HC Deb 30 January 1918 vol 101 cc1576-7W

asked the Minister of Munitions whether any steps and, if so, will he indicate what steps, have, or are being, taken to carry into practical effect the recommendations of the Health of Munition Workers' Committee with regard to the desirability of avoiding overtime working as far as possiblie in munition and other controlled establishments where the work is of such a nature that in accordance with the Reports of the Committee shorter hours of regular work would be instrumental in causing an increase in the output as well as an improvement in the health of the employed persons; whether, where the hours of work have been reduced and the hour for commencing work has been changed to a later hour in the morning, there has been an improvement in the time-keeping; and whether the alteration to the shorter hours has given general satisfaction?


It is the policy of the Ministry to avoid overtime working in munition factories wherever possible. As regards men, very little excessive overtime is worked, but some cases are in existence, and propasals are under consideration for dealing with them. The hours of women and young persons are regulated by the Factory Acts and General Munitions Order. The revision of certain provisions of this Order is under consideration with a view still further to reduce overtime. The introduction of the "one-break" or "work after breakfast" system is encouraged, and from a recent inquiry as to its effect on time-keeping the evidence shows that the percentage of time lost avoidably is considerably lower both in the case of men and women. With regard to the last part of the question, it is yet too early to give any definite reply.