HC Deb 22 June 1938 vol 337 cc1111-2W
Mr. J. Hall

asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether he is prepared to inquire into the application of the Unemployment Insurance Acts to continuous process workers on the seven-shift system, with a view to clarifying the regulations, and, if necessary, amending the legislation;

(2) whether he is aware that continuous process workers on the seven-shift system registering at different Employment Exchanges are receiving varying amounts of benefit, although they may lose the same number of shifts and register the same number of signatures; and whether he will take steps to remove this anomaly;

(3) whether he is aware of the injustice caused to shift-workers on the continuous process system whose working week is calculated on the basis of seven consecutive shifts and who, because of the special provisions for counting their signatures to the unemployment registers, are deprived of unemployment benefit to which they would have become entitled if their employment had been based on the normal working week; and whether he is prepared to take steps to have this injustice removed?

Mr. E. Brown

The benefit position of shift-workers employed in the continuous process system is governed by decisions of the Umpire. These are briefly to the effect that the periods between changes of shift are not counted as unemployment if the man is in full work, but in the cases to which the hon. Member refers, they may be so counted if he has done less than the full normal week's work. I am advised that this position is not less favourable and may in certain circumstances be more favourable than that of other workers. I am not aware of cases in which the rules are applied differently at different exchanges. The whole matter is necessarily somewhat complicated and I could go into it in more detail if the hon. Member would be good enough to see me.

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