MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether at the Port Talbot Post Office female clerks are required for one week in every three to commence work at 5.30 a.m.; whether this requirement is of recent introduction, and whether he is aware that it imposes a severe physical strain upon the female clerks concerned, and that one of them 994 became seriously ill; and whether he will consider whether a better arrangement of the hours of work of female clerks could be made without prejudice to the public service?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
It is the case that the women clerks at Port Talbot are required to commence work every third week at 5.30 a.m. This early attendance has been imposed upon the women since last July, in order to partially relieve the postmaster and a man clerk who were being overworked. Though the attendance described would scarcely impose an undue strain upon any one in ordinary health, it appears that the clerk referred to has not enjoyed good health for some years, her absences on sick leave prior to July last having been very numerous. It is feared that it will not be practicable to relieve the women clerks of the early morning attendance altogether; but the Department is considering the duties at Port Talbot.