§ 69. Mr. G. Strauss
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the Treasury regulation, whereby a civil servant falling temporarily ill before he or she has completed six months' service receives no pay for the period of absence, causes serious hardship on women censorship examiners and others, under present conditions, when they have to live away from home and are unable to pay for their board and lodging during their temporary illness; and whether he will take steps to modify these regulations at least for the period of the war?
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)
I am aware of the regulation to which the hon. Member refers, but I do not think it unreasonable to require a temporary employee to serve a qualifying period before becoming eligible for paid sick leave. I would remind the hon. Member that temporary employees receiving not more than £250 per annum, among whom the examiners in the Postal and Telegraph Censorship 175 are included, are compulsorily insured under the National Health Insurance Acts, and are accordingly entitled to sickness benefit, subject to fulfilment of the statutory conditions.
§ Mr. Strauss
Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not realise the hardship suffered by, say, a censorship clerk who has been only five months in the service and is ill for three weeks and during that period is unable to claim board and lodging although she has been sent away to a distant town? The health insurance scheme does not cover that position.
§ Mr. Grenvil Hall
Will my right hon. and gallant Friend ask the Minister to look into this state of affairs, because this is a real hardship?
§ Captain Crookshank
I think it was reasonable and proper, as I said in my reply, that there should be a qualifying period before sick leave is granted, among other reasons because there is no medical test before the engagement of temporary employees.