HL Deb 13 July 1999 vol 604 c20WA
Lord Addington

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether plant operators who allow Meat Hygiene Service staff access to telephones on their premises are required to bear the cost of personal telephone calls made by those staff or to pay for time spent on this activity; whether the calls are paid for by the plant or not; and whether plant operators are entitled to monitor telephone calls made by Meat Hygiene Service staff to ensure that they are confined to Meat Hygiene Service business. [HL3029]

Lord Donoughue

In the unusual circumstances that a member of staff from the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) needed to make a personal telephone call, they would be expected to reimburse the plant operator for it. However, as the vast majority of day-to-day telephone calls made by MHS staff are made to assist them in carrying out their statutory responsibilities, it would be clearly inappropriate, and could possibly compromise their position, if plant operators were to monitor their calls.