§ Mr. Bossom
asked the Minister of Works the number of men employed in the Government's direct building labour force, known as the special repair service, on 1st July and on 1st December last; what expansions he is contemplating in this or any other directly employed mobile building force; and what special rates ofpay, allowances or holiday privileges are accorded to this force which are not enjoyed by ordinary building trade operatives.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Apart from Service personnel, transport drivers and others attached to the special repair service there were 4,389 building trade operatives employed in that service on 1st July and 3,623 on 1st December. Members of the special repair service are paid wages, travelling and lodging allowances in accordance with the agreements laid down by the National Joint Council forthe building industry, subject to the payment of the Grade A rate as a minimum. An additional lodging allowance of Is. per night is paid to men who are sent away from home for less than six nights, and a further 2s. 6d. per night to men who have to maintain their homes in one area and retain lodgings in a second, whilst they are send to a third for a brief period. One day's holiday with pay is given for every six weeks of service as compared with six days per annum under the industrial agreement; and in thecase of sickness, National Health Insurance benefit is made up to full pay for four weeks in any one period of 12 months, after three months service. I am at present in consultation with the employers and operatives organisations as to the future of this service.