Skip to main content

Disabled Ex-Servicemen (Employment)

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 8 November 1945

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that certain individuals purporting to be wounded ex-Servicemen unfit for work have recently been seen playing musical instruments in streets of a provincial town and taking round collecting boxes; whether such occupation has the approval of the Government; and whether he will ensure that the best possible use is made of such labour.

I am not aware of the particular circumstances to which the hon. and gallant Member refers. Ex-Service men, whether disabled or otherwise, who experience difficulty in resettling in civilian life are encouraged by all means in my power to make the fullest use of the facilities offered by my Department through the resettlement advice offices and the employment exchange service. Any disabled men who are registered under the Disabled Persons Employment Act are entitled to benefit from its special provisions. Short of compulsion I can suggest no further steps which the Government can take in these cases to achieve the object set out in the last part of the Question.

asked the Minister of Labour how many disabled ex-Servicemen and women, shown separately, are at present registered with his Department; how many have been placed in suitable employment; what arrangements have been made to provide employment for those so seriously disabled as to be unable to take a job in the ordinary way; and whether the term, disabled, includes those suffering from war neurosis without any reservation.

At 15th October, 21,631 disabled ex-Servicemen and 604 women were registered for employment. Since the inception of the scheme in July, 1941, 341,560 disabled men and 35,313 disabled women (including ex-Service and others) have been resettled in employment; separate figures for ex-Service are not available. A number of voluntary organisations receive financial assistance in providing employment under sheltered conditions for those too seriously disabled to take ordinary employment and the recently established Disabled Persons Employment Corporation is now making preparations to provide sheltered employment to whatever extent may be found necessary. The term "disabled person" includes persons suffering from any disability, including neurosis, which substantially handicaps them in. getting or keeping employment or work.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that in the Government Royal Ordnance factories, leased to private firms, many disabled ex-Servicemen are being displaced; whether any agreement has been reached with these private firms to retain a proportion of disabled ex-Servicemen; whether any general policy has been laid down whereby each industry shall take a proportionate number of disabled ex-Servicemen; and will he consider publishing the outlines of such a policy at an early date.

With regard to the first part of the Question, I will gladly make inquiries if the hon. Member will let me have particulars of cases where it is alleged that disabled persons are being discharged without good reason.In regard to the other parts of the Question, the Disabled Persons (Employ- ment) Act provides for a statutory obligation upon employers to employ a prescribed quota of persons registered as handicapped by disablement and it is my intention to prescribe a quota as soon as there is any considerable number of persons so registered who require this help in obtaining employment.