HC Deb 10 March 1938 vol 332 cc2083-4
16. Mr. J. J. Davidson

asked the Minister of Labour the total number of unemployed persons in Great Britain defined as seasonal workers, in 1936 and 1937, respectively?

Mr. E. Brown

The unemployment statistics compiled by my Department do not distinguish separately persons classified as seasonal workers. During the year 1936, 12,759 claims to benefit made at Employment Exchanges in Great Britain were considered by Courts of Referees under the Anomalies (Seasonal Workers) Order; of these, 2,176 were allowed and 10,583 disallowed. During the year 1937, 12,772 claims were considered, of which 1,810 were allowed and 10,962 disallowed.

Mr. Davidson

In view of the very large proportion of disallowed cases in this category, and of the very healthy state of the Fund, would the Minister reconsider the whole position of these people who are described as seasonal workers, with a view to modifying the percentage of 75 demanded in the regulations?

Mr. Brown

The information in my possession does not lead me to take that view now. The hon. Member will recollect that two years ago I asked the committee to consider this case, and they did so. They recommended a modification, and the House made that modification, with the result that this proportion is one-third less than it was before.

Mr. R. Gibson

Is a person classed as a seasonal worker according to the work done by that person, or according to the place at which the person works?

Mr. Brown

I should prefer to see that question in precise terms on the Paper, as it is a matter of legal definition.

Mr. Gibson

May I take a specific case, and ask whether a waitress is a seasonal worker because she is a waitress, or because she works in a particular place?

Mr. Brown

It depends upon where she works?

Forward to