HC Deb 03 June 1931 vol 253 cc197-8
36. Mr. McSHANE

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in all cases in which women are offered domestic employment at seaside boarding-houses, she will insist that in the offer of such employment the daily hours and the total for the week which the applicant will be expected to work shall be recorded alongside the amount of wages to be paid?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Miss Bondfield)

For all vacancies, whether in domestic service or in industry, the Employment Exchanges can only pass on information as to conditions supplied by the prospective employer, but so far as possible information is obtained which gives the applicant an opportunity of judging the conditions offered. I may remind my hon. Friend that if the applicant considers the conditions unreasonable and the employment on this account unsuitable, the procedure under the Insurance Act provides for the refusal of a vacancy to be judged by the competent authorities.


Is it not common knowledge that in this particular industry landladies have to get, within a few months, what is their annual income, and accordingly these girls are worked an undue number of hours during those days; and will the right hon. Lady insist, in that particular occupation at any rate, that the hours shall be stated on the paper as a protection, so that the girls may know whether the hours are reasonable or not?


I am doing my best to get exact information about this situation, but I cannot give what the employers do not give to us.


Is it not a fact that it is impossible for the applicants to state before the courts of referees whether the situation is or is not reasonable, because the actual hours—the fundamental point—are not stated on the paper?


It is a very difficult question, and I am giving it my careful attention.


Will the right hon. Lady undertake that where the employer will not give the information the girl shall not be recommended?

Miss LEE

If the conditions were different and worse than those stated at the Employment Exchange, would a girl be in the position of leaving the job without jeopardising her right to benefit?


I think, in most cases, certainly yes.