HC Deb 07 July 1938 vol 338 cc558-60
4. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that payment of unemployment benefit has been suspended in many cases without reference to a court of referees owing to the fact that the applicants for benefit have received their holiday payment; and what steps does he propose to take to remedy this?

Mr. E. Brown

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to claims in which the circumstances are the same as those of claims which have been selected as typical cases for decision by the courts of referees and umpire. The hon. Member will no doubt appreciate that it was not possible to deal with such cases pending a decision on the typical cases. It is the practice, as soon as such a decision has been obtained, to apply it to all the outstanding cases as rapidly as possible.

Mr. Smith

Can we be informed what was the umpire's decision on this question, in view of the ill feeling and undermining of good will that have been created?

Mr. Brown

I have another question on that specific point.

9. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can announce the Umpire's decision in the case of men receiving holiday credits on Tyneside?

12. Mr. Thorne

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can make a statement in connection with the Umpire's decision in the case of unemployment and holidays with pay?

27. Mr. Buchanan

asked the Minister of Labour whether any decision has been made on the appeals which were heard last Friday regarding benefit payable at holiday periods; and, if so, can he state the terms of that decision?

Mr. Brown

I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a copy of the decision allowing benefit which was given by the Umpire on 5th July. I should add that I propose to issue as soon as possible a memorandum summarising the various past decisions which have been given by the Umpire on this subject.

Miss Ward

Would the Minister indicate to the House whether the Umpire's decision was favourable or adverse?

Mr. Brown

I am circulating the decision, and would prefer to add nothing in general terms. As, however, this particular case was a test case, perhaps I had better give to the House the first sentence of the decision. It says: On the facts before me"— I may say that the association was the Amalgamated Engineering Union— my decision is that if the above named unemployed person had made a claim for unemployment benefit the claim would have been allowed. I want to safeguard myself against any general conclusion being drawn from that.

Mr. Thorne

I understand that that reply is in the affirmative, and that, if in future similar cases happen, they will get their usual amount of benefit.

Mr. Brown

I would prefer that hon. Members should read the rather long detailed statement.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

If any worker is in receipt of holiday pay in circumstances similar to those of the case submitted, will he have the benefit of the same decision?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps hon. Members will await my memorandum. I will make it as full as I can, and will give it to the House as soon as possible.

Following is the decision: