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Conciliation In Employment Cases

Volume 897: debated on Saturday 16 August 1975

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Lords amendment: No. 36, in page 36, line 12, at end insert:

"(2A) In proceeding under subsection (1) or (2), a conciliation officer shall where appropriate have regard to the desirability of encouraging the use of other procedures available for the settlement of grievances."

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

The amendment places a statutory duty on conciliation officers to encourage the use of voluntary grievance procedures, or any other appropriate procedures, in cases under this Bill and the Equal Pay Act. In practice, conciliation officers, who are part of ACAS, already do this in appropriate cases relating to unfair dismissals, but the amendment will give this practice a statutory basis. It will ensure that all parties to disputes will, where appropriate, be encouraged, but not compelled, to use voluntary procedures wherever these exist.

I very much welcome the amendment which is very much in line with what some of us have been saying for some time. It is a considerable improvement.

Question put and agreed to.