Older Staff (Employment)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1952.

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Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham East 12:00 am, 17th June 1952

asked the Minister of Works what revision he has made of the regulations governing retirement for employees in his Department.

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham East

How does the Minister reconcile that with the statement, made to me in a letter a fortnight ago, that he was revising the regulations in his Department?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

I think the hon. Gentleman is really not talking of retirement, which is the word used in the Question, but of the rules for the discharge of employees on engineering maintenance when there is not enough work, which is a different question.

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham East

Does the Minister not agree that what he is doing is making an alteration which is affecting the employment of older people in his Department? If so, how does he reconcile that with the recent statement by the Minister of Labour on the need for men to remain at work longer?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

The hon. Gentleman is really asking an entirely different question, which is not about retirement at all, but perhaps I may be allowed to answer it. The only change I have made is in the London area, where we are treating the whole area as one. That is to say, if there is not enough work in one depôt we are discharging a man over 65 in another depôt, although that depot has enough work, to make room for the younger man. That is the only change which has been made.

Photo of Mr Charles Gibson Mr Charles Gibson , Wandsworth Clapham

Before the right hon. Gentleman changes these regulations, even for the London area, will he give an assurance that the Whitley Council or the trade unions will be consulted before these changes are made?

Photo of Mr David Eccles Mr David Eccles , Chippenham

They have been, and they agreed.