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Employment (Redundant Workers)

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 26 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Labour if he will take steps to require all employers desirous of declaring workers redundant and dismissing them, to consult with his Department and to notify his Department of the reasons for dismissals and redundancy, and to give reasonable time for negotiations and consultation with the trade unions concerned or the consultative machinery established in the industry.

No, Sir. Employers are encouraged to give employment exchanges early notice of prospective redundancies and workers are encouraged through their trade unions to register as long as possible before discharge so that efforts may be made to find other work for them with little or no interval of unemployment, but I am unable to agree that it would be desirable or practicable to institute the compulsory measures suggested by my hon. Friend.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in certain cases the workers allege that they are dismissed without proper consultation; and does he not think that this matter merits further consideration in view of the recent industrial disputes, especially in the Manchester area?

This matter of joint consultation is always the subject of negotiation with employers and trade unions and we are applying as much persuasive pressure as we can to avoid those things mentioned by my hon. Friend.