asked the Home Secretary whether he will consider extending the period for the payment of sickness benefit to ill or injured members of the Auxiliary Fire Service from 13 to 26 weeks, in view of the cases of hardship resulting from the present limitation, and the fact that an extension would allow time for a decision to be made as to the likelihood of recovery and the continuance of employment in the service?
Former members of the Auxiliary Fire Service who are now whole-time paid members of the National Fire Service, in common with whole-time members of the local authority Civil Defence General Services, receive in addition to injury allowances payable under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme, payments which in the case of War Service, Injury, give the member the equivalent of full pay up to a period of 13 weeks. During absence due to incapacity for other reasons, full pay may be continued up to a maximum of 13 weeks in any period of 52 weeks. There must be some limit to the period during which a person absent from duty may be retained on full pay. Certain aspects of the arrangement are, however, now under examination.
While I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply, does he think it fair that a man injured by enemy action, even after a period of time, should not be entitled to carry on drawing full pay in the same way as soldiers, sailors and airmen who have their full pay when they are injured by enemy action?