HC Deb 19 October 1915 vol 74 c1616

asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that employers engaged on munitions work have discharged workmen, and by withholding their leaving certificates have attempted to prevent the men getting work elsewhere; and whether, in the interests of industrial peace, he will introduce legislation to limit this power and to make it possible for the workman to bring an action for loss of time and wages in the event of the Munitions Court deciding that his certificate was unreasonably withheld?


One or two cases such as that referred to by my hon. Friend have been brought to my notice. The view which my Department has consistently expressed is that in general any employer discharging a workman should give him a certificate enabling him to obtain employment elsewhere, and I have no reason for doubting that this view is acted on as a rule. It would not, however, be possible or desirable to enact that in every case without exception an employer must give a certificate if he discharges a workman, because this would enable a workman to compel his discharge and obtain a certificate merely by misbehaviour. I have, however, noted the suggestion of my hon. Friend for consideration in the event of any amending legislation being introduced.