§ Mr. Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he has implemented to ensure that recruitment and promotion policy in his Department does not directly or indirectly discriminate against applicants who were mature students or women returning to work following a career break due to child care.
§ Mr. Rifkind
[holding answer 5 March 1990]: My Department as a matter of course provides guidance for members of recruitment and promotion boards which includes reference to the need to avoid discrimination of 685W this kind. The practice of my Department, subject to certain conditions, is to reinstate all applicants who originally resigned for domestic reasons. Previous service is taken into account for pay and seniority purposes and, in certain circumstances, previous performance assessments count towards eligibility for promotion boards. In addition, plans are in hand to introduce short answer tests as an alternative to formal education qualifications for recruitment at administrative assistant and administrative officer level and to extend special leave arrangements to allow staff breaks in employment of up to five years with automatic right of re-engagement.