§ 60. Mr. Ness Edwards
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply whether he is aware that a large munition works, of which he has been informed, is closing down for 10 days, and that those employees who have been employed for less than seven months will have no holiday payment, will not be entitled to any unemployment benefit, and will be forced to apply for public assistance; and whether he has any statement to make thereon?
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. Harold Macmillan)
This works is closing down for 10 days in order that necessary maintenance work and movement of stocks may be effected. The employees of the firm who will be on holiday during this period will receive payment in accordance with the arrangements for holidays laid down for the trade to which the firm belongs. They will receive full payment if they have been for a year or more in the employment of the firm, or pro rata payment in accordance with their length of service if they have been working for the firm for less than a year. Any question of unemployment benefit is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service.
§ Mr. Edwards
May I put it to my hon. Friend that those employees who have worked for less than six months will not be entitled to any unemployment benefit at all, and would it not have been better if they could have been given some sort of work instead of being kept idle for 10 days?