HC Deb 27 July 1915 vol 73 cc2144-6W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he will furnish the number and average age of the women clerks employed in all the various Government De- partments in typing, duplicating, sorting, and routine work at 18s. to 20s. per week since the outbreak of war; the nature of the ordinary clerical work for which 21s. to 25s. per week is being paid and the number and average age of the women so employed; the qualifications necessary to obtain appointments as temporary shorthand typists at 26s. per week and the number and average age of those employed on these duties; the nature of the higher clerical duties and supervising work for which 30s. is paid and the number and ages of those so employed; and whether these rates and appointments are intended as temporary during the War only?


Appointments to temporary clerkships are usually made by heads of Departments at their discretion, and it would not be possible to ascertain the total number of women so appointed without making detailed inquiries which would take a considerable time, and in view of the constant fluctuation of work would not, I think, be of much value. In view, however, of the large number of temporary appointments authorised to replace junior members of the public service who were given permission to enlist, a special arrangement was recently made with the Civil Service Commissioners by which they keep a list of suitable candidates and assign them to Departments if requested. This arrangement has been largely, but not exclusively, used by Departments, and the number of appointments so made is as follows:—

Temporary Women Clerks.
(1) Typing, duplicating, sorting and routine work at 18s. to 20s. per week 74
(2) Ordinary clerical work at 21s. to 25s. per week 604
(3) Shorthand typists duties at 26s. per week 43
(4) Higher clerical and supervising work at 30s. per week 56

The average age of persons assigned for routine work on the 18s. to 20s. per week scale is between seventeen and nineteen. Some older candidates with limited qualifications have also been assigned to this grade. No limits have been definitely fixed for this or for any of the other grades. The duties of the routine grade (1) are those commonly performed by boy clerks, female sorters and female typists. "Ordinary clerical work" (2) is such as is given to assistant clerks (abstractors) and junior second division clerks. The higher grade covers duties of a like character, but involving some element of responsibility, e.g., the supervision of work, etc. Besides these grades, a few appointments have been made at higher rates for work requiring special qualifications and experience. All these clerks are informed on assignment that the employment is strictly temporary and liable to termination at any time.

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