§ 39. Mr. Costain
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has yet reached a decision concerning entitlement to unemployment benefits of those who have been dismissed from work because they refuse to joint a union; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Orme
The Government's intention has always been that the changes in the law on the closed shop and unfair dismissal should not result in those dismissed in a closed shop situation for failure to join one of the specified unions being disqualified for unemployment benefit on that account. However, the actual decision on whether such persons should be so disqualified, under Section 20(1) of the Social Security Act 1975, rests with the independent adjudicating authorities; and the result of a particular case recently heard before the Chief National Insurance Commissioner is at present awaited. If, in the light of the decision to be given on this case, it transpires that the present law does not in fact meet the Government's intention, it is proposed to take the first available opportunity of introducing amending legislation so as to bring the law on eligibility for unemployment benefit into line with the intention.