I move amendment No. 28:—
In page 59, in Part I of the First Schedule, to add the following new paragraphs:—
8. Employment in a service, industry or vocation in which the employees of such service, industry or vocation are guaranteed by virtue of their contract of employment, security of tenure, payment of wages or salary during absence due to illness for a period not less than six months and payment of pension on reaching retiring age, provided that the employees of such service, industry or vocation, or a majority thereof, apply to be exempted.
9. Members of a trade union catering exclusively for employees who by virtue of their contract of employment are guaranteed security of tenure, payment of wages or salary during absence due to illness for a period not less than six months and payment of pensions on reaching the retiring age provided that such trade union files an application for the exemption of its members.
The amendment is intended to cover the same class of persons, persons who are, by their contract of service, assured tenure of employment, assured sickness pay for a period not exceeding six months and payment of pension on retiring. It is intended to cover a number of different types of persons; for instance, teachers will be covered. The two paragraphs are intended to cover the same difficulty, but I put the two down to enable the Minister to indicate whether he will be in a position to accept either of them.
On the whole, I would favour the second one, which provides that where the members of a trade union—and, of course, the term trade union covers many different types of employees— apply to be exempted, the Act should not apply to the members of that trade union. That might be a more satisfactory way of dealing with the position, because a trade union is a well-defined body with a defined membership and it will make it easier for the Minister to ascertain positively and definitely whether the members of a particular group of employees should be exempted from the provisions of the Bill. It will also enable any individual member of a particular class of employees to remain within the provisions of the Bill if he so wishes by ceasing to become a member of the union involved.
I think the matter is one which affects teachers in particular. The majority of them do not want to be included in the provisions of the Bill inasmuch as the benefits they would pay would be completely disproportionate to the advantages they would receive by reason of the fact that they already have security of tenure, are paid during sickness and have a pension scheme of their own. I appeal to the Minister to accept a provision of the nature suggested.