HC Deb 28 November 1922 vol 159 cc494-5

asked the Home Secretary whether it is the intention of the Government to bring in a Bill to anend the present Workmen's Compensation Act, and, if so, when?

26 and 27. Mr. JOHN GUEST

asked the Home Secretary (1) whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce an amended Workmen's Compensation Act on the lines of the Holman Gregory Report at an early date;

(2) if he is aware that over 60 per cent, of the premiums paid to insure against workmen's compensation and employers' liability are being absorbed by the insurance and indemnity companies for profits, reserves, and working expenses, while at the same time men suffering from accidents are, owing to the amount of compensation allowed by the Act, and also to the fact that insurance companies are allowed to withhold pay as they deem desirable, being forced to make application for relief to the Poor Law guardians; and, if so, what steps he intends to take to ensure that an adequate provision shall be made for persons entitled to compensation for accident?


The question of legislation for the purpose of amending the Workmen's Compensation Act will be carefully considered by the Government, but I am not in a position to make any statement at present. I am aware of the fact to which the hon. Member calls attention, that a large proportion of the promiums paid by employers goes in expenses, and that is a point which will receive full consideration. Insurance companies have no power, as suggested in his question, to withhold compensation payments as they deem desirable.


When considering the question of compensation for injury will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of codifying all the Acts dealing with injuries to workmen and to compensation for them?


I am ready to consider that suggestion.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the present method of payment falls at the end of the year? What does he propose to do?


It will be continued.