HC Deb 20 December 1916 vol 88 cc1455-6

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Proclamation declaring two days' extra holiday at Christmas will apply only to those working in controlled establishments or is it intended to apply to all trades and occupations; and, if so, will he state who is to recompense the workpeople for the time so lost?


asked the Prime Minister whether the Proclamation that before the 1st March next holidays are to be granted in lieu of those postponed makes it compulsory on all employers to close down their works; if so, whether these holidays to be granted must be paid for where it is customary in the trade to pay for the holidays which were postponed; and whether, in cases where it is not the custom to pay for holidays, it is to be left to the option of the workpeople whether or not they will take the holidays offered?


The Proclamation of the 13th December does not declare two days' extra holiday at Christmas, but directs that all classes of employés who, by reason of the Proclamations postponing the Whitsun and August Bank Holidays, were deprived of holidays to which they were entitled, shall be given equivalent holidays before the 1st March next. The Proclamation applies to all trades and occupations except those specifically excluded.

As these holidays are to be granted in lieu of the postponed holidays, it follows that the holidays to be granted should be paid for where the employe would have been entitled to be paid for the holidays which were postponed. If the postponed holidays would not have been paid for, no loss has been caused to the employé by the postponement, and no question of compensation arises.

Employers are not authorised by the Proclamation to contract out of its requirements, and in the interest of the health and efficiency of the workers it is undesirable that any such authority should be given.