Reforms to help the sick

National Insurance Act (Part 1) 1911

The successes of this were:

  • provided compulsory health insurance for workers earning under £160 per year
  • paid 4 pence, the employer paid 3 pence and the state paid 2 pence - to provide sickness benefit of 9 shillings
  • if ill, was paid 10 shillings (for up to 13 weeks) then 5 shillings (for an additional 13 weeks)
  • was offered free medical treatment
  • was offered 30 shillings for maternity benefit

The limitations of this were:

  • after 26 weeks' absence from work, benefits were lost and the Poor Law had to provide for the worker
  • there was no provision for the worker’s family
  • many found that the contributions actually made poverty worse as they were paid less