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Part-Time Work

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 21 May 1947

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asked the Postmaster-General whether it is a general practice for full-time local government officers to work in their spare time as Post Office telephone operators; and whether, in the particular case to which his attention has been drawn, he will replace this part-time labour by disabled men or women.

No, Sir. We do not expect part-time staff employed on telephone work in the evenings to he dependent on that work for their livelihood. Preference is given to men who are not in full-time employment during the day, but where these are not forthcoming, we employ men who have other full-time work. Preference is also given to registered disabled men, and over 13 per cent. of the total number of men employed on telephone work are in this category. I am unable to agree to the discharge of the part-time men at the particular place referred to by my hon. Friend. I understand that the local office of the Ministry of Labour has no applicants for part-time employment on telephone work in the evenings.

Is the Postmaster-General saying that it is not possible to get disabled ex-Servicemen, or others who are fit only for light work, to cover these duties, and is it not most undesirable that full-time local government officers should be working part-time in this way?

I have stated that wherever possible we get disabled men, and that 13 per cent. of these people are disabled.