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Street Newsvendors

Volume 644: debated on Wednesday 12 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Labour what steps he proposes to take to include street newsvendors within the wages and holiday provisions laid down by the Retail Newsagency, Tobacco and Confectionery Wages Council and if he proposes to amend Statutory Instrument, 1960/1 (R.N.T. (26)) accordingly.

Minimum remuneration for street newsvendors has been provided ever since the Council was set up but these workers are not covered by any holiday provisions. My right hon. Friend has no power either to amend the relevant Order without proposals from the Council, or to require the Council to make particular proposals.

Would not my hon. Friend agree that it is only because of the method by which these men are paid that they appear to be self-employed, but that in fact they are actually employed by the big newspapers? Would he, therefore, agree that they are entitled to holidays with pay and other benefits? Will he look into the matter further?

As my hon. Friend knows—and I agree with him—there are two types of person involved in this form of occupation. I think it a fact that one street newsvendor raised the question of holidays with the Council when it published its first proposals in 1949. The Council did not feel able to prescribe holidays with pay at that time. Since then no further representations have been received from these people, but, if my hon. Friend has further representations to make, I shall be glad to receive them.