisation or subsequent organisational changes giving effect to conclusions reported by the Corporation to the Minister in a report on organisation, or to a direction by the Minister to the Corporation on organisation. The pattern of compensation embodied in them is based on the pattern for statutory redundancy which, with minor modification called for as a result of changing circumstances, has been applied by successive Governments over the last twenty years. The most recent example is the Harbour Reorganisation (Compensation to Employees) Regulations 1967.

As the Act requires, we have consulted the British Steel Corporation and the trade unions in the preparation of these regulations. The regulations will have effect from July 28, 1967—that is to say, vesting day. If the House wishes, I will gladly give a fuller explanation of the regulations. But as they give effect to well-established policy followed by Governments of both Parties, what I have said may be sufficient; and it might be better if, with permission, I were to speak again in reply to any points which noble Lords may wish to raise.

Moved, That the Draft Iron and Steel (Compensation to Employees) Regulations 1968, laid before the House on July 1, be approved.—(Lord Winterbottom.)