LIB DEMS BACK CALL TO INCREASE STATUTORY REDUNDANCY PAY

March 24, 2008 1:21 PM

A senior Newcastle Liberal Democrat is backing calls to increase statutory redundancy pay.

Ron Beadle, Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle North, is supporting the campaign.

Currently employers have to offer a week's pay for each full year's service to people aged 22 to 41 - older workers get a week and a half's pay per year.

But the statutory payment is capped at a maximum of £350 a week for up to 20 years - limiting compulsory payouts to £7,000, or £10,500 for older workers.

Backbench Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle's Private Member's Bill seeks an increase in statutory redundancy pay to bring the level of payment in line with average earnings.

Mr Hoyle argues the value of the payout has decreased in value as the cap is linked to inflation - via the retail price index (RPI).

If his Bill is successful, and wins Government backing, it is calculated that three out of every four workers could be substantially better off as a result.

The Bill cleared its first Commons hurdle earlier this month when - although it could be killed off later in its detailed committee stage.

The Liberal Democrats supported this Bill at its second reading and Ron Beadle, the party's spokesman in Newcastle North has thrown his weight behind the campaign.

He said: "It is clear that the Government has allowed the calculation for Statutory Redundancy Pay to fall behind average earnings and in this time of economic downturn this is of critical importance.

"I am pleased that the Private Member's Bill was supported by the Liberal Democrats at second reading.

"The Government should support this Bill."