§ 93. Mr. Prentice
asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the position now reached in his discussions with both sides of industry on the problems of redundancy and severance payments; and whether he will introduce legislation on this subject in the next Session.
§ Mr. Hare
A special sub-committee of my National Joint Advisory Council has been considering these matters. It concentrated on the questions of definition and financial provision and concluded that two main problems could be distinguished. As regards the alleviation of hardship if redundancy was followed by unemployment, it was agreed that this question must be considered in the context of the National Insurance scheme and that the views expressed should be brought to the notice of the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance. On the second question of compensation for a redundant worker with long service, there was general acceptance, in principle, of the view that severance payments for long service workers who became redundant was socially just and desirable. The sub-committee considered the general principles involved in any statutory minimum requirement for severance pay and the problems of meeting the costs.
I reported the progress made to the full Council last week and I am studying all the problems further as a matter of urgency. I will keep in touch with the employers, unions and nationalised industries.
As regards the last part of the Question, I cannot as the hon. Member will be aware, forecast future legislation.