asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the operation of paragraph 3(3) S.I. 1974, No. 296, which allows the Secretary of State to direct an employing authority to vary the remuneration or other conditions of work of a National Health Service employee where they have been negotiated by an approved negotiating body; and on how many occasions, and in what circumstances a direction under this paragraph has been taken.
Paragraph 3(3) of S.I. 1974 No. 296 enables the Secretary of State in suitable cases to make exceptional provision departing from the remuneration or other conditions of service that he has approved for general application. The powers are at the moment largely delegated to health authorities and are frequently used. The amount of work involved in ascertaining how many times a direction under this regulation has been given would be disproportionate to the value of the exercise.