HC Deb 10 November 1953 vol 520 cc753-4
13. Mr. Simmons

asked the Minister of labour if he will consider taking special measures to arrest the rise in the unemployment rate in respect of disabled persons, especially those over 50 years of age.

Mr. Watkinson

The number of disabled persons unemployed fell steadily throughout the first seven months of this year. Despite some increase in the following three months, it is now lower by more than 9,000 that it was in January. This includes a substantial reduction amongst the older workers. We will certainly continue to do all we can to reduce the numbers still further.

14 and 15. Mr. Simmons

asked the Minister of Labour (1) how far his records show that firms engaged on Government contracts are employing the number of disabled persons required by the existing agreement;

(2) how far his regulations require sub-contractors to contractors engaged on Government contracts to employ disabled persons in the same proportion as the main contractor.

Mr. Watkinson

The obligation to employ 3 per cent. of disabled persons applies equally to Government contractors and sub-contractors and to all other employers who have 20 or more workers. Compliance is virtually complete and many employers have more than the obligatory 3 per cent. of disabled. I have no information to suggest that Government contractors or sub-contractors are failing in this respect.