HC Deb 30 October 1956 vol 558 cc1234-5
28. Mr. Edward Evans

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that the National Dock Labour Board at Liverpool has dismissed handicapped persons without due cause ; if he will ascertain to what extent this will bring it below its quota under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944 ; and if he will take the appropriate action.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service (Mr. Robert Carr)

Three cases of the discharge of registered disabled persons by the Dock Labour Board in Liverpool have been brought to my attention. The percentage of disabled persons in the total of daily workers and staff on the Board's books was about 2.7 per cent. as compared with 3 per cent. prescribed under the Act, and my officers have taken up the matter with the Board.

Mr. Evans

Is the Minister aware of the very grave disquiet caused by this very bad example of a great corporation with regard to disabled persons? Is the hon. Gentleman further aware that I have a list in my hand of cases of dismissals of a most arbitrary character, and will he take steps to consult the Dock Labour Board about the possibility of alternative employment for persons who have been so dismissed? Some of the cases are quite amazing. Will the Minister consult the Dock Labour Board with a view to seeing that, in future, a mere medical certificate is not sufficient to describe a man as unemployable? Regard ought to be had to whether such a man is a danger to himself or a potential danger to his workmates before such drastic action is taken.

Mr. Carr

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend's officers will keep in the closest touch with the Board to ensure that it employs its full proportion of disabled people.