HC Deb 29 April 1897 vol 48 cc1234-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, whereas in certain public departments a half-holiday is granted every Saturday, in others the half-holiday is on alternate Saturdays only; whether there is any regulation precluding these latter departments from granting a regular weekly half-holiday; and whether he will take steps to procure uniformity of practice in this respect throughout the service by authorising a general Saturday half-holiday?


The rule laid down by the two great Orders in Council of 1890 for the higher and second divisions is that— Officers who are required to attend seven hours a day shall be allowed a half-holiday on alternate Saturdays, provided that the heads of the Departments in which such officers are serving are satisfied (hat the slate of public business will permit. This rule does not debar heads of Departments from granting in their discretion occasional half-holidays at other times if the state of the work admits. The Treasury would be very unwilling to interfere with the exercise of this discretion. To modify the Orders in Council by substituting a general weekly half-holiday for the present conditional fortnightly one, would in many Departments not only seriously delay public business, but also necessitate increases of staff to deal with the work now done on Saturdays, and, therefore, the discretionary system now in force appears to be best adapted to the conditions of the Service.