21 JUNE 1913, Page 3

At a conference of the Faculty of Insurance held on

Saturday, Mr. Handel Booth, M.P., who presided, said that be was aghast at the many suggestions already made as to the amendment of the Insurance Act. The cause of his pertur- bation was apparently revealed by Mr. Kingsley Wood as the astonishing increase in the number of claims from women for sick benefit. During the first quarter of the administration of the Act, for every two men in a society there was one woman. Now there were two women for each man, and women remained on the sick list twice as long as men. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, he continued, had stated that there was great difficulty in checking the claims for sickness on the part of married women who were employed, and " the assumption arose that these excessive claims were due to the fact that the sickness benefit under the Act in very many cases approximated to the wages that women received, and that there must be something in the nature of malingering." This " assumption " has been resented as an insult to women- workers, and as only showing that they are underpaid.