§ This is really a drafting Amendment consequential upon the new Clause.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 9.10 p.m.
I beg to move, in page 4, line 35, at the beginning, to insert:If the occupier of any shop gives notice that he elects that the provisions of this sub-section shall not be applicable to that shop then, unless and until the notice is withdrawn, the said provisions shall not be applicable thereto, but as respects business carried on at any shop to which the said provisions are not so rendered inapplicable.This is a very much more complicated matter. This is the first of a series of Amendments, none of which makes sense taken by itself, and they will have to be taken together. If with your assent, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I can explain their general purport on the present Amendment, it might perhaps help to clear the situation. They would inevitably be unintelligible in a very technical Bill if taken separately. The Clause has to deal with the special case of the catering trade, which obviously, from its very nature, cannot be exactly on all fours with other sections of thedistributive trade. For the benefit of hon. Members, I would remind them how the matter in regard to overtime stands in the Bill. For the youngest section up to the age of 16 there is no possibility of overtime at all under the provisions of the first Clause. Between the ages of 16 and 18 the provisions for overtime are that there may be, with the 48-hour week—I am not complicating the matter by dealing with the temporary provision for the two years but with the Act as it will be, I hope, in its final form-50 hours during the year as the maximum, 12 hours as the weekly maximum, and also overtime can only be worked in six weeks in a year. That is the normal case.
With regard to the catering trade, the Clause at present grants two different kinds of privilege. First of all, we say that for 12 fortnights in a year, by exhibiting a notice in the shops, it is possible to average the hours of employ- 434 ment. The 48 hours, instead of being a weekly limit, becomes twice 48 hours, or 96 hours in a fortnight. The proviso there is that if they elect to have an averaging system of that kind no week can run to more than 60 hours. Therefore, if for reasons of their own business they find it necessary to employ up to 60 hours in the first week, in the second week they cannot possibly employ for more than 36 hours. In those particular fortnights-12 fortnights in a year—there can be no overtime. It is not allowed. That is the effect of the present Clause.
Secondly, under the Clause as it now stands the catering trade is exempted from the other provision of the first Clause, which is, that overtime can only be worked in six weeks. The catering trade, by the Clause as it stands, are exempt from that provision with regard to overtime. Therefore, in the remainder of the year, apart from the 12 fortnights, they can use their overtime as they like. That is the effect of the Clause as it has come down from the Committee. I hope that I have made the point clear.
The effect of all these Amendments is, first of all, that the 12 fortnights are left as they are. The trade can average to give 60 hours in one week, but they cannot employ for more than 60 hours in one week, and cannot have overtime in those fortnights. These Amendments make an alteration with regard to overtime. The condition is made that if they have exemption from the six weeks' limit., that is to say, that if they do not take the overtime in only six weeks in the year, they can take it whenever they like, but with this further proviso, that they cannot take more than eight hours overtime per fortnight. That is a very great advantage, because if you take eight hours in a normal fortnight, it means obviously 48, plus 8, equals 56 as the most that can be worked in the first week, and there cannot be any further overtime in the second week of that fortnight. [Interruption.] I am very glad that everybody has understood so far.
The second alteration which we are proposing at this stage is this, that as a condition of exemption, if you are exempt from the six weeks limit of overtime and agree to take your eight hours in a fortnight, it is only fair, in cases which we do not think will be frequent, that if the employer does 435 not want to take advantage of that he should notify the local authority and say that he will stick to the general conditions of the first Clause, and so remain under the six weeks arrangement. If he wants to opt in that way, he must give notice to the local authority. Whatever the shopkeepers do about overtime, they can still use the averaging arrangement if they like by putting up a notice in their shops. But in the 12 fortnights of which they have given notice in their shops they cannot have overtime at all. Overtime, therefore, so far as the catering trade is concerned is either confined to six weeks, or to a maximum of 12 hours in a fortnight with in either case the overriding provision of the first Clause that there must not be more than 50 hours overtime in the whole year. By giving notice they can take the overtime in six weeks, or if they like they can take it to the extent of not more than eight hours in two weeks. Under the new provisions of the Clause, as amended, it will be impossible to use up the 50 hours overtime allowed for the whole year in a less period than three months. The reason for that is that we know that the catering trade is a seasonal one and that just before the big holidays, or in holiday seasons, there is a rush, and we wish to give the maximum amount of latitude to the caterers, without infringing upon the fundamental principles of the Bill. We anticipate that the giving of notice with regard to the six weeks, which will be at the beginning of the year, should hold good for a considerable period. We do not want the giving and withdrawing of the notice to be going on all the time. The catering employers will have to give notice, and they will have to say whether they expect to use their overtime in any fortnight, or under the arrangement made in the first Clause. I do not know whether that is a sufficient explanation to start with; I hope it is. I would remind the House that none of these provisions apply to persons under the age of 16, because under the first Clause they cannot have any overtime. The provisions apply to the group between 16 and 18, and the intention is to make it as easy as possible for the catering trade to deal with the demands made on them by the public.
§ Amendment agreed to.
I beg to move, in page 4, line 40, to leave out from "and," to the end of the Subsection, and to insert:if other business is carried on in the shop the overtime employment of persons in relation to whom -this sub-section applies shall not he taken into account for the purposes of the application of the said proviso in relation to other young persons.This Amendment is an answer to the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr. Mabane). This takes the place of Subsection (7), the omission of which I shall move later. It deals with the problem of multiple shops.
§ Mr. MABANE
It appeared to me that Sub-section (7) dealt with conditions beyond overtime, and I wondered whether there was anything in the subsequent Amendment of the Government, on line 44, that would cover the provision made in Sub-section (7).
We are now dealing with the Amendment on line 40. This deals with the case when there is another business being carried on. The gist of our Amendments on this point is to get over a difficulty with regard to the word "department" which was in the Clause when it was brought down from the Committee. There was a difficulty in defining "department," and we have met the point in a way which makes it impossible for any difference of opinion to arise.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendments made: In page 4, line 44, at the end, insert:
Provided that while the provisions of this sub-section are applicable to a shop, section one of this Act shall, in relation to any young person so employed in connection with the business aforesaid, have effect as if in proviso (b) to sub-section (2) thereof there were inserted the following additional paragraph, that is to say—
(iii a) in any period of two consecutive weeks so that be is employed overtime about the business of a shop for more than eight working hours in that period.
(4) A notice given under the last foregoing sub-section with respect to any shop, and a notice withdrawing any such notice as aforesaid, shall be given in such form, in such manner, and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, to the local authority whose duty it is to enforce the foregoing provisions of this Act within the district in which the shop is situated, and any such notice shall take effect on such date after it is given as may be prescribed.
§ In page 5, line 22, leave out Subsection (7).—[Captain, Crookshank.]