§ 82 and 84. Mr. GROVES
asked the Postmaster-General (1) whether his attention has been called to the growing discontent among the auxiliary postmen, as owing to the increased degree of illness during the winter through influenza the loss of wages has been serious; and whether he will consider a scheme for the incorporation of these men within a scheme for payment of time necessarily lost through illness;
(2) whether his Department possesses rules and regulations whereby auxiliary postmen of five to ten years' satisfactory service can have the benefit of the sick leave, holiday and pension concessions general to the postal service; and, if not, will he consider the possibility of framing a scheme whereby such men can be included?
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir William Mitchell-Thomson)
Auxiliary postmen are employed on part-time duties only; and their daily hours of duty vary considerably in individual cases. As a rule their employment in the Post Office is not their only occupation, but where their daily work for the Post Office is sufficiently long to be regarded as their principal source of livelihood, they are fully insured under the Insurance Acts, and, when sick, draw the benefit provided under these Acts. All auxiliary postmen are allowed two weeks' holiday with pay annually. These officers are unestablished; and they are not, therefore, entitled to the privileges—including pension—enjoyed by established officers; but while their service is not pensionable under the Pensions Acts, there is no age limit to their service so long as they remain fit to perform their work. I am not aware that there has been any marked increase in the amount of illness among members of this class, but, in any case, the institution of a scheme on the lines suggested by the hon. Member would, I fear, be impracticable.
§ Mr. GROVES
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the possibility in the future of arranging that these men are employed on full time, thus bringing them under the beneficent scheme which he has indicated.
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
In many cases it is a great advantage that he should have some other occupation.
§ 83. Mr. GROVES
asked the Postmaster-General the number of auxiliary postmen employed in the country; at what age the services of such men are dispensed with; what is the number of hours worked per day; whether the period so worked is continuous or a split period; and the wages per hour?
§ Sir W. MITCHELL-THOMSON
The number of auxiliary postmen employed in Great Britain and Northern Ireland is approximately 11,000. There is no fixed age at which their services are dispensed with. The hours of work range from two to six per day, and may be performed either as a continuous duty or in split periods. The wages, including bonus, range from about 1s. 3¼d. to 10¾d. an hour according to length of service and locality of employment.