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Volume 154: debated on Monday 22 May 1922

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asked the Minister of Labour whether representations have been made to him that, at the present time, if a man ceases work and becomes unemployed on a Saturday he does not obtain unemployment benefit until the following Friday week, the consequence being, sometimes, that if he has been employed on casual or intermittent work he may, in the meanwhile, be without money and accordingly claim Poor Law relief to meet his urgent needs, and that if he again secures employment in the week following the relief he then obtains both wages and unemployment benefit; and whether he has considered the possibility of adopting some method whereby a sum on account of the unemployment benefit can be granted so as to prevent destitution during the temporary period of unemployment?

Unemployment benefit is not payable for the first week of a period of unemployment. Ordinarily, therefore, as payment of benefit is made weekly the first payment is made about a fortnight after unemployment commences. It would not be practicable to make advances on account of unemployment benefit.