§ Mr. Burns
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he intends to offer any financial assistance to former civil servants who were transferred to TICC Ltd. on the privatisation of the Skills Training Agency, and were unable to obtain redundancy payments due to them when the company went into liquidation.
§ Mr. Howard
When TICC purchased, in May 1990, the four skillcentres at St. Helens, Accrington, Cumbria and Ipswich, it undertook to ensure that the staff transferred to it from my Department maintained an entitlement, through their new contracts of employment, to redundancy payments at civil service rates. TICC is contractually bound to do this and I have no legal responsibility of any kind towards the company's staff. I recognise, however, that the collapse of the company without the financial resources to meet its contractual obligations has left its staff who transferred from the civil service with no more than statutory redundancy payments. Under these special circumstances I have decided to offer an ex-gratia payment to these former civil servants. The payments will be made as soon as possible. They will be the equivalent of the amount each member of staff would have received had they been made redundant at the time of the sale to TICC rather than transferred to that company, less what each person has already received by way of statutory payment from the national insurance fund.