HC Deb 10 June 1943 vol 390 cc819-20
4. Mr. Viant

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a statement on the effects of the judgment of a divisional court in Hodge versus Ultra Electric, Limited?

Mr. Bevin

I am informed that this judgment has been interpreted in some quarters as meaning that an employer who has been directed under the Essential Work Order to reinstate a worker is not legally bound to do more than to restore the worker to his pay-roll at the same rate of wages as hitherto, without putting him back on the same work or even giving him any work at all. I am advised that this is a misinterpretation of the judgment and that the employer in such circumstances is bound, if possible, to restore the worker to the position held before his dismissal where he will do the same work on the same terms and conditions. It is only where the employer can show, that this is not possible that mere restoration of wages is a sufficient compliance with the direction. In such a case, moreover, there would be prima facie ground for supposing that there was a redundancy of workers in the establishment, and the course I would normally adopt would be to arrange for a suitable reduction so that work as well as wages might be found for the worker whose reinstatement had been directed.

Sir Granville Gibson

In a case such as the one referred to is the employer called upon to pay wages during the period from the dismissal to the reinstatement?

Mr. Bevin

Yes, Sir, that is the order.

Mr. S. O. Davies

Is my right hon. Friend taking steps to implement his opinion as to the real significance of this important judgment?

Mr. Bevin

Yes, Sir.