HC Deb 11 November 1937 vol 328 cc1821-3
10. Mr. Riley

asked the Minister of Labour when he expects to present the report of the Departmental Committee of inquiry into the question of annual holidays with pay?

Mr. E. Brown

The Committee, under the chairmanship of Lord Amulree, which is inquiring into this matter, has some important evidence still to hear, and will, I am sure, report to me at the earliest possible date.

Mr. Riley

Does the right hon. Gentleman expect that we shall have the report of the Committee by next spring?

Mr. Brown

I understand that the closing date for the ordinary evidence has been fixed at 17th November. I believe that supplementary evidence can be heard on 1st December from the Trades Union Congress and the Ministry of Labour on specific points. Then I understand that the hearing of evidence will be completed.

11. Mr. Riley

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent annual holidays with pay obtain throughout German industry and the average duration of such annual holidays?

Mr. Brown

Regulations issued in Germany under the Regulation of Labour Act of 1934 provide for annual holidays with pay for workers employed in industrial undertakings covered by those regulations, and I understand that provision for paid holidays is also generally made in the case of employes in other industrial undertakings. I am not in possession of statistics which would enable me to state their average duration, but the available information indicates that, as a general rule, six working days' holiday are granted after one year's service, and that in the majority of cases the length of the holiday is gradually increased, according to length of service, up to a maximum of eight to 15 days.

Mr. Riley

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the International Labour Office have reported that the number of workers who now receive holidays with pay in Germany is double that in any other country, and that they also claim that the average duration of the holidays is longer?

Mr. Brown

In a supplementary answer I cannot, of course, verify figures of that kind, but I would point out that the International Labour Office statistics are produced on the basis of facts reported by the Government of the day. The hon. Member will understand that the facts we report are those reported to us as a result of collective agreements. The evidence taken before the Amulree Committee already shows that in a large number of industries which have previously not had collective agreements, there are now holidays with pay.

Sir Assheton Pownall

Is it not also the case that the pay in Germany is appreciably lower than in this country?

Mr. Lunn

Is it not a fact that 22 other countries, not including our own, do give holidays with pay to their workers?

Mr. Brown

There is a very large field in this country in which holidays with pay are now the rule. I am happy to say that in recent months, since the Committee has been sitting, the field has been growing.

Mr. Benjamin Smith

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to give us returns of the countries giving holidays with pay —

Sir A. Pownall

And the amount of wages.

Mr. Smith:—and

the amount of wages, so that we may be informed of the position?

Mr. Brown

I am not in a position to get statistics such as those of the International Labour Office, but only in respect of this country. The committee now sitting will have formulated the largest available body of information, and the nearest to accuracy that there is, as to the number of industries where this is in force.

Mr. E. Smith

May I ask whether the workers in Germany —

Mr. Speaker

I must remind hon. Members that there are other questions on the Paper.