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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR WILLIAM JOYNSON-HICKS, BART., M.P., His MAJESTY'S PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF
STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
I have the honour to present herewith Statistics of Compensation and of Proceedings during the year 1923 under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, and the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, which have been collected and tabulated in the Statistical Branch of the Home Office. No proceedings under the amending Workmen's Compensation Act of 1923 are included, as that Act did not take effect till 1st January, 1924. The volume contains I. Statistics as to compensation paid during 1923 under the
Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906,* in the seven great groups of industries in which returns are called for from employers under Section 12 of the Act, viz. :—mines, quarries, railways, factories, docks, constructional work and shipping. These groups embrace a large proportion of the chief industries, but it has to be borne in mind that they do not by any means cover the whole field. Besides the various commercial, clerical and domestic employments to which the Act applies, there are several important industries which are not covered by the returns, for example, building, road
transport, and agriculture, II. General statistics for 1923 in regard to the administration
of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1906, together with particulars relating to the Employers' Liability
Act, 1880. Annual statistics were published from 1908 to 1914, but had then to be suspended on account of the war until 1920, when statistics for 1919 were published. The present statistics follow the abbreviated form adopted in 1914 and subsequent years.
It should be noted that cases arising in Ireland, which were included in the Statistics for 1921 and previous years, are not included in those for 1922 and 1923, the power to collect statistics of such cases being now vested in the Governments of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. In the comparative tables, which are given below in connection with Part I
• Including payments under the Workmen's Compensation (War Addition) Acts, 1917 and 1919. (15306) Wt. 8960/C890 1,500 1/25 Harrow G.79/15.
of the Statistics, it has not been possible to separate and exclude the Irish cases from the figures for the years previous to 1922, and this must of course affect, though not, it is estimated, to any serious extent, the comparison of the figures for 1922 and 1923 with those of previous years.
Part I. Statistics of Compensation in Certain Industries.
The information in Tables 1 to 6 relating to the seven groups of industries was obtained from returns received from individual employers, and from collective returns supplied by Employers' Mutual Indemnity Associations and Insurance Companies who are under an arrangement with the Home Office to make returns on behalf of the employers belonging to or insured by them. The collective returns made by these Associations and Companies covered 119,918 employers and accounted for 74.2 per cent. of the fatal cases, and 72.1 per cent. of the compensation in such cases, and 74:3 per cent. of the disablement cases, and 75:7 per cent. of the compensation in such cases in the seven industries. Of the total amount of compensation paid, £3,847,060, or 53.9 per cent., was paid by Mutual Indemnity Associations ; £1,534,386, or 21.5 per cent., by Insurance Companies, and £1,752,650, or 24.6 per cent., by uninsured employers.
18,857 returns were received from uninsured employers, of which 2,181 gave particulars of payments of compensation under the Act, while 16,676 were “Nil” returns, i.e., to the effect that there had been no cases of compensation. On analysis of these returns it appears that, of the 2,181 received from employers who made payments, more than half were from comparatively large employers. 249 of the returns showed less than 20 persons employed, 688 showed 20 but less than 100 employed, and 1,244 were returns with 100 or more persons employed. On the other hand the great buik of the Nil ” returns came from small employers. 14,980 of these returns showed less than 20 persons employed, 1,322 showed 20 but less than 100 employed, and 374 were returns with 100 or more persons employed.
The aggregate number of persons coming within the provisions of the Act who were employed in the seven industries was 7,342,311. The corresponding figures for the years 1915 to 1918 are not available. The figures for the preceding and subsequent years were : 1911 7,305,997
7,205,609 (It should be noted that the figure which the employer is asked to give is the average number employed throughout the year.)
The total number of cases in which compensation was paid in 1923 was 480,035, and the total amount of the compensation
paid was £7,134,096. Beginning with the year 1911, and omitting the years 1915 to 1918 for which the information available is incomplete, the following table shows the number of cases and the amount of the payments in each year up to 1923.
In 1923 the average payment in case of death was £222, as compared with £220 in 1922 and £161 in 1914; in case of disablement the average payment (including cases settled by payment of a lump sum) was £13 14s., as against £15 5s. in 1922 and £6 7s. in 1914. The average amount paid in lump sums was £49 12s., as against £65 3s. in 1922, and £28 4s. in 1914, while the average amount paid in the weekly payment cases was £12 2s., as compared with £12 9s, in 1922, and £4 17s. in 1914.
In 1923 there was an increase over the figures for 1922 both in the number of cases and the amount of compensation paid. The number of cases rose from 392,912 in 1922 to 480,035 in 1923, an increase of 87,123 or 22:2 per cent., and the compensation paid from £6,495,728 to £7,134,096, an increase of £638,368 or 9.8 per cent.
Taking the fatal and non-fatal cases separately, the number of fatal cases rose from 2,489 in 1922 to 2,657 in 1923, an increase of 168, or 6.75 per cent., and the compensation paid increased from £546,889 to £591,164, an increase of £44,275 or 8.1 per cent. The non-fatal cases increased from 390,423 in 1922 to 477,378 in 1923, an increase of 86,955 or 22:3 per cent., and the amount paid from £5,948,839 to £6,542,932, an increase of £594,093 or 10 per cent. .
The proportion of compensation paid in the seven industries in fatal cases was 8.3 per cent. The percentage for the different industries works out as follows :—shipping, 31:7; factories, 6:3; docks, 10.1; mines, 7.4; quarries, 13.3; constructional work, 9.3; and railways, 19.2.
Attention was drawn in the volume for 1922 to the remarkable rise during the last few years in the number of cases and compensation paid in the mining industry. This movement was continued in 1923, the mines accounting for almost the whole of the increase in the fatal cases and a large proportion of the increase in the non-fatal cases.
The following tables give the total number of cases, the total compensation paid, and the total number of persons employed, together with the charge per person employed, in each of the seven industries for the years 1919-1923.
Total Number of Cases and Total Compensation Paid.*
Total Number of Persons Employed and Charge per Person Employed.
It will be seen that the charge per person employed in mines has risen from 29s. 6d. in 1919 to 62s. 9d. in 1923. The figures for docks and constructional work shew a similar rise.
Concomitant with the large increases in the total number of cases, there was a rise in 1923 in each of the industries, except shipping, in the ratio of cases to the number of persons employed.
This rise, however, has been confined to the non-fatal cases. As
Ratio of Fatal and Non-fatal Cases to Persons employed.
As regards the non-fatal cases, it would appear from a classification of these cases according to the duration of disablement that the increased rate is due almost entirely to the increase in the rate of accidents lasting less than thirteen weeks, especially those lasting less than four weeks, which constitute (see page 10) more than half the total number of accidents. This is shown by the following table which classifies according to duration the number of cases of non-fatal accidents per 1,000 persons employed.
Duration of Non-fatal Accident Cåses.
Number of Cases of Accidents terminated within the Year by Weekly Payments per
1,000 Persons employed.
Attention is called to the note as to lump sum cases under the Table on page 9, which applies to this table also.