HC Deb 26 March 1936 vol 310 cc1400-1

asked the Minister of Health what grants, rates of pay, and allowances are given to blind men working in St. Helens, Lancashire, workshop; what is the difference in these grants, etc., to men making potato hampers as distinct from other baskets; and whether there is a county rate, etc., differing from those paid in St. Helens?


I am sending the hon. Member a statement setting out the payments which I understand the St. Helens and District Society for the Welfare of the Blind undertake to make to blind persons employed in their workshop. The statement shows that there is a special provision for hampers, etc., made in brown willow, which include potato hampers. The rates of payment in this workshop are the same whether the persons employed ate ordinarily resident in the borough or in the county. I am informed that there is no general county scale of payment.

51. Sir R. YOUNG

asked the Minister of Health whether blind persons who are employed in workshops under county or burgh control pay for national health and unemployment insurance; whether home workers also pay for the same insurances; and, if not, will he state for what reason?


The conditions under which blind persons are provided with work vary widely and I should be glad if the hon. Member would send me details of any particular cases he may have in mind. Blind persons employed in workshops are usually employed under a contract of service and, if so, are insurable both for health and pensions and for unemployment; those employed as out-workers but not under contract of service are insurable for health and pensions but not for unemployment; while those who themselves sell the completed work, with or without help from a marketing scheme, are in the position of traders and are not normally insurable under either scheme.

55. Sir R. YOUNG

asked the Minister of Health whether blind persons employed in workshops controlled by the boroughs and county authorities of Lancashire pay for national health and unemployment insurance benefits; whether this is compulsory for such workers in all cases; whether such persons, if unable to attend the workshops through sickness or bad weather have deductions made from their pay or grants; and, if so, are these deductions made for single days and what is the amount so deducted?


Blind persons employed in workshops under a contract of service are compulsorily insurable for health and unemployment. The question of payment for periods of temporary absence depends on the rules of the particular workshop. If the hon. Member will inform me of any case he has in mind I shall be happy to make inquiries.