HC Deb 24 November 1938 vol 341 cc1910-1
2. Mr. E. Smith

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can make a statement on the arrangements that are to be made at the Employment Exchanges and the offices of the Unemployment Assistance Board during the Christmas and New Year periods; and will he take steps to minimise the inconvenience to applicants and avoid the formation of queues as far as is possible?

Mr. E. Brown

In general, Employment Exchanges and area offices of the Board in England and Wales will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, 26th and 27th December; certain offices in the north of England may also be shut on Monday, 2nd January; offices in Scotland will be closed on Monday, 26th December, and Monday, 2nd January. Payment of benefit and allowances will take place on the usual days. Posters will be exhibited some time before Christmas giving details of the arrangements. Every effort will be made by officers of the Ministry and the Board to meet the convenience of applicants for benefit and allowances, and it is hoped that if the guidance given in the posters is followed, waiting will be reduced to a minimum.

Mr. Smith

In order to assist the officials and those applying for benefit, will the Minister take steps to see that those who are in employment will be informed of the arrangements so that those who are on short time and those who desire to get in this waiting period can do so with the minimum of inconvenience?

Mr. Brown

We will do our best to put it in a suitable and convincing form.

Mr. Thorne

What about the case of a man able to find work and starting work on the Wednesday if he has not been able to sign on at the Employment Exchange on Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday?

Mr. Brown

As the hon. Member knows each manager does his best to meet the special circumstances.

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