§ PART II.
§ EXCEPTED EMPLOYMENTS.
- (a) Employment in agriculture, including horticulture and forestry.
- (b) Employment in domestic service, except where the employed person is employed in any trade for the purposes of gain.
- (c) Employment in the naval, military, or air service of the Crown, including service in officers' training corps, except as otherwise provided in this Act.
- (d) Employment under any local or other public authority, or in a police force, or in the service of any railway company, or a joint committee of two or more such companies, or of any other public company engaged in a statutory undertaking, where the Minister certifies that the employed person is not subject to dismissal except for misconduct or for neglect in the performance of or unfitness to perform his duties, and that the terms and conditions on which the employed person is engaged make it unnecessary that he should be insured under this Act.
- (e) Employment as a teacher to whom the School Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1918, or the scheme under the Education (Scotland) (Superannuation) Act, 1919, or the National School Teachers (Ireland) Act, 1879, applies, or, in the event of any similar enactment being hereafter passed as respects teachers or any class of teachers (other than teachers in public elementary schools), as a teacher to whom such enactment applies.
- (f) Employment as a teacher in a public elementary (or similar) school at any time after the person employed has undergone an examination in order to qualify for the position of a certificated teacher in such a school, and employment as a pupil or student teacher, junior student or monitor in such school.
- (g) Employment as an agent paid by commission or fees or a share in the profits, or partly in one and partly in another such ways, where the person so employed is mainly dependent for his livelihood on his earnings from some other occupation, or where he is ordinarily employed as such agent by more than one employer, and his employment under no one of such employers is that on which he is mainly dependent for his livelihood.
- (h) Employment otherwise than by way of manual labour and at a rate of remuneration exceeding in value two hundred and fifty pounds a year, or in cases where such employment involves part-time service only, at a rate of remuneration which, in the opinion of the Minister is equivalent to a rate of remuneration exceeding two hundred
1897 and fifty pounds a year for whole-time service.
- (i) Employment of a casual nature otherwise than for the purposes of the employer's trade or business, and otherwise than for the purposes of any game or recreation where the persons employed are engaged or paid through a club, and in such case the club shall be deemed to be the employer.
- (j) Employment of any class which may be specified in a special order made by the Minister, or in a special order made under the National Insurance (Health) Acts, 1911 to 1919, and declared by the Minister to apply for the purposes of this Act, as being of such a nature that it is ordinarily adopted as subsidiary employment only and not as the principal means of livelihood.
- (k) Employment as a member of the crew of a fishing vessel where the employed person is wholly remunerated by a share in the profits or the gross earnings of the working of the vessel.
- (l) Employment in the service of the husband or wife of the employed person.
- (m) Employment in respect of which no wages or other money payment is made, where the person employed is the child of, or is maintained by, the employer.
§ Mr. W. SMITH
I beg to move, in Part II, to leave out paragraph (a).
This relates to a point I raised on the Second Reading when I asked for some reason why agriculture was excluded from the Bill. I regret that I was not able to raise the point in Committee. After all this is a Measure which is calculated to meet the necessities of work-people when they are unemployed and I cannot conceive how the necessity of people who are out of work connected with the industry of agriculture can be any different from those in other trades, sufficiently at any rate to warrant them being excluded from the provisions of the Bill. I do not know whether the Minister is of the impression that agriculture is an industry to which unemployment does not have the same application as to others. If so, I should like to draw his attention to the fact that in the last year or so there has been a considerable change in that respect. At the present moment in some areas there are very large numbers of agricultural workers out of employment. The position of these men, some of whom are married, with families dependent upon them, is very serious, having regard to the present cost of living, and if the tendency in future is to be that discharges are to take place from firms I seriously suggest that the agricultural workers have 1898 some claim for consideration from the Government in this respect. I have not been able to ascertain the real reason why they have been excluded unless it is that the Government consider that there is not sufficient unemployment in that industry to warrant including them. That is a circumstance which has changed very rapidly during the last year or so and many of the men are very anxious that the provisions of this Bill should be applied to them I am connected with one of the organisations which deals with this class of labour, and we have endeavoured to get the opinions of our members on the point, with the result that we have had communications from our branches, in which the men profess a desire to come under this Bill. At a conference, while there was not complete unanimity, a resolution was carried asking that the industry should be included. That being so, it may present a different aspect of the situation from what was present to the right hon. Gentleman's mind when he gave this matter previous consideration. Can he give any indication whether the industry is likely to be brought within the scope of the Bill at the present time or is anything contemplated later on?
§ Mr. ROYCE
I beg to second the Amendment.
I would draw attention to the fact that there is a seasonal period of unemployment, especially as regards women employed in agriculture, and I think the industry is of sufficient importance to receive the serious consideration of the Minister in this connection. The pay of the ordinary agricultural labourer is very small compared with the pay in other industries, and, consequently, during a period of unemployment the suffering is very great, and anything that the State can do to mitigate that suffering will be of great benefit to the people of this country.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The effect of this Amendment may be to increase the charge upon the State. If half a million persons employed in agriculture be added, it means that the State has to pay one-third of the contributions of the added employers and the employed. Is not that so?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I will deal with that point. The State contribution is fixed, and the only way that this can be dealt with would be by increasing the 1899 contributions from the employed person and the employer, if it were necessary to increase the sums because the numbers had to be bigger. There would be no other way. On the merits of the case, we have excluded from the main scope of the Bill two large classes of the industrial population—the agricultural worker and the domestic servant.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The Memorandum says that the State will contribute one-third of the combined contributions of employers and workmen. If you include agricultural labourers, you will raise the subscription on the people employed and on the employers. Therefore, it will make the contributions of employers and insured people larger, and the contribution of the State will be increased.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
This Memorandum was the Memorandum affixed to the original copy of the Bill. The Bill has been seriously modified upstairs, and the rate of contribution has been altered. There have been a series of changes adjusting the position to the altered rate of contribution, and there is no additional charge under the financial resolution. If there were it would have to be met by still further increasing the contribution from employers and employed.
Is not all that the financial resolution does simply to fix the proportion which the State must contribute? Surely we cannot bind the number of people coming in under this Bill. That must fluctuate according to the industry, and the fact that we bring in a new industry does not touch the financial resolution. Also an industry might increase in numbers.
Does not the Bill give power to the Ministry by Order in Council to bring in the excluded industries?
Then the Bill already takes power to include these classes of workmen within its operation?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I intended to say that I could not possibly accept this Resolution to-day, but under Clause 4 power is given to the Ministry of Labour to effect the inclusion of excluded industries by Order made with the approval of the Treasury, and laid before Parliament for 20 days, if it seem expedient to do that later.
§ Major Sir P. LLOYD-GREAME
In the discussion on the Financial Resolution the hon. Member for Wood Green (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson) moved to have a definite limitation to the amount. If the limitations suggested by the hon. Member were accepted, it might make it impossible to include this large class in the Bill. The President of the Board of Trade, then Minister of Labour, stated that the financial Resolution must be wide enough to cover the possible inclusion of these other trades.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
This would appear to involve an increase in the charge which would fall upon the Exchequer, and if so we cannot deal with it on the Report stage. I do not say that it could not be dealt with in Committee. It might well be within the terms of the Financial Resolution. if it were within the terms of the Financial Resolution, the Committee could deal with it as they pleased, but on Report we cannot increase the charge.
§ Amendment made: In Part II, paragraph (b), after the word "trade" insert the words "or business carried on."—[Dr. Macnamara.]
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I beg to move, in Part II, paragraph (d), to leave out the words "of any other public company engaged in a statutory undertaking," and to insert instead thereof(iv) in the service of any public utility company, that is to say, any company carrying on any undertaking for the supply of gas, water, hydraulic power or electricity, any dock undertaking, or any tramway undertaking, including a light railway constructed wholly or mainly on a public road; or(v) in which the persons employed are entitled to rights in a superannuation fund established by or in pursuance of an Act of Parliament for the benefit of persons in that employment.This, I think, is as practicable a course as we can pursue in regard to the rather difficult question of how far people may be excluded who have statutory rights to a pension fund or who are "established." A great deal of thought was given to this in Committee upstairs, and this is the result of our final consideration.
This Amendment makes an addition to excepted employments. Is the effect of the words following (iv) to take all gas workers out of the Bill?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Not all gas workers. The words which will follow the Amendment—"where the Minister certifies that the employed person is not subject to dismissal," etc.—govern the whole thing.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir A. WARREN
I beg to move, in Part II, at the end of paragraph (d), to insert the words, "or where the employed person is employed under a local or other public authority otherwise than by way of manual labour."
I am hopeful that the Minister of Labour will accept this Amendment. I have behind me the authority of the Urban District Councils' Association and that of the National Association of Local Government Officials. They are very anxious that exceptions shall be made in respect of those employés, other than maunal workers, who at the moment do not happen to possess a superannuation fund. They are under the impression, and I hope rightly so, that at an early date the Minister of Health may introduce a Bill dealing with the superannuation of persons employed under local authorities in accordance with the recommendations of a Departmental Committee. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to accept this Amendment which will in no way increase the charge and will meet the case of a very deserving and excellent body of people.
§ Mr. A. WILLIAMS
I beg to second the Amendment.
It might be thought that the Clause as amended in the Committee would cover the point, but it does not really do so. In paragraph (d) it is statedWhere the Minister certifies that the employed person is not subject to dismissal except for misconduct or for neglect in the performance of or unfitness to perform his duties, and that the terms and conditions on which the employed person is engaged make it unnecessary that he should be insured under this Act.The case of the employés of municipal bodies is that, technically, they are subject to dismissal, but that really they are not and they enjoy permanent occupation. They very naturally under those circumstances object to paying contributions for benefits which they will never enjoy. Parliament in the Public Health Act of 1875 thought it wise to provide that every officer and servant appointed under that Act "shall be removable by the 1902 urban authority at their pleasure." That stands, although the cases in which they are removed are rare. If the Amendment is not accepted they will be compelled to pay for benefits which they will not receive. If the Minister would simply certify that the terms and conditions on which the employed person was engaged made it unnecessary that he should be insured we should be quite content, because we are quite certain we could satisfy the Minister that it is not necessary.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
All the representations of the National Joint Council, the Association of Municipal Corporations, and the National Association of Local Government Workers, were prior to the Amendments which were made in Committee. The effect of the Amendment in Committee to paragraph (d) was to substitute, for the requirement that in order to be excepted from the provisions of the Bill, an employé of a local or other public authority must be entitled to rights in a statutory superannuation fund, the requirement that the employé should not be subject to dismissal except for misconduct, neglect of duties, or unfitness to perform them. The paragraph will in practice exempt from insurance the great majority of the non-manual employés, and therefore there is no need to press this Amendment. As a matter of fact, the Amendment would at once exempt from insurance persons employed by local or other public authorities, otherwise than in manual labour, for instance, on temporary work, and should we do not make provision for them?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I do not think so, and it would not do for me to except persons who are not in established positions, and who can be dismissed, and although they have not been dismissed, and may not be dismissed, still might be dismissed. Therefore, I have to safeguard such persons.
§ Mr. W. R. SMITH
There has been a lot of work pressed upon local authorities by this House in recent years, such, for instance, as that connected with food contral, which has necessitated the employment of large temporary staffs who will ultimately be dispensed with, and unless they are protected while in employment, their position afterwards will be very diffi- 1903 cult. Again, local authorities in establishing the machinery to work the new duties that are frequently imposed upon them have to engage temporary clerks, and I am sure it is not desired that men taken on temporarily should not be safeguarded and should be prevented altogether from being able to enjoy the privileges of the Act.
Mr. T. THOMSON
I think we shall all agree that the Amendment as framed goes much further than possibly the mover and seconder intended. At the same time, I should like to ask if the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied under the Clause as it stands that what are called the permanent staff of municipal authorities are excluded, because it is the opinion of the local authorities themselves that their permanent staff are not excluded. I understand it is the right hon. Gentleman's intention that they should be excluded, and if he can take further counsel with the local authorities T am sure it will be appreciated.
§ Mr. G. THORNE
I should like to support that appeal. I gathered a moment or two ago that the right hon. Gentleman had received communications from the Corporations' Association. I do not know whether that appeal is satisfied by what he has said, but if he will take steps to see it is satisfied, I think it will meet with the desire of the House.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I beg to move, in Part II., paragraph (e), to leave out the words, "to whom the School Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1918, or," and to insert instead thereof the wordsof any person who is in recognised service within the meaning of the School Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1918, or in a capacity which, if that person were under the age of sixty-five years, would be such recognised service, or employment as a teacher to whom.This is an Amendment excepting those teachers in England over 65 years of ago whose superannuation rights under the Act of 1918 are temporarily suspended during the period of temporary employment, and in my next Amendment the words, ("other than teachers in public elementary schools") are to be omitted as having no application under present circumstances.
§ Amendment agreed to.1904
§ Further Amendment made: In Part II., paragraph (e), leave out the words, ("other than teachers in public elementary schools").—[Dr. Macnamara.]
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I beg to move, in Part II., paragraph (f), to leave out the words "public elementary (or similar) school," and to insert instead thereof the words "in a State-aided school in Scotland."
§ This and the next Amendment are necessary to secure the necessary adaptation of the provision to Scotland and Ireland.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In Part II., paragraph (f), leave out the words "in such a school, and employment as a pupil or student teacher, junior student or monitor in such school," and insert instead thereof the words
and before the announcement of the result of the examination, and employment as a junior student in such a school, and employment in a public elementary school in England as a pupil or student teacher or in a national school in Ireland as a monitor."—[Dr. Macnamara.]