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Council Of Social Affairs Ministers

Volume 894: debated on Thursday 26 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the meeting held by Social Affairs Ministers on 17th June 1975.

At the Council of Social Affairs Ministers held in Luxembourg on 17th June, the United Kingdom was represented by the Secretary of State for Social Services, the Minister of State at the Home Office (Lord Harris) and the Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Employment (Mr. Fraser).As indicated in the Government's forecast of Council business for June lodged with Parliament on 20th May 1975, the main items for this council were the draft directive on equal treatment for men and women workers; the draft recommendation on the application of the principle of the 40 hour week/four weeks annual paid holidays; the draft decisions on pilot schemes and studies to combat poverty and on intervention by the Social Fund to encourage structural adjustment measures.Subject to approval of final texts, agreement was reached on the recommendation on hours and holidays to be achieved by 31st December 1978 and on a decision covering the poverty programme. In considering the Commission's proposals for the Social Fund, agreement was reached on a new scheme for Social Fund assistance in favour of young workers. Other aspects of the proposals will be the subject of further deliberation. The directive on equal treatment was taken at the meeting but discussion was limited to the question of its application to social security. The Directive has now been

Standard rate national insurance widow's pension1·301·6252·002·502·8753·3754·00
Corresponding Industrial death benefit for widows1·501·852·252·803·203·754·50
Percentage difference15·413·812·51211·311·112·5
Standard rate national insurance widow's pension4·505·006·006·757·7510·0011·60
Corresponding Industrial death benefit for widows5·055·556·557·308·3010·5512·15
Percentage difference12·2119·28·17·15·54·7

referred back to the Committee of Permanent Representatives for further study.

The Council also took note of a Commission communication on work in the field of employment.