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Unemployment

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 22 June 1922

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Dependants

86.

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that under the Unemployed Workers (Dependants) Act, 1921, a man living with a woman who is not his wife may claim an allowance for her, and that a son, single but a householder, who keeps his widowed mother, cannot claim any allowance; and will he take steps to remedy this state of affairs?

A widower or unmarried man, who is drawing unemployment benefit, may claim the 5s. allowance for a housekeeper residing with and maintained by him for the purpose of looking after his dependent children, or for a woman who is, and has been, living with him as his wife, but not for any other person. These provisions represent the decision of Parliament on this matter, and I am not prepared to propose any alteration.

Bakers (Public Institutions)

87.

asked the Minister of Labour whether it has been decided that bakers employed in public institutions are not subject to the Unemployment Insurance Acts; if so, will he state the grounds for this decision; and whether the decision applies to bakers who are temporarily employed?

I have held, in a case submitted to me for formal determination under Section 10 (1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, that a baker employed in an institution under the control of the Metropolitan Asylums Board was excepted as being employed in domestic service, and not in a trade or business carried on for the purposes of gain, within the meaning of paragraph (b) of Part II of the First Schedule to that Act. If the duties of the men temporarily employed as bakers to whom the question relates are similar to those of the men upon whose case this decision was given, they would also be excepted.

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the case of bakers who are being temporarily employed and find themselves out of employment, and cannot get any benefit after having subscribed?

If that be the case, if their conditions are similar, the fact that they are temporarily employed does not affect the problem. My decision can be appealed against to the High Court, or I may myself revise it if new facts are submitted to me.