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Unemployment Benefit (Women Workers)

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 2 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered the recommendation of the Select Committee on National Expenditure that, as a wartime measure, the woman worker insured against unemployment should be eligible for unemployment benefit for two months before confinement and for a suitable period thereafter; and whether he is now prepared to take steps to extend eligibility for unemployment benefit to all such workers for a period prior to, during, and after confinement, to be determined after consultation with the Minister of Health?

This suggestion is mentioned in paragraph 48 of the Committee's Third Report, Session 1942–3; the Committee make no recommendation on it. Unemployment benefit in such circumstances would not be appropriate as the qualifications for the receipt of that particular benefit would not be fulfilled: a claimant to unemployment benefit must be available for and capable of work in addition to being unemployed.