HC Deb 20 April 1948 vol 449 cc1599-600
8. Captain John Crowder

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he will amend the regulations to enable married women not employed and who have not previously been insured to insure themselves under the National Insurance Act, 1946, if they have been deserted by their husbands, or have left their husbands for due cause, but are not divorced or legally separated.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I doubt whether it is practicable or necessary to proceed on these lines. Separation does not affect a wife's pension rights by virtue of her husband's insurance. Further, it will be open to a woman in these circumstances to enter insurance in her own right by taking up work.

Mr. R. S. Hudson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is not a general question; that there are specific instances where women have, in fact, been refused and where apparently they are suffering considerable injustice; and that this appears to be an anomaly which was not foreseen when the regulation was made.

Mr. Griffiths

It has nothing to do with the regulation. If a woman is separated from her husband and the husband has insurance rights, she is entitled to benefit.

Mr. Hudson

Apparently the right hon. Gentleman's officers are not aware of that.

Mr. Griffiths

As a matter of fact the Question does not refer to any single instance, and I am not aware of any single instance, where benefit has been refused on those grounds.

Captain Crowder

In certain circumstances if a woman were insured and unemployed, she could come into the scheme, but if she has not been insured before can she come in?

Mr. Griffiths

Not unless she takes up work.

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