HC Deb 08 March 1954 vol 524 cc1709-10
1. Mr. Page

asked the Attorney-General the daily office hours and the number of hours of work per week of typists, shorthand-typists and clerks employed in the Law Courts, Strand, London and the Probate and Divorce Registry, Somerset House, Strand, London, respectively, distinguishing those hours in law terms and in law vacations, respectively; and what are the total hours of work per year of such employees.

The Attorney-General (Sir Lionel Heald)

As the daily office hours and number of hours worked weekly in the different departments of the Supreme Court vary considerably, I will, with permission, circulate the details in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Figures for the number of hours worked in the year are not available: they depend not only on the hours worked weekly but on the amount of leave taken, which also varies in the different departments.

Mr. Page

Does not my right hon. and learned Friend think that, so far as the public is concerned, these hours of work compare unfavourably with the average hours of work in commercial and professional businesses? Further, does he not think that this is a cause of delay in litigation for which his profession and mine are often unjustifiably blamed?

The Attorney-General

When my hon. Friend has had the opportunity of studying the figures which I propose to circulate, perhaps I may have an opportunity of discussing them with him.

Following are the details:

Weekly hours
Term Vacation
(1) Clerks—
Litigation Departments other than the taxing office 33 (a) 23 (a)
Taxing Office 42 42
Official Solicitor's Office 45½ 45½
Court of Protection 45½ 45½
Supreme Court Pay Office 45½ 45½
(2) Shorthand typists and typists 43½ or 45½ 43½ or 45½
Clerks and typists 42 42
(a)The work m these Departments depends almost entirely on the sittings of the courts or the attendance of the public. The clerks work longer hours when they have work to do which is not dependent on the attendance of the public.