asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware that temporary women clerks over 33 years of age employed in the Post Office Telephone Manager's office, Sheffield, have been warned that they are redundant and will be dismissed, their places being filled by recruitment; that temporary women clerks over 33 are to be denied the opportunity to pass a qualifying test for appointment to the establishment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The replacement of temporary women clerks by established staff in the telephone manager's office at Sheffield is in accord with an agreement of the National Whitley Council which applies to the Civil Service as a whole. The upper age limit for appointment as clerical assistant is 33, but a proportion of the temporary clerks older than 33 have been given establishment as clerical officers, and a further scheme of establishment is being carried out. It has also been possible for temporary women clerks older than 33, with a knowledge of machine operating, to secure establishment as machine assistants.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether discrimination is exercised either against or in favour of married women in these cases?
I am not quite sure about that. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put down that question.