Casual Labourers.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 21st February 1922.

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Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

92.

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the deep-rooted discontent in the minds of a very large number of casual labourers in all parts of the country on account of the waiting period before they can receive their unemployment pay; if he is aware that great hardships occur to the building trade workers and other workmen on account of their employment being casual and subject to weather conditions, seldom being able to claim benefit, only being at work one or two days, which are not consecutive; and it he will take action in the matter?

Photo of Mr Anderson Barlow Mr Anderson Barlow , Salford South

The rules with regard to the waiting period are laid down by the Unemployment Insurance Acts, and I have no power to alter them. I am aware that in certain cases they reduce considerably the amount of benefit payable where unemployment is not consecutive, but as the workmen in such cases are obviously not wholly unemployed, and as the resources of the Unemployment Fund are already very severely strained, I cannot recommend any alteration in these rules.