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Admiralty Ex-Employee (Compensation)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 9 November 1943

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asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that Mr. H. Clarke, of 23A, East Road, West Ham, was awarded £1 a week compensation for the loss of an eye while employed by the Admiralty at Kingsworth Airship Construction Station in 1918; that when Clarke found employment at the L.N.E.R., Stratford engineering works, this compensation was taken into account when fixing his wages; that during the war his compensation has been reduced to 11s. a week and may soon fall to 1s.; and whether, as his treatment defeats the purpose of workmen's compensation and of war bonuses, since each bonus after the first has been appropriated by the Department, he will give sympathetic consideration to this injustice?

Mr. Clarke left Admiralty employment at his own request on the 21st February, 1919, and has since been in receipt of compensation awarded under the Government Scheme of Compensation of 1913 (framed under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906) which he accepted in substitution for the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Acts. The award is subject to restriction under Clause 11A of the Scheme, which reads:

"The allowance awarded to a workman by way of compensation shall be paid to him in addition to his earnings in Government or other employment so long as the degree of incapacity on account of which it was awarded continues, provided that the said allowance together with his weekly earnings in such employment shall not exceed the average weekly earnings upon which the said allowance was computed. Until such limit is reached no deduction shall be made from the said allowance."
Mr. Clarke's average weekly earnings before his injury amounted to £4 5s. 6d., and he is at present receiving an injury allowance at the rate of 10s. 1d. a week, which represents the difference between his current average weekly earnings of £3 15s. 5d. and his pre-injury earnings. In calculating the amount of Mr. Clarke's current earnings it is not possible to exclude the amount he receives by way of war bonuses, since they must be accepted as forming part of his earnings. There is no provision in the Workmen's Compensation Acts or Schemes framed thereunder which would enable this to be done. The Workmen's Compensation Act, 1943, which provides for re-assessment of average weekly earnings, does not apply in cases of injuries incurred before 1st January, 1924.