HC Deb 02 April 1925 vol 182 cc1487-8
29. Mr. SEXTON

asked the Home Secretary if he has now fully considered the question of codifying all Acts of Parliament dealing with compensation for injury to workmen during their employment, the principle of which was accepted by the right hon. Member for Oswestry when acting as Home Secretary in 1923?


As I stated in reply to a previous question by the hon. Member, I appreciate the importance of securing the consolidation of the Workmen's Compensation Acts and I am not losing sight of the matter, but I am not able to say at present when it will be possible to introduce the necessary legislation.


asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that certain employers of labour, particularly colliery companies, are not employing Clause 16 of The Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923, on the ground that inability of partially incapacitated men to find work is due to the labour market and not to their incapacity, thereby depriving these men of full compensation and will he take steps to amend this Clause and so prevent a continuance of this practice?


The object of the Section in question was to help the partially recovered workman who fails to obtain work as a consequence, wholly or mainly, of his injury, by allowing his compensation to be continued on the scale for total disablement. The Section was not intended to apply, and it would, I consider, be quite wrong to apply it to cases where the workman is unable to find work by reason not of his injury but of the state of the labour market. In my opinion, that is an unemployment and not a workmen's compensation problem.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the individual partially incapacitated finds it quite impossible to prove that his unemployment is due to his incapacity, because the employers will never give him evidence to justify that plea?


I should not have thought that that was the case. If the hon. Member will give me an instance I will inquire into it.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case of nystagmus we have had to complain to the Minister of Labour, and will he consult his 'right hon. Friend on the matter?


I will gladly consult my right hon. Friend.