HC Deb 09 April 1913 vol 51 cc1187-8W

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether communications have been received from agricultural bodies complaining that the compulsory insurance of persons who receive occasional agricultural employment for short periods only, but are not otherwise employed persons within the meaning of the Insurance Act is causing hardship and inconvenience in many districts; whether he can see his way to except such persons from compulsory insurance; and whether those already insured for a short period only can obtain any benefits under the Act?


The Insurance Commissioners have given careful consideration to the position of persons employed casually in agricultural operations. Representations on the subject have been received from time to time from various bodies concerned, but so far no evidence has been adduced which would justify any extension of the Special Orders already made by which potato-pickers and certain other classes of agricultural workers have been excluded conditionally from the compulsory provisions of the National Insurance Act on the ground that their employment is ordinarily and not merely in individual cases adopted as subsidiary employment, and not as a principal means of livelihood. The answer to the last part of the question is in the affirmative. The ordinary provisions of the Act apply with regard to the benefits of the employed contributors referred to, and the Commissioners are forwarding a letter to the hon. Member stating the character and conditions of these benefits.