PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

HOUSE OF COMMONS

OFFICIAL REPORT

First Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c.

DRAFT REDUNDANCY PAYMENTS (LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (MODIFICATION) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 1989

Wednesday 15 March 1989

LONDON

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The Committee consisted of the following Members:

Chairman: Sir Michael Shaw

Bellingham, Mr. Henry, (Norfolk, North-West)

Burns, Mr. Simon, (Chelmsford)

Clay, Mr. Bob, (Sunderland, North)

Cox, Mr. Tom, (Tooting)

Currie, Mrs. Edwina, (Derbyshire, South)

Hind, Mr. Kenneth, (Lancashire, West)

Lee, Mr. John, (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Employment)

Livingstone, Mr. Ken, (Brent, East)

Lloyd, Mr. Tony, (Stretford)

Mitchell, Mr. Andrew, (Gedling)

Nicholson, Emma, (Torridge and Devon West)

Oppenheim, Mr. Phillip, (Amber Valley)

Sackville, Mr. Tom, (Bolton, West)

Sayeed, Mr. Jonathan, (Bristol, East)

Thurnham, Mr. Peter, (Bolton, North-East)

Turner, Mr. Dennis, (Wolverhampton, South-East)

Wallace, Mr. James, (Orkney and Shetlands)

Welsh, Mr. Michael (Doncaster, North)

Mr. D. J. Gerlnold, Committee Clerk.

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3 First Standing Committee on Statutory Instruments, &c. Wednesday 15 March 1989

[SIR. MICHAEL SHAW in the Chair]

Draft Redundancy Payments (Local Govt) (Modification) (Amendment) Order 1989

10.30 am

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. John Lee): I beg to move, That the Committee has considered the draft Redundancy Payments (Local Government) (Modification) (Amendment) Order 1989. This Order, which is being made under powers in section 149 of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, deals with the basis on which redundancy payments are calculated in local government service. It amends the Redundancy Payments (Local Government) Modification Order which the House approved in July 1983. The 1983 order was previously amended in 1985 to take account of changes arising from the Local Government Act 1985 and was amended again in 1988 bringing in several bodies that were omitted in 1983 and 1985 or had since come into existence. I should explain that under the provision of part VI of the 1978 Act an employee who is discharged as redundant after at least two years' service is entitled to be paid a redundancy payment calculated, among other things, according to his period of continuous service with his last employer. Local authorities and related institutions are legally distinct employers. So that on the strict basis of the statutory scheme on its own. An employee would be entitled to a payment every time he became redundant even though he intended to move on to a post elsewhere in local government. That situation would not, however, correctly reflect the realities of local government service, in which a normal career progression commonly involves moving from one authority to another, perhaps several times during an individual's working life. Local government collective agreements, therefore, provide for local authorities to base their redundancy payments on total aggregated service in local government and the 1983 order secures a similar effect in the statutory redundancy scheme by replacing service with one employer with total 4 "relevant local government service". Because there is no convenient and comprehensive definition of what consitutes local government employment, it is necessary to inlist the order all the employing authorities and bodies with whom service counts as local government service. Two lists are necessary. The first, in schedule 1 to the 1983 order, lists those employers currently in being, by whom anyone may be made redundant. The second, in the appendix to schedule 2 in the same order, lists those bodies with which service may still be reckoned for redundancy purposes. This amending order simply adds to the lists in schedule 1 of the 1983 order bodies which have come into existence since the last amendment was made or which were omitted in 1983, 1985 and 1988. It is essentially a tidying up measure. The number of employees likely to be affected is small. I trust that I have said enough to satisfy the Committee that these are necessary and innocuous ammendments. I commend the order to the Committee.

Mr. Tony Lloyd (Stretford): The order extends to groups which are new on the horizon or which have not previously been included in the schedule, and gives them the same terms and conditions that apply to others. It puts matters on an even par and therefore, I see no reason to detain the Committee. However, I have one simple question for the Minister. City technology colleges and city colleges for the technology of the arts are included in the order so when do the Government propose that the first round of redundancies will take place?

Mr. Lee: I am grateful for the general spirit of the hon. Gentleman's comments, but he posed a teasing question. I do not believe that we shall be in a significant redundancy situation when CTCs are introduced. I am not ministerially responsible for those and we should not widen the scope of our debate to cover CTCs. The order seeks to honour the commitment given by Ministers at the Department of Education and Science during the passage of the Education Reform Act 1988 when it was made clear that staff who moved to CTCs or to direct grant maintained schools would not suffer in any way.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved, That the Committee has considered the draft Redundancy Payments (Local Government) (Modification) (Amendment) Order 1989.

Committee rose at twenty five minutes to Eleven o'clock.

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THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

Shaw, Sir Michael (Chairman)

Clay, Mr.

Currie, Mrs. Edwina

Lee, Mr.

Lloyd, Mr. Tony

Nicholson, Miss Emma.

Sackville, Mr.

Sayeed, Mr.

Thurnham, Mr.

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