HC Deb 09 July 1914 vol 64 cc1222-3
69. Major BOWDEN

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the proprietors of the Waleswood Collieries, near Sheffield, have been compelled by the Insurance Commmissioners to pay arrears of contributions under Part II. of the National Insurance Act in respect to surface workmen and engineering staff at the Waleswood Colliery; if so, were such contributions not paid at the time they became payable by reason of the staff having at that time been incorrectly informed by the Insurance Commissioners that they were not insurable under Part II. of the National Insurance Act; if not; why were such contributions not paid at the time they became payable; and are the proprietors of the colliery now entitled to deduct from current and future wages of the men any and, if so, what sums in respect of such arrears which the proprietors have been compelled to pay?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Burns)

The employers in this case have been required to pay arrears of contributions in accordance with the Umpire's decisions. So far as I am aware, the question whether these contributions were payable was not previously raised, either by the employer or by the workmen, and no statement that the contributions were not payable was made by or on behalf of the Board of Trade. As regards the last part of the question, so far as I am aware, an employer on paying up arrears of contributions is entitled to recover the workman's share thereof by deductions in reasonable instalments from the workman's wages. I should mention that this right of recovery will be considerably limited by the amending Bill now before Parliament.


If that is so, does the right hon. Gentleman realise that these men may be relieved from this pressure under the amending Bill, and can he take any steps to relieve the men at present from having to pay 39s. 2d.?


I have my doubts as to whether I have power, but I will look into it.