HC Deb 06 February 1934 vol 285 cc981-2W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that men employed temporarily by the Middlesbrough Corporation for grass-mowing in the corporation cemeteries have had to be classed as agricultural workers; that the corporation has been debarred from franking their insurance cards; that in consequence, the men have been disen- titled to receive benefit under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, which had they not accepted the work they would have continued to enjoy; and whether he is prepared to compensate the men concerned and to include provisions in the forthcoming legislation to prevent a continuance of such inequalities?


, pursuant to his reply [OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th December, 1933, cols. 512–13; Vol. 284] supplied the following statement:

I have made inquiry as I promised. I find that certain men have been temporarily employed solely to cut grass in the cemetery, and that their employment has, quite correctly, been regarded as uninsurable under the Unemployment Insurance Acts. Accordingly contributions under those Acts were not payable in respect of them. It does not appear in any of the cases referred to by the hon. Member which it has been possible to identify that the acceptance of the uninsurable work in question has had an adverse effect on the men's claims for unemployment benefit or transitional payments. The Unemployment Bill at present before the House contains proposals with regard to the insurance against unemployment of persons engaged in agriculture. There are also proposals in the Bill for dealing with cases where employment excepted from the scope of the Acts is so similar to included employment as to result in anomalies in the operation of the Acts.