HC Deb 30 April 1908 vol 187 cc1403-4
MR. CHARLES MCARTHUR (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he is aware that in some employments workmen who are subject to a physical defect, but have nevertheless performed their duties to the full satisfaction of their employers, are being discharged by the latter because the insurance companies refuse to insure them on ordinary terms against risks under the Workmen's Compensation Act; and whether he purposes to take any steps, by legislation or other- wise, to deal with the case of workmen thrown out of employment by this cause.


The Secretary of State has been informed that in some cases workmen subject to a physical defect have been discharged on account of alleged difficulties of insuring them. The refusal to insure such men is not universal among insurance companies and there does not appear any reason why such men should not be insured upon adequate terms as well as other workmen. Further inquiries will be made into the matter.


Will the hon. Gentleman instruct the Public Prosecutor to take action under the law of intimidation? What right have the insurance companies to do this?


Is there any evidence whatever that insurance companies do ask questions of employers with regard to the physical defects of those employed?


There have been cases where they have refused to insure such men, but it is not by any means the universal practice.