HC Deb 01 May 1935 vol 301 cc371-2
52. Mr. LUNN

asked the Minister of Labour if a caretaker of a miners' welfare institute or miners' baths is treated as entitled to unemployment insurance benefit in case of unemployment; and whether such cases have been considered by the statutory committee and a recommendation made thereon?


Broadly speaking, persons engaged in looking after miners' welfare institutes or miners' baths are regarded, in accordance with judgments given by the High Court, as being employed in domestic service and, therefore, not insurable where they are not employed in a business carried on for the purposes of gain. Both these employments, however, are among those with regard to which inquiries are proceeding with a view to the submission of a draft regulation to the statutory committee under Section 2 of last year's Act for the inclusion within the scope of the scheme of certain workers now excepted.


Can the hon. Gentleman say when he is likely to have a report from the statutory committee on this question, which the hon. Gentleman promised some time ago should be considered by them; and, further, whether a man who is paying his contributions to the Unemployment Fund is entitled to have them refunded when he is not entitled to benefit?


I think the answer to the last part of the question is "Yes." With regard to the first part of the question, I am afraid I cannot give any definite reply. As the hon. Member knows, the statutory committee have to deal with many important matters, including the question of seasonal workers, but I hope that they will get on with this matter at a fairly early date.


May I ask the hon. Gentleman to remind the statutory committee that the House was very anxious at the time of the passing of the Bill to have this question definitely settled and agreed to leave this rather small question to the statutory committee on the understanding that they would give it sympathetic consideration?


The hon. Member knows as well as I do that, although it looks simple, it is really a very complicated matter indeed when you come to try and find who does or does not come within the scope of this payment, and we shall seek a decision as early as possible.