§ 5. Mr. LEWIS
asked the Minister of Labour if he will exercise his powers under Section 1 of the Unemployment Insurance (No. 3) Act, 1931, so to amend the regulations that he has made dealing with seasonal workers as to ensure that where an applicant for benefit can show that he was formerly employed in an insurable occupation of a non-seasonal character, that he only accepted seasonal work because he could not obtain work in his former occupation and that he is still capable of and willing to work at his former occupation, he shall not be deprived of benefit merely because during the past two years immediately preceding the date of his application he has been unable to obtain insurable employment during the off-season?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. R. S. Hudson)
The point raised by this question was recently considered by my right hon. Friend and by the advisory committee to which draft amending regulations, including an amendment relating to seasonal workers, were referred. This amendment was approved by the committee and was included in the Regulations made on 21st August last. The committee in paragraph 4 of their report (Cmd. 4407) suggested that a close watch should be kept on the position and this will be done, but my right hon. Friend does not think that there is any ground for further amending the Regulations at present.
§ Mr. LEWIS
Will my hon. Friend ask the Minister of Labour to consider this matter carefully between now and the Committee stage of the Unemployment Bill, so that some practical suggestions can be put forward then for the amendment of those Regulations and he will be in a position to consider them?
§ 6. Mr. LENNOX-BOYD
asked the Minister of Labour the number of seasonal workers who have this year exempted themselves from the operation of the unemployment insurance scheme by notifying their Employment Exchanges that they wish to be regarded as seasonal workers, and therefore not have to contribute to the fund?
§ Mr. HUDSON
The total number of certificates of exemption now current held by seasonal workers is 1,527 of which 540 have been issued since 31st December, 1932. I should perhaps add that it is not sufficient for a person to notify the Exchange that he wishes to be regarded as a seasonal worker. He must satisfy the conditions for a certificate of exemption and must actually obtain such a certificate. Particulars are given in leaflet U.I.L. 7 of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.