HC Deb 17 April 1893 vol 11 cc434-5
MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether under Clause 65 of "The Factory Act, 1878," or otherwise, he can issue a regulation that all workpeople shall have the option of leaving the factory or workshop during meal hours, and that no employer should be allowed to confine his workpeople during meal hours, but that the right of staying in or out of factory during meal hours shall be at the option of employés?


I have no power to make such a regulation under the section in question, or under any section in the Factory Act; but whether at Common Law the practice referred to is legal is a matter on which I offer no opinion. The cases where firms require workpeople to remain in the works during the dinner hour appear, from the inquiries which I have made, not to be numerous. Such an agreement is, in my opinion, in the interest of the health of the workpeople, much to be deprecated.