HC Deb 22 January 1941 vol 368 cc183-4
80. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Minister of Labour whether in any cases he takes action to prevent firms employing workers over 65 years of age from paying standard wages less the amount of such workers' old age pensions; and whether, in the case of firms working directly or indirectly for the Government, it can be made clear that such pensions are payments for the pensioners and not subsidies to the firms?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Assheton)

My right hon. Friend has no reason to suppose that a practice of the kind to which my hon. Friend refers is at all general, but he will be glad to inquire into any specific cases brought to his notice. It would be contrary to the Fair Wages Clause to pay less than the appropriate rate of wages simply because a man is drawing an old-age pension.

Mr. Woodburn

I take it then that the Minister disapproves of certain events which have occurred where an employer refuses to employ a man over 65 unless he sacrifices his 10s. pension?

Mr. Assheton

I should like to look into the case before I give an answer.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Is not the Minister aware of many employers who, knowing that a man is 65 years of age and about to draw the pension, say that he may continue at work if he draws less wages? It is done all over the country.

Mr. Assheton

I have already said that my right hon. Friend will be glad to inquire into any specific case.

Mr. Griffiths

I should have thought that you would have known of that long ago.