§ 63. Mr. Vernon Bartlett
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to what extent information in his possession corresponds with the common experience of medical practitioners that there has recently been an increase of illness among women civil servants due to fatigue; and whether he would be prepared to authorise heads of Departments to exercise discretion in suitable cases for the reduction of hours in modification of instructions given at a time when the national crisis was in its most acute stage.
§ Mr. Assheton
Owing to shortage of staff, complete annual sick rate returns for the Civil Service are not available. Such information as I have shows definite increase in sick absence over pre-war rates, and on the whole greater increase for women than for men; but the increase varies in different sections and localities, and is not, overall, very great. Heads of Departments have discretion in regard to hours, but, in view of the acute and increasing man-power shortage, they are not able to reduce hours generally.