§ Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps his Department has taken to constitute a voluntary early retirement scheme applicable to former Manpower Services Commission staff seconded to the local enterprise companies or previously seconded; and what undertakings have been sought in relation to applicants from among such secondees that they were taking early retirement.
§ Mr. Stewart
[holding answer 13 May 1994]: On the establishment of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise former Department of Employment staff in Scotland were seconded to those bodies—rather than to the local enterprise companies—and were entitled to 408W exercise a right to take up an offer of employment from the body in question until the termination of their secondment on 31 March 1994.
Former Department of Employment staff who accepted an offer of employment from Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise became subject to the terms and conditions of service of these bodies, which are subject to approval by my right hon. Friend. A number of former Department of Employment secondees subse-quently accepted voluntary severance or early retirement under those terms and conditions as part of a general programme of staff reduction within Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Detailed arrange-ments relating to voluntary severance and early retirement are an operational matter for Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise but the terms of these arrangements did not include any conditions applicable solely to former Department of Employment secondees.
Department of Employment secondees remained eligible, until they took up an offer of employment, for any applicable early retirement schemes offered by that Department; the detailed arrangements are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.