Disabled Persons

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th January 1948.

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Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow 12:00 am, 20th January 1948

asked the Minister of Labour if, in view of the continued evidence that the obligation to employ a percentage of disabled men is not fully appreciated by all employers, he will require the percentage of disabled men to be stated in the employment returns.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

No, Sir; the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act gives me no power to call for such returns but only requires employers to keep appropriate records. The statistical returns of numbers in employment are required for other purposes and could not properly be used to ascertain whether employers are complying with their obligations under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow

What is the Minister doing to notify employers of their liability, because obviously a considerable number of employers are employing more than the normal percentage while others are not even aware of their obligations in this respect?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

A great deal of work is being done in notifying employers. In every case now in which we are not satisfied from the information we have that employers are complying, a visit is paid to them, and their books are inspected. The problem is that many employers would be willing to take a disabled person but have no vacancy, and they are not expected to dismiss an able-bodied man to make room for a disabled one; but they have given a promise that as soon as a vacancy occurs they will comply with our request.

Photo of Sir Henry Legge-Bourke Sir Henry Legge-Bourke , Isle of Ely

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that several Government Departments, including the War Office, are at the present moment declaring redundant, men wearing the King's Badge—that is, disabled men? Will he look into that side of it, and not merely confine himself to private employers?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will give me particulars, I will look into them, but the answer I have given relates to the 3 per cent. quota.