HC Deb 19 June 1928 vol 218 cc1582-3
28. Mr. GRUNDY

asked the Minister of Labour the dates of the statutory holidays that are allowed for the purpose of breaking the continuity of applicants for the unemployment benefit; if these statutory holiday restric- tions are applicable to all Employment Exchange areas; and if he will state the number of persons deprived of benefit by this change?


I assume the hon. Member is referring to the days which do not count as days of unemployment in the case of workers temporarily stopped from work for short periods. These are the days which are customary holidays at the particular establishment at which the workers are employed. I cannot give a list as they vary according to circumstances and it is a question of fact in each case to be decided by the statutory authorities, whether a particular day is a customary holiday in the establishment. Figures as to the numbers of persons affected are not available.


Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the customary holidays are varied in places according to the state of trade and that some offices will be working during holidays when trade demands it? Is he also aware, when he refers to the number of persons who will be affected, that there is one colliery, the Maltby colliery where 1,000 men were deprived of their pay owing to these statutory holiday customs? I think he should make the House aware of the hundreds and thousands of people who are being deprived of unemployment pay by the insertion of this provision in the 1927 Act.


May I ask whether the hon. Member is aware that in the County of Yorkshire they have an arrangement whereby 10 days during the year are recognised for many purposes as normal holidays, and will he undertake to see that holidays, apart from the recognised 10 days, will not deprive unemployed persons of their unemployed pay?


The answer to that question, and also to the supplementary question put by the hon. Member for West Riding (Mr. Grundy) is that these are questions of fact which are decided in each case by the statutory authorities and not by the Department.