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Royal Ordnance Factories

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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11.

asked the Minister of Supply in how many Royal Ordnance factories schemes for sick leave with full pay have been started; and what has been the rate of absenteeism subsequently as compared with the previous rate.

Month1948–19491947–19481946–19471945–19461944–19451943–1944
Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.
September3·52·53·04·75·76·2
October5·12·83·25·25·86·4
November6·02·93·45·35·47·4
December6·12·72·95·15·37·6
January7·63·24·56·16·77·2
February8·13·15·05·56·16·5
March9·02·74·34·85·36·1
April7·12·43·03·64·75·3

14.

asked the Minister of Supply why the labour cost in the production in Royal Ordnance factories of electrical ceramics, mining machinery and oilfield equipment in 1947–48 was, respectively, 105 per cent., 82 per cent. and 72 per cent. above the estimate.

The Royal Ordnance factories undertook this work to meet acute shortages of supplies in this country. The type of production was a specialised one, of which they had had no previous experience.

Does the Minister appreciate that the Auditor-General called attention to these figures in his recent report, and does he think that a private

As the answer contains a number of figures I will, with the hon. and gallant Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Is the Minister aware that since the scheme was brought in at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Pontypool the absenteeism on sick leave has risen from 3 per cent. to 17 per cent., and does he think that we can afford that sort of thing at the present time?

Following is the answer:

The scheme for paid sick leave for Government industrial employees applies to all Royal Ordnance factories and came into operation in September, 1948. The following table shows the percentage of working days lost by industrial employees of the Royal Ordnance factories on account of absence covered by medical certificate in each of the eight months following the introduction of the scheme, with comparable figures for the preceding five years:

business would get very far on that kind of estimating?

These are special jobs, usually for short runs, carried out in order to remove some acute shortage which has been holding up some export or other, and the Ordnance factories have not been making these goods under ordinary commercial conditions.