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European Volunteer Workers (Payment)

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Agriculture why payment for unskilled Displaced Persons employed on farms has been fixed at the rate of 2s. an hour, which is higher than the minimum paid to British workers; whether he is aware that this is causing dissatisfaction among both farmers and workers; and whether he will take steps to remove this anomaly.

The rate charged to farmers for European volunteer workers in the employment of war agricultural executive committees is the same as that charged for other civilian workers, whether British or foreign, similarly employed. The charge for all committee workers covers, in addition to the wages paid to the workers, the cost of employer's contribution for National Insurance and other items, such as holidays with pay which are incurred by farmers themselves on behalf of their own employees. This practice is of long standing and generally well understood, and I see no reason to vary it.