HC Deb 31 July 1922 vol 157 cc1036-7W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a man named A. W. Conneley, having refused to accept work on a land drainage scheme at the rate of wages prescribed by the Warwickshire Conciliation Committee, was accordingly refused unemployment benefit by the Cole shill Labour Exchange, and that the Ministry of Labour subsequently overruled the said refusal, and directed that he should receive unemployment benefit notwithstanding that he could have obtained employment on the said work; and whether he will take steps to ensure that men who refuse to work on land drainage schemes at wages fixed by the proper authorities, and whose cases are dealt with locally, shall net be able to obtain the unemployment benefit on an appeal to the Ministry of Labour?


I am making inquiries locally in this case and will communicate the result to my hon. Friend.


asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the case of a number of men at Gravesend whose unemployment benefit was stopped many weeks ago on the ground that they had refused work under the Strood Rural District Council at 9d. per hour; whether he is aware that the work was refused because other councils were paying not less than 1s. ½d. per hour for similar work, and that on road schemes under the Ministry of Transport the rate was 1s. 4½d. per hour; that the men concerned were fully qualified for the work of road widening; and whether, in view of these circumstances, he will state the grounds upon which the payment of unemployed benefit was stopped?


The claims in question were for uncovenanted benefit. It is one of the conditions for the receipt of such benefit that the applicant should be prepared to accept work other than that to which he has been accustomed, provided that the work is on fair terms and conditions. I am informed that the rate of 9d. per hour is that ordinarily paid by the Strood Rural District Council to their employés for work of the kind in question. This rate was therefore considered a fair rate for this work, and refusal of the work was properly regarded as a ground for disallowance of uncovenanted benefit.