HC Deb 16 July 1923 vol 166 c1880W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that platers' helpers are now out of work as a consequence of the boilermakers' dispute; that this is through no fault or action of their own, as these men are not members of the boilermakers' union; that the officials of the Employment Exchange refuse to permit these men to participate in unemployment pay on the ground that they are alleged to be piece hands; that these men are in fact time workers paid by the hour, and that their wages are not regulated or affected in any way by the earnings of the platers or boilermakers; and whether he will give instructions that these men, many of whom are now destitute, forthwith receive their unemployment pay with all arrears?


I am aware that under Section 8 (1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, many platers' helpers and other classes of workpeople who are not parties to the boilermakers' dispute are disqualified for benefit; but I am not aware of any cases in which benefit has been disallowed on the ground that the workman was paid by piece and not by time. If the hon. Member has information of such cases I should be glad if he would furnish me with particulars. The fact that the workers in question are paid by the hour and not by piece, or that their wages are not regulated or affected by the earnings of the platers or boilermakers does not appear to be relevant to the issue; but if any worker is dissatisfied with the disallowance of benefit the proper course is for him to appear personally or through his association to the Court of Referees. The conditions under which benefit is payable are laid down by Statute, and I have no power to order payment of benefit contrary to these conditions.