HC Deb 28 January 1947 vol 432 cc741-3
9. Mr. William Shepherd

asked the Minister of Labour what steps are taken by his Department to ensure that establishments employ the statutory percentage of disabled men.

Mr. Isaacs

The attention of all employers who are subject to the Quota Scheme is being drawn to their obligations, and this is being followed up as necessary by an inspection of their records. If this should disclose any deliberate non-compliance, the full powers of the Act will be used to secure enforcement, including, if necessary, the institution of legal proceedings.

Mr. Shepherd

As many employers are not conscious of their present obligations, despite the efforts of the Ministry, could not a return be sent to the Ministry showing how many of these men there are in a given area?

Mr. Isaacs

I think we have a shorter way of dealing with it than that. We have conferences with the employers in the various areas round the employment exchanges. The employers come in, and we find them very co-operative.

Mr. Warbey

Is the Minister aware that, owing to the fact that the quota is only 3 per cent., whereas many firms are employing 5 per cent. or more, many of the disabled unemployed get no benefit from the Act at present, and can he take steps to raise the quota to a higher level?

Mr. Isaacs

On the question of raising the quota, some consideration is being given to that. The fact is that some firms are employing as many as 16 per cent. of disabled 'persons. I may mention one example. If hon. Members took the trouble to look at an exhibition in Oxford Street, they would find that there is a famous motor firm with a department completely staffed by disabled men. The question of the quota is under consideration, but there are difficulties about it.

12. Mr. David Renton

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that many disabled persons, who have successfully completed courses of training under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944, have had to wait several months before employment has been found for them; what is the reason for such delays; and what steps are being taken to reduce the period of waiting.

Mr. Isaacs

Every effort is made to find employment for all trainees, and especially disabled trainees, on the completion of their courses at Government training centres, and, on the whole, these efforts are very successful. I am aware that, in particular cases, delays may occur owing to exceptional circumstances, such as a temporary shortage of materials in a particular area, or the fact that no employment can be found at once near the trainee's Home, and he is unwilling to take work elsewhere. If the hon. Member will let me have particulars of any cases he has in mind, I shall be glad to look into them.

15. Mr. Bernard Taylor

asked the Minister of Labour the nmber of persons registered as disabled to December, 1946; how many have been accepted for training; the number in training centres; and the number placed in new forms of employment.

Mr. Isaacs

The number of persons who had registered under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act at 16th December, 1946, was 729,113, of whom, it is estimated, 650,000 were in employment, and 12,343 were classified as incapable of work under ordinary conditions. The number of disabled persons who had been accepted for training since the inception of the training scheme up to 16th January was 43,167, and the number in training on that date was 4,795. I regret that the information asked for in the last part of the Question is not available.