HC Deb 21 May 1914 vol 62 cc2125-6
74. Mr. LANE-FOX

asked whether girls are employed at a wage of 5s. a week in the Post Office; if so, whether this is whole-time employment, and up to what age is it given?


The starting pay of female learners in the provinces is 5s. a week, but wages above this figure are given when the first qualifying standard is reached and at later stages. The hours of duty are forty-two a week. The limits of age for entry to the class are fifteen to eighteen, and on or before the completion of two years' service every learner, if satisfactory in all respects, is offered an established appointment. Girl probationers also in some cases start at 5s., but increases are given after one year's service. The limits of age for entry are fourteen to sixteen, and all girl probationers who give satisfaction and can obtain a Civil Service certificate are eligible for the situation of telephonist or some other permanent employment in the Post Office after they have reached the age of sixteen and are given permanent employment before they reach nineteen years of age.


Is it a fact that girls up to the age of sixteen are taken on by the Post Office at the rate of 5s. a week?


If they are taken on at that age they are taken on as persons with no knowledge at all about the business, and are practically apprentices.


What is the next step in wages?


There are too many scales to carry in one's head. If the hon. Member will put a question I will answer it.


How many of these girls are there at this particular wage?


I could not say without notice.


Can the Postmaster-General explain the astonishment of hon. Members opposite on finding that wages are now being paid in the Postal Service which are higher than the wages paid when they were in office?