HC Deb 25 January 1945 vol 407 cc949-50
42. Mr. Foster

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that workers in industry when off sick for one day or more have to pay for medical certificates to take to their employers, to conform to the provisions in the Essential Work Orders relating to absenteeism; and whether he will arrange for such certificates to be obtained free under the National Health Insurance Acts.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Willink)

I understand that employers do not usually require medical certificates in respect of absence from work not exceeding two days, but in any case I have no power to require the granting of free medical certificates under the National Health Insurance Acts except for the purposes of those Acts.

Mr. Foster

If that is the case, could not the Minister take some other action, so that these workers can be relieved of this charge for certificates? It has been a great hardship in some cases where they receive only 18s. a week from National Health Insurance.

Mr. Willink

The information I have received, as my hon. Friend will be aware from my original answer, is that this is an uncommon occurrence. But we are taking steps to deal with the matter in our new proposals.

Mr. Tom Brown

Is the Minister aware that this sum is an additional payment to the 9s. already paid? Is it not the height of meanness to charge extra above the 9s.?

Dr. Edith Summerskill

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that most employers require a certificate even if the employee is away only for half a day?