Mr. LEICESTER HARMSWORTH
asked the Postmaster-General the percentage of female telephone operators employed at telephone exchanges in London who have been absent from duty through illness during the last six months, and how this percentage compares with those of other branches of the Post Office where female labour is employed?
§ Captain NORTON
Sixty-nine per cent. of the female telephonic employed in London exchanges have been absent from duty through illness for one day or more during the past six months. Similar figures cannot be obtained as regards other branches of the Post Office without considerable trouble, but the accompanying Returns for the year ended 31st December, 1912, may afford the hon. Member the information that he requires:—
Class. Average number employed. Percentage of sick absentees. Telephonists, London Telephone Service 3,569 86 Female Telegraphists, Central Telegraph Office 910 94 Female Counter Clerks and Telegraphists, London Postal Service 868 84 Female Sorters, Money Order Department 401 83 Female Sorters, Savings Bank Department 360 88
§ Mr. BARNES
asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the facts that the effect of the strain imposed upon the clerical staff of the Controller's Office, London Telephone Service, by the continuance of the amount of overtime has resulted in officers having to absent themselves from duty for prolonged periods owing to nervous breakdown, and that in spite of an increase in the number of subordinate appointments in this office a considerable amount of overtime still has to be performed, he is taking steps to draft in such staff as will provide for the complete cessation of overtime and for an 823W increase in the number of higher appointments, so that the work may be more efficiently organised?
§ Captain NORTON
My right hon. Friend has now before him proposals for a large increase of force in the Controller's Office, London Telephone Service, and, pending settlement at, he hopes, an early date, he has given instructions for the employment of whatever temporary force may be necessary—such force to be obtained through the Labour Exchange.