§ 82. Mr. BARNES
asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade if he will have inquiry made into the conduct of the Labour Exchange manager at Loughborough; and is he aware that the manager in question has disallowed benefit to men who had lost employment for refusing to work at less than standard or current conditions in the town?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Robertson)
The determination of the question whether a workman is entitled to unemployment benefit or not in no case rests with the manager of a Labour Exchange. In the case of a direct claim the decision rests with an insurance officer, subject to an appeal to a Court of Referees, and in certain circumstances to the Umpire. Where a workman, in lieu of claiming benefit direct, avails himself of an arrangement made under Section 105 with an association of which he is a member, the question of the refund to be paid by the Board from the association in respect of that workman is settled between the Board and the association, subject to a reference to the Umpire, if no agreement is arrived at. Provision for the settlement of such questions by discussion between officers of the Board and the association has been made in a scheme, submitted to all the associations for adoption. I am sending a copy to my hon. Friend. I understand that my hon. Friend's question has reference to a particular case of a workman claiming benefit under an arrangement in which notice has been given to the local branch of the workman's association that a refund from the unemployment fund would not appear primâ facie to be payable. If the association desire to contest this, they should do so in the manner provided in the scheme above referred to, when the question will be fully investigated, and, if need be, referred to the Umpire.
§ Mr. BARNES
Am Ito take it that the hon. Gentleman thinks that this claim is not payable, and is he aware that this man was discharged for refusing to work overtime for less than the current rate?
I do not think that that is a fair way to state the question. It is for the association to have the matter reconsidered in the proper and regular way.
§ Mr. BARNES
Does not the hon. Gentleman think that he, to some extent, prejudices the question by giving an expression of opinion as to whether the claim is payable or not?
I am not giving an expression of opinion. I am only suggesting that the men's association should have the matter regularly settled.