§ Mr. Garel-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has completed his consideration of the guidelines for the compensation of redundant university academic staff proposed by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals.
§ Sir Keith Joseph
I have considered the guidelines formulated by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals for the compensation of university academic and related staff who are made redundant as a consequence of the lower level of funding which the Government have proposed for the universities. It is estimated that the universities will need to reduce their academic staff by something over 5, 000 (about 1 in 6) over the next two years; a significant proportion of this reduction can only be achieved by redundancy or early retirement. However, the great majority of academic and related staff have tenure, ie are appointed until retirement age on terms which protect them against dismissal for reasons of redundancy or financial exigency. More generous compensation than would otherwise be available is therefore appropriate.
In these exceptional circumstances I am prepared to agree that for academic and related staff whose service is terminated on or before 30 September 1984, the cost of compensation on the terms proposed by the CVCP (with two modifications) should be eligible for reimbursement from the funds to be allocated to the universities for restructuring on the recommendation of the University Grants Committee.
The modifications are that compensation for staff aged 50 and over will be eligible for reimbursement only up to the maximum that individuals would be eligible for under the existing premature retirement compensation arrangements for members of the universities superannuation scheme and that pensions will be indexed only from age 55 as at present, in line with the provisions of the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971. Details of the levels of compensation involved have been placed in the Library.