HC Deb 25 May 1939 vol 347 cc2543-4W
Mr. Windsor

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the circumstances in which men have been sent from the Hull Employment Exchange to work in storing minesweeper gear under the naval dockyard stores department; whether he is aware that the men commenced work on 13th April, not receiving any wages until 25th April when payment was made for two days followed by a week's wages on 28th April; that they were finally paid-off on 12th May at one-and-a-half days' notice, and had to wait until the following week for wages earned the previous week; that Unemployment Assistance Board's payments having ceased at the commencement of work no further assistance could be obtained although the men were without wages so that the wife of one of the men concerned had to apply for public assistance to support her family; and whether he will ensure that men sent from an Employment Exchange to work of a Government or semi-Government character shall be paid promptly?

Mr. Shakespeare

I have been asked to reply. The men in question were engaged through the local Employment Exchange under the usual conditions applicable to Dockyard workpeople, that is to say, they were to be paid on Fridays for the work they had done during the previous week. This was explained to the men at the time they were engaged and they raised no objection to the arrangement which, it is understood from the manager of the Employment Exchange, is usual with many private employers in the district of Hull.

The men employed at Hull were, for administrative purposes, under the orders of the naval store officer at Coventry and the fact that they did not receive pay for the first 2½ days until the 25th April, in- stead of on the 21st April, was due to delays in correspondence between Hull and Coventry.

Arrangements have been made to ensure that in the future men at such outlying stations shall be paid promptly and shall normally be paid on discharge up to the date on the actual day of ceasing work.