HC Deb 27 November 1912 vol 44 cc1278-9W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the National Insurance Commissioners have decided that the wives of married men on the establishment, who do the washing of single men in their companies, are liable to pay the employés' contribution under the National Insurance Act, and that the Consolidated Stoppage Funds, out of which the women are paid, are liable for the employer's contribution; whether he is aware that there is dissatisfaction in the Army at this decision, inasmuch as the men who contribute to the funds are already insured under Part I. of the Act, while the women, by virtue of their position as wives on the establishment, are already entitled to free medical attendance, drugs, and, if necessary, hospital; and whether, seeing that the profits-derived from the laundry work are so small as to make it doubtful whether these women are not ordinarily and mainly dependent upon their husbands for their livelihood, he will take steps to obtain the decision of a judge of the High Court upon the point, or make some arrangement which will relieve the soldier of this; further deduction from his pay?

Colonel SEELY

This difficulty has already been met by a notification issued on 18th instant to the effect that women who undertake to wash personal linen, etc., for soldiers are not employed under a contract of service, and they are not compulsory insurable under the National Insurance Act.