HC Deb 02 May 1889 vol 335 cc968-9
MR. DONAL SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)

asked the Postmaster General whether the following recommendation made by the late Mr. Fawcett to the Treasury, on 13th June 1881, and which was sanctioned by the House of Commons, "That payment as overtime work be given for all Sunday work performed by the indoor staff, whether telegraph or postal, which in a month of four Sundays may be in excess of eight hours, i e. an average of two hours per Sunday," has been strictly adhered to up to about six weeks ago; whether the Surveyor of the Leeds district lately issued a regulation which reduced the Sunday pay to less than one-half, and in many cases to nil; and whether this new regulation decides that every officer shall work 44 hours per week for night duty and 50 hours per week for day duty before any claim can now be made, whether performed on Sunday or week-days?

*THE POSTMASTER GENERAL (Mr. RAIKES,) Cambridge University

I have received no representation in the usual manner from any officers of the Department on the subject referred to in the hon. Member's question, but I may say that his quotation from the late Mr. Fawcett's letter of 13th June, 1881, is correct as far as it goes. The paragraph, however, roust be read in connection with, and subject to, a preceding paragraph, which prescribes one period of ordinary night attendance for the week—namely, seven hours for the six nights, or 42 hours for the week, and two hours on Sundays, making 44 hours in all. In a few cases, postmasters have inadvertently overpaid certain clerks, paying for overtime on Sundays when they have only given 35 hours' night attendance instead of 42. No new regulation has been made, but the irregular payments have been discontinued, so as to wake the practice accord with the decision of 13th June, 1881.