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Rota Committees

Volume 159: debated on Friday 15 December 1922

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asked the Minister of Labour whether, seeing that although employed persons serving on the rota committees at the Exchanges are paid for lost time from their work, unemployed persons serving on these committees receive no payment whatever; and, seeing that, at the present time, the work of these committees is very arduous and that there is little inducement to employed persons to serve, with the result that the work is left mainly to unemployed persons, and in view of the necessity of having all claims properly considered, will he consider the advisability of making some payment to persons who are rendering assistance in the administration of the Unemployment Insurance Act at a time when they themselves are without means?

It is not the case, so far as I am aware, that the work of rota committees considering claims to benefit is performed mainly by unemployed persons; on the contrary, such persons, if claiming benefit, are ineligible to sit on these committees. The only payments made to members of these committees—apart from travelling fares and subsistence allowances, in regard to which no distinction is made between employed and unemployed persons—are the allowances made, within the scale fixed by the Treasury, on account of wages actually lost owing to attendance. An unemployed person obviously cannot qualify for these allowances. The guiding principle is that no remuneration is paid to the members of these committees and that any payments made are limited to the amounts which members are out-of-pocket owing to attendance. In order to preserve the independence of these committees, I think it is important to maintain this principle.