§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether he is aware that the Liverpool telegraph staff have been informed that, commencing from the 9th July, the custom of paying wages on Fridays is to cease, and that, in future, payment is to be made on Saturdays unless a majority of the staff are prepared to accept five-sixths of the week's salary on the Friday; whether, as the custom of paying salaries on Fridays has been in existence 27 years, and the alteration will cause inconvenience to the clerks on late duties on the Saturday, the Postmaster General can state the reason for the new departure; and whether, in the case of its being adhered to, he will authorise overtime accounts to be paid at the conclusion of the week in which it is worked?
§ MR. HANBURY
Yes, Sir. It was recently ascertained that a practice had grown up in certain provincial offices, which had never been directly sanctioned by the Postmaster General, of paying wages due on Saturday on Friday evening. The attention of the Postmaster General was directed to the matter by the applications from the staff in other offices requesting that the privilege might be extended to them. As he has no power to pay wages before they are earned, it became necessary to issue an instruction that wages should be paid on Saturdays in future. But, in order to inflict the minimum of inconvenience on the staff, they were told at the same time that if they preferred to receive their wages on Friday they would be paid five-sixths of them for the five days' work on the first Friday, and, of course, the full week's wages on each succeeding Friday.