(On Appeal from the Court of Appeal in England.)
Subject_Master and Servant — Workmen's Compensation Act 1897 (60 and 61 Vict c.37), First Schedule (1) ( a) — Earnings — Deductions from Wages.
The word “earnings” in the Workmen's Compensation Act 1897 is used in a popular sense, and means the sum which a workman gets for his work when he comes to it properly equipped according to the general understanding and practice of his particular trade.
By agreement with a collier, his employer deducted from his weekly wages a sum for the check weigh fund, the sharpening of picks, and the maintenance of lamps, and the supply of oil thereto.
Held that in estimating the compensation due for an injury under the Workmen's Compensation Act 1897, the workmen's earnings were his whole wages without any deduction.
In an arbitration under the Workmen's Compensation Act 1897, brought before the County Court Judge of Lancashire at Wigan ( Bradbury), the widow of William Southern claimed compensation from the Abram Coal Company for the death of her husband, a collier, as the result of an accident in the course of his employment at one of the company's mines on 26th July 1901.
Southern's total earnings were stated to be £196, 15s. 8d., but it was agreed by the parties that this sum was not actually paid to him, but only the balance after deduction of £8, 11s. 6d. made under an agreement between him and his employers that deductions should be made from his weekly wages for the check weigh fund, the sharpening of picks, and the maintenance of lamps, and the supply of oil thereto.
The Coal Company maintained that in calculating the total earnings of Southern the £8, 11s. 6d. should be deducted from the £196, 15s. 8d.
On 3rd December 1901 the County Court Judge awarded the full amount claimed, refusing to make the deduction above-mentioned.
On 7th June 1902 the Court of appeal ( Collins, M.R., Matthew, and Cozens Hardy, L. JJ.) affirmed this decision.
The Abram Coal Company appealed.
At the conclusion of the appellant's argument their Lordships gave judgment.
Judgment appealed against affirmed and appeal dismissed.
Agent for Claimant and Respondent—Watkins, Son, & Fletcher, Atherton.
Counsel for Appellants— Haldane, K.C.— F. L. Smith. Agents— Rowcliffes, Rawle, & Co., for Peace & Ellis, Wigan.