§ "Paragraph (c) of Sub-section (1) of Section eight of the principal Act shall have effect as if for the words 'commencing from the fourth day after being so rendered incapable of work' there were substituted the words' 'commencing on the fourth day of such incapacity.'"
§ Clause brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ Question put, and agreed to.3431
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I beg to move, at the end of the Clause to add the words "and for the purposes of that paragraph as so amended a day on which the incapacitated person was prevented by the incapacity from doing any effective work shall be treated as a clay of incapacity; but a Sunday shall not be so treated unless the insured person, but for the incapacity, would have worked on that day."
The Clause would then read—Paragraph (c) of Sub-section 1 of Section 8 of the principal Act shall have effect as if for the words 'commencing from the fourth day after being so rendered incapable of work' there were substituted the words 'commencing on the fourth day of such incapacity,' and for the purposes of that paragraph as so amended a day on which the incapacitated person was prevented by the incapacity from doing any effective work shall be treated as a day of incapacity, but a Sunday shall not be so treated unless the insured person but for the incapacity would have worked on that day.That would establish the two principles on which I think the Committee is agreed.
§ Mr. GOULDING
I wish to insert the words "any calendar day on which the person was incapable of work shall be treated as a day of incapacity." That would ensure that the Act would be interpreted as my Lon. Friend says it stands to-day, and that Sunday would always be included. The interpretation at present is not regular throughout the country, and we want to get uniformity.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understood that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty moved to add the words "and for the purposes of that paragraph as so amended the day on which the incapacitated person was prevented by the incapacity from doing any effective work shall be treated as a day of incapacity, but a Sunday shall not be so treated unless the insured person would, but for the incapacity, have worked on that day" If the hon. Member for Worcester wishes to move his Amendment, he should do so by moving an Amendment to the Amendment.
§ Sir COURTENAY WARNER
The difficulty about dividing the week into seven 3432 is a mythical difficulty. I am inferring that Sunday should always be counted as the seventh day, although it is quite true that the week is divided into six.
§ Sir C. WARNER
My objection is that Sunday ought always to be affected. The reason given against that was the division of the week into seven, and that reason does not really apply. The only division that has to take place according to this is when it is a part of the week, and supposing you have 12s. a week and you have the 2s. a day system; supposing there were five days, or even six days, it could not come to more than 12s.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I really must rule these questions as to benefit out of order. They are not in the words that are moved. If any Member wishes to move another Amendment that sick pay should be paid for Sundays, it must conic after the words which are to be added. The present words simply qualify the three days.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I suggest that we might have a clear vote between the hon. Member for Worcester and ourselves. I shall ask every Member of the Government to support the practice of the friendly societies in this matter and to vote for the only compromise, that is the Amendment as it is proposed to be amended by my right hon. Friend beside me.
I, for my part, am not in favour of my Friend's Amendment. I do not see any necessity for these last words, and I should like these last words to be omitted. We could not get better words than those already proposed. I do not want to see the use of the word "Sunday" at all. It is the working day that is the test, and you do not want to drag in the question of Sunday or week day. You have said that if a certain day is a working day as regards a particular individual, that should be one of his waiting days so far as his sickness benefit is concerned. You do not want to bring in the word "Sunday" at all. As a fact we know that as regards nine-tenths of the population Sunday is not a working day, but you need not insert that in your Clause. The test is whether it is a working day, and I suggest that you have sufficient words to make that clear if you carry your Clause down to the second word "incapacity," leaving out the subsequent words altogether.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I think if the hon. Gentleman would let us have the Clause as it is suggested, that it is the best way out of it. If we go on making further suggestions I doubt whether we shall get any further forward.
§ Mr. CASSEL
I want to make my position clear in view of what the hon. Member for Norwich said. I appreciate what the hon. Member says as to the practice of the friendly societies, of which I have no knowledge, and I am not prepared to interfere with their practice. All I want to do is to make it clear that in adopting the practice of the friendly societies you are putting insured persons in a worse position than under the Act, but if it be their practice, and they think it is advisable in the administration of their affairs to retain that practice, as far as I am concerned, I would offer no opposition.
§ Question, "That the words proposed be added to the Clause," put, and agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, added to the Bill.