HC Deb 08 May 1914 vol 62 cc591-2W

asked the hon. Member for St. George's-in-the-East, as representing the Insurance Commissioners, if he will give consideration to a case under the National Insurance Act in which Mrs. Longhurst, of 19, Whitehall Mansions, Highgate, N., on or about February, 1913, employed a charwoman who stated that her card was stamped in full by a Miss Dowling; is he aware that Mrs. Longhurst continued to employ the charwoman on this understanding for upwards of a year and, being a busy woman, accepted the charwoman's statement and did not insist on seeing the card; that Mrs. Longhurst has now been called upon to pay 27s., equal to the amount of the contributions of employer and employed, and as this appears to be a case where the charwoman had concealed the fact that her card was not stamped in order to overcome the handicap which persons of her calling undoubtedly experience in obtaining daily work where the first employer has to stamp the card, will he ascertain and say why more than a year was allowed to elapse before any action was taken, and give the name of the society, if any, to which the charwoman belonged; does any responsibility lie on the society for neglect; and, having regard to the irritation and injury caused by such incidents, which in the present case involves the employer in a payment of 27s. under penalty of summary conviction and fine, and has led to the dismissal of the employed, what steps are being taken to secure that incidents, with such results to employer and employed, may not be repeated?


As soon as the complaint was received by the Commission it was promptly dealt with. I am unable to say why it was not made earlier. No responsibility is laid on approved societies for the enforcement of the contributory provisons of the Acts, and the request of the employer for the name of the employé's approved society was refused in this case in acordance with the general practice of the Commissioners. I may add that the employé denies that she failed to produce a card to her employer, or that she concealed the latter's liability. As regards the last part of the question, employers can only be protected against such incidents by the due observance of their statutory obligations.