HC Deb 04 April 1979 vol 965 cc940-2W
Mr. Madden

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs have been safeguarded in the Sowerby division, and in the Calderdale district as a whole, by the introduction of the temporary employment subsidy; and if he will make a statement about the provisions of the temporary short-time working compensation scheme.

Mr. Golding

As at 31 March, 2,251 jobs in the Sowerby division had been supported by the temporary employment subsidy. At the same date the figure for the Calderdale district was 6,368 jobs. The temporary short-time working compensation scheme, announced by the Secretary of State on 20 February 1979, came into operation on 1 April 1979.

It is designed to encourage employers to adopt short-time working as an alternative to implementing redundancies by offering them compensation for the payments which they make to workers put on short-time to avoid the redundancies.

To be eligible for the scheme, employers must produce evidence to show that they genuinely intend to make at least 10 workers redundant, and that they have notified the Department of Employment of these redundancies. Trade unions which represent workers at establishments affected by the threat of redundancy must be consulted about the notified redundancies, and must also sign the firm's application.

Compensation will be available for any pattern of short-time working, provided that there is at least one day of work following seven consecutive days without work. The scheme can apply to all employees who normally work for 16 hours or more a week and who qualify for guarantee payments under the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978.

Employers must pay workers on short-time at least 75 per cent. of their normal pay for the days when they are without work, or the statutory guarantee payments to which they are entitled under the Employment Protection Act if these are greater. The whole of this amount, plus the employer's related national insurance contributions, will be reimbursed by the Department of Employment if the employer's application is approved, except that no account will be taken under the scheme of normal pay in excess of £110 a week. Employers can receive compensation for a maximum period of 12 months for each application approved.

Leaflets and application forms are available from the Department's regional offices.

Mr. Madden

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many young people in the Sowerby division, and Calderdale district as a whole, have been helped under temporary employment programmes financed by his Department or the Manpower Services Commission; at what total cost; and if he will make a statement about the development of such employment schemes.

Mr. Golding

Information on the number of young people helped under temporary employment programmes in the Sowerby division is not available, but for the Calderdale district—which includes Sowerby—the numbers of young people aged 16–18 helped—and the cost of helping them—by the various special employment measures to the end of February 1979 were:

  • Youth opportunities programme—from April 1978–228 at a cost of £133,140.
  • Job creation programme—599 people of all ages were helped between September 1975 and 31 December 1978—when the programme ended—at a cost of £487,931. Figures for young people only are not available.
  • Work Experience Programme—81 places to help young people were approved under the programme between September 1976 and 31 March 1978 when the programme was superseded by YOP. The total cost was £43,740.
In addition, 63 young people were helped by the youth employment subsidy—up to 30 June 1978 when the subsidy ended—at a total cost of £16,380, and 63 young people were helped by the recruitment subsidy for school leavers—up to 30 April 1977—at a total cost of £8,190.

The Government announced an expansion of the youth opportunities programme on 20 February, from 80,000 to 100/120,000 filled places, the community industry scheme for unemployed young people from 5,500 to 7,000 filled places and changes in the rules governing the youth opportunities programme. It has also asked the Manpower Services Commission to aim to offer by 31 March 1980 a suitable place in the programme to every young person unemployed for a year or more.