HC Deb 18 February 1937 vol 320 cc1337-8
22. Mr. Wells

asked the Minister of Labour whether in the view of his advisers, an agricultural worker is insured against unemployment in accordance with the work he does or whether his insurance is dependent upon the person for whom he works?

Mr. Brown

This is a matter for legal interpretation in each case, such interpretation being governed in particular by the provision of Section 4 (2) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1935, as amended by the Fifth Schedule to the Unemployment Insurance (Agriculture) Act, 1936, that: In determining any question as to whether any occupation in which a person is or has been employed, is or was insurable employment, or is or was employment in agriculture regard shall be had to the nature of the work on which he is or was employed, rather than to the business of the person by whom he is or was employed. I am advised, however, that where the employer of a worker who performs work of an agricultural nature is not himself engaged in agriculture, the nature of the employer's business may become an important consideration.

Mr. Wells

Is my right hon. Friend aware that an agricultural worker who does agricultural work on an estate is not accepted for unemployment insurance?

Mr. Brown

I would not like to accept that generally, but if my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind, perhaps he will bring it to my notice. It is really a matter for legal interpretation in each case.

Mr. Thorne

Should it not be the Minister of Labour's duty to bring everybody he can under the Insurance Act?

Mr. Brown

I have already brought in several Measures to do that during the last two or three years.