HC Deb 20 November 1941 vol 376 c429
6. Mr. McNeil

asked the Minister of Labour whom it is intended to make responsible for wages lost when, as in a recent Clydeside case, an employee is wrongly dismissed, wins his appeal under the machinery of the Essential Work Order and is reinstated after being unemployed for two weeks?

Mr. Tomlinson

There is at present no power under the Essential Work Order to require payment by the employer of wages so lost. The question whether such power can or should be sought is at present being considered. I should add that the workman may have a right of action for wrongful dismissal quite apart from the Order.

Mr. McNeil

Does not my hon. Friend agree that under this Order men have a right to receive payment of wages not as a charity but as a payment from their employers?

Mr. Tomlinson

Although there are no powers, up to the present I know of no case where payment has been withheld.

Mr. Neil Maclean

Is it not putting a costly onus on the employee who finds he has been wrongfully dismissed to bring an action against his employer? Under the Essential Work Order ought not the position to be that the employer cannot dismiss the employee and the employee cannot leave his employment?

Mr. Tomlinson

That is the position which has been borne out in practice, but there is no power under the Order.