HL Deb 26 February 1988 vol 493 cc1418-9

11.10 a.m.

Baroness Turner of Camden

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the status of the consultative document issued by the Department of Employment on restrictions on the employment of young people and the removal of sex discrimination in legislation, who has been consulted, and whether the House will have the opportunity of debating the results of that consultation.

The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Lord Trefgarne)

My Lords, the consultative document to which the noble Baroness refers was sent to the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Unions Congress, the Health and Safety Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission and a number of other interested organisations inviting comments. Copies are available from the Department of Employment on request. Opportunity for debate is a matter for the usual channels.

Baroness Turner of Camden

My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply. Will he not agree that while a number of the Acts concerned with protective legislation are outdated and probably in need of revision, their total abandonment would be a very serious matter which would require the utmost public scrutiny, including scrutiny by your Lordships' House. Can he please say when further information, and a full report, will be available?

Lord Trefgarne

My Lords, as the noble Baroness will agree, the Government are very much addicted to sweeping away useless regulations. However, I certainly accept that in this case we would wish to do so only after careful consultation, and careful consideration following that consultation. On the timing, the noble Baroness will be aware that we are under some constraints because of the requirement in one of the proposals that relates to the ILO Convention.