HC Deb 22 May 1912 vol 38 cc2052-3W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that in post offices of the third and fourth class in Ireland many counter assistants are kept for four, five, and six hours on duty without rest or meal time; and whether he will consider the advisability of applying the Shops Act (hours for meals and rest) provisions to the postal service in Ireland generally?


The conditions of employment of Post Office servants are much better than the usual conditions of shop assistants, and in these circumstances I do not think it is desirable to apply to the Post Office staff the provisions of the Shops Act. There is already a definite rule that a meal relief of half an hour shall be given in any attendance of at least four hours which begins before 12.30 p.m. and ends at or after 2 p.m., and meal reliefs are also given on the first attendance of a "split" duty when it exceeds five hours (or four hours if it begins before eight and ends after nine in the morning) and on any second attendance amounting to five hours. If the hon. Member will furnish me with particulars regarding any counter officers who are employed for as much as six hours without an interval for meals I will have inquiry made.