HC Deb 06 December 1978 vol 959 cc705-6W
Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what conditions must be fulfilled by the working wives of Service personnel who are posted to Germany, in order to enable such wives to claim unemployment benefit while looking for new employment in Germany; and, in particular, why in certain circumstances he insists that wives in this situation should be suspended from posts which they hold in the home Civil Service as a precondition of being allowed to claim this benefit.

Mr. Orme:

United Kingdom unemployment benefit is not normally payable outside the United Kingdom. Under EEC regulations, however, an unemployed worker entitled to unemployment benefit in this country, who has registered for work, normally for at least four weeks, with the Manpower Services Commission, can continue to receive unemployment benefit for up to three months on going to seek work in another member State, provided he satisfies prescribed conditions regarding registration for employment there.

The four weeks' period of registration is to give the placing services time to explore job opportunities in this country and to enable the unemployment benefit office to investigate the circumstances in which the previous employment ceased. The four weeks can be reduced, however, and where the worker leaves employment in order to accompany her husband on an overseas posting a reduction in the period would normally be appropriate.

I am looking into the particular case which the hon. Member recently raised in correspondence.

Forward to