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Temporary Admiralty Clerks (Compassionate Gratuity)

Volume 149: debated on Friday 16 December 1921

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asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that under the Act of 1887 the Treasury may grant a compassionate gratuity of £1 or one week's pay, whichever is greater, for each year of service to any person holding a hired situation and therefore not entitled to superannuation under the Act of 1857 on his retirement or removal from employment in a public department to which he was required to give his whole time, and for which he was paid entirely out of money voted by Parliament; that such gratuities are only granted after seven years' service, when the employé is removed on reorganisation of offices or abolition of appointment or after 15 years' service when the retirement is in consequence of a medical certificate of permanent incapacity; that a number of Admiralty clerks who have completed their seven years' service, and whom the Admiralty is willing and anxious to pay, were told by the responsible officials that they would receive the money and would be allowed to participate, as in the case of dockyard workers; if he can give any reasons why the clerks in question have been deprived of their compassionate gratuity; and if he will take action in the matter?

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall) on the 17th August last, of which I am sending him a copy. No person is entitled to a compassionate gratuity under Section 4 of the Superannuation Act, 1887, and it is not considered that temporary clerks engaged in connection with the War, who happen to have been retained so long as seven years, can properly be regarded as coming within the category of non-pensionable employment to which the Act was intended to apply. On the other hand, the expectation of a gratuity after seven years' service on discharge, in consequence of reductions in staff due to fluctuations in the work, is one of the recognised conditions of dockyard employment.