§ 12. Sir K. Joseph
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the Government's present discussion with employees and unions on ways of mitigating the hardship caused to individual workers by redundancy, he will bear in mind the importance of Government Departments working to a high standard in respect of their own employees; and if he will indicate their present practice.
§ Mr. Powell:
Yes. In these matters the practice of Government Departments compares well with that of good employers generally.
Government Departments inform their employees as far in advance as possible of any changes in organisation or production which are likely to result in loss of employment. Should it be necessary to discharge unestablished industrial or non-industrial employees because of redundancy two weeks' notice is normally given. Under the law as it stands, all such employees who have more than seven years' service are paid a gratuity of one week's pay for each year of service. As I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Partridge) on 15th May, it is intended to reduce the period of qualification for these gratuities and make other improvements in them, with effect from 15th May, 1957.
The principles governing the order of discharge on redundancy of unestablished non-industrial civil servants are laid down in the Redundancy Agreement to which the Staff Side of the Civil Service National Whitley Council are party. Redundancy agreements relating to industrial civil servants are in force between Government Departments and the trade unions concerned.