HC Deb 19 December 1921 vol 149 c383

asked the Minister of Labour whether certain railway companies in England and Scotland have so far declined to apply for certificates of exception from the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Acts; whether, as a result, permanent railway servants of certain grades employed by such companies are, on discharge, disqualified from receiving benefit either from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, although they have contributed to it, or from the funds of the railway companies; and if he proposes to take any steps to remove the hardship complained of in the case of such men?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Dr. Macnamara)

Save in two cases, all the principal railway companies in Great Britain have given or confirmed the necessary declaration as to the permanent nature of the employment of the railway servants in question, and certificates of exception have been or are about to be issued. I am still hopeful that the two companies referred to may find it possible to come into line with the others, but as long as the question of exception is outstanding, that is, until it has been decided whether the employés are or are not insurable, it is clearly not possible to pay benefit. As soon as the question of exception is definitely settled the contributions paid will either be available for benefit or will be refunded in accordance with any certificate issued.