HC Deb 20 February 1941 vol 369 cc304-5W
Mr. Isaacs

asked the Home Secretary whether persons suffering illness caused by the carrying out of duties at their place of employment as fire watchers from exposure to the elements or from fatigue arising from long hours without adequate rest will, as such risk is not part of the normal risk of their employment, be entitled to their wages during incapacity, or will they be covered by the provisions of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme; and what would be their position and rights under the National Health Insurance Regulations?

Mr. H. Morrison

I am advised that a person carrying out duties as a fire watcher at premises which are business premises as defined in Regulation 27A of the Defence (General)Regulations will be covered by the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme in respect of any physical injury which is certified to have arisen out of and in the course of the performance of his duties. In respect of such an injury sickness and disablement benefits under the National Health Insurance Acts will not be payable for the first twenty-six weeks and will, for any period after the first twenty-six weeks, be subject to the adjustments laid down in Section 7 of the National Health Insurance and Contributory Pensions (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that some assistance boards are refusing to pay the 43s. a week injury allowance where such has been awarded under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939, for the weeks during which 18s. sickness or disablement benefit has been paid under the National Health Insurance and Contributory Pensions (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939; and whether, as the weekly 18s. is in the nature of an advance to keep the individual going until the claim is admitted, he will put a stop to this action by assistance boards?

Sir W. Womersley

Section 6 of the N.H.I. and Contributory Pensions (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1939, precludes the payment of sickness or disablement benefit in respect of war injuries or war-service injuries for a specified period, but where such benefit has in fact been paid for any period the present rule is that no injury allowance shall be paid in respect of such period. The question of an amendment to the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme whereby the difference between the sickness benefit and the appropriate rate of injury allowance would be made up to the injured person is now, along with other points arising in the scheme, under active consideration.

Mr. Liddall

asked the Minister of Pensions what compensation, if any, under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme, a whole-time or part-time paid fire-watcher would receive should he be injured, say, by falling off a ladder whilst pursuing his duties, although the injuries were not directly due to enemy action at the time?

Sir W. Womersley

Arrangements are being made for all fire-watchers, whether paid or unpaid, whole-time or part-time, to be enrolled in an appropriate civil defence organisation under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme. Persons so enrolled will be civil defence volunteers and will therefore, be eligible for consideration for compensation under the Scheme in respect of any injuries arising out of and in the course of the performance of their duties as such.

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