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Juvenile Workers (Medical Examination)

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 12 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that firms have to pay for the compulsory medical examination of their juvenile labour; and why medical examination of this kind is not provided under the National Health Service scheme.

These examinations are required by the Factories Acts and employers are not relieved of these obligations by the National Health Service Act.

While appreciating the necessity and propriety of these investigations, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a factory which employs its own doctor is not allowed to use that doctor to conduct that examination, and that the firm have to pay substantial premiums under the National Health Service for which they get no benefit for examining their own employees? That is a great injustice.

There are a number of Acts under which employers are compelled to examine their employees and for which they have to pay for certification. This, of course, is included under the National Health Act, and until the Act is amended the powers will be required.

Would the right hon. Gentleman have a look at this again, because it all adds on to the cost of the eventual product, and see whether it is possible for them to employ their own doctors in cases where large firms have their own doctors?