Catalogue description Committee on the Engagement and Use of Labour in Construction (Phelps-Brown Committee)

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Details of LAB 92
Reference: LAB 92
Title: Committee on the Engagement and Use of Labour in Construction (Phelps-Brown Committee)
Description:

Committee papers and evidence before the Phelps-Brown Committee on the Engagement and Use of Labour in Construction. These relate to the engagement and use of labour in building and civil engineering, with particular reference to labour-only sub-contracting ('the Lump'), and the problems of high levels of labour turnover and unemployment.

The committee papers include discussion papers prepared by members of the committee, and evidence presented to the committee by interested groups, organisations, and individuals.

Definitions of the various categories of workers will be found in committee paper LC 30 in piece 1.

Date: 1967-1969
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Creator:

Committee on the Engagement and Use of Labour in Construction, 1967-1969

Physical description: 131 file(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Accruals: Series is not accruing.
Administrative / biographical background:

The Committee on the Engagement and Use of Labour in Construction was appointed jointly by the Ministers of Labour and of Public Building and Works in March 1967. It was chaired by Prof E H Phelps-Brown, formerly of the London School of Economics, and was created to inquire into the engagement and use of labour in building and civil engineering, with particular reference to labour-only sub-contracting.

Freelance or self-employed workers in the building industry were popularly known as 'the Lump' (referring to lump sum payments to ad hoc groups). The effect on revenue of such labour-only sub-contracting, with its unregulated finances, was concurrently investigated by the Public Accounts Committee.

The Phelps-Brown Committee also inquired into the problems of high levels of labour turnover and unemployment. Its report was published in August 1968 (Cmnd 3714), and made specific recommendations for improvements, including registration of employers and bona-fide self-employed tradesmen, and statutory regulation of employers' responsibilities for workers.

Legislation for registration of workers and the imposition of a levy on employers of unregistered workers, was subsequently proposed in the Construction Industry Contracts Bill 1970, which failed to be enacted due to the change in government in that year.

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