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Mr. Wakeham : On learning of the death of a Member, the Fees Office, having first established that an employee of a late Member is entitled to a statutory redundancy payment under the Employment Protection Consolidation Act 1978, prepare the appropriate documentation in draft which is then forwarded to the peronal representative of the deceased Member (who is legally liable for any redundancy payments due) for factual certification and signature. On receipt of the completed certificates, payment is made by the Fees Office to the employees direct.

I am not aware of any unnecessary administrative delay in settling outstanding redundancy payment claims, or of an alternative method whereby payments might be expedited.

Mr. Shersby : To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will arrange for the terms and conditions of employment of hon. Members' private secretaries to be reviewed by the Top Salaries Review Body with a view to them being employed by the House and paid a salary specified by the hon. Member for whom they work.

Mr. Wakeham : No. The Top Salaries Review Board last reviewed the office costs allowance, which is payable to Members in respect of certain expenses incurred in carrying out their parliamentary duties including secretarial assistance, in 1987. I see no need for a further review at this stage.


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