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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 23 Jun 1965

Vol. 216 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Social Welfare Benefit for Domestic Servants.


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he intends to change the social welfare code as far as the entitlement to benefit of domestic servants is concerned.

The scheme of social insurance distinguishes between female domestic servants who are engaged in private service and those who are employed otherwise, for example, in hotels and institutions. The latter are insured for all benefits under the Social Welfare Acts, including unemployment benefit, but women employed in private domestic service are not insured for unemployment benefit and pay a reduced rate of contribution. All male domestic servants are insured for all benefits.

As the Deputy is aware from recent correspondence with my Department, the question of extending insurance for unemployment benefit to female private domestic servants is under examination. I am, however, not yet in a position to say what the outcome of this examination is likely to be but I may say that such an extension would require amending legislation.

Could the Minister say how long, in time, this examination will take?

No, I could not say so. It is not an easy question to decide. Generally speaking, there is not any great incidence of unemployment in that particular type of employment. I do not know that it would be justifiable to make this employment compulsorily insurable, at least in the normal way.

Surely the Minister should be able to say how long the examination will take?

I am not.

Live horse and you will get grass.

Starve domestic servant and you will have to come back looking for work.