HC Deb 07 August 1912 vol 41 cc3178-9W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if a mistress and servant are satisfied with the present con- ditions subsisting between them and consider them preferable to the conditions of the National Insurance Act, and do not desire to insure at all under the Act, does the Government intend to prosecute either or both for not doing what they believe to be injurious to their interests; and is he aware that a number of mistresses and servants do not desire to avail themselves of the National Insurance Act?


Persons employed under contract of service, under the conditions laid down in the Act, must be insured. Their employers must, under penalty, pay their contributions and may deduct the employés' share specified in the Act from wages.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, having regard to the use of the word must in heavy type in Leaflet No. 21, headed Duties of Employers of Domestic Servants, will he say what is to compel a mistress to require contribution cards from her servants; what is to compel a servant to produce a contribution card; if a servant fails to produce a contribution card, what is to compel the mistress to obtain a card herself from the Post Office; what is to compel the mistress or servant to become Post Office contributors if no approved society acceptable to them is formed; what is to compel either party to pay any contribution at all until October; and what happens if they defer decision until October and do nothing meanwhile?


The use of the word "must" in the pamphlet referred to by the hon. Member implies that there is legal liability to do the thing specified. This liability depends in part on the National Insurance Act, 1911, in part on the Statutory Regulations made by the Insurance Commissioners in pursuance of their powers under the Act. If any employer fails to pay contributions for any week of employment before or after October he will render himself liable to proceedings. If an employed person does not join an approved society till October (but is able to and does join then) nothing happens, as the time for joining approved societies does not expire till after three months and fourteen days after the commencement of the Act.