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David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) penalties and (b) cautions have been issued against employers who have not complied with the national minimum wage in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) Scotland. 
|Penalty notices||Enforcement notices|
An enforcement notice requires an employer to start paying the national minimum wage and also to make up any past failure to pay the minimum wage. If an employer fails to comply with the enforcement notice, compliance officers can then issue a penalty notice which imposes a financial penalty equal to twice the hourly rate of the main national minimum wage rate (i.e. twice £4.10) per worker affected for every day that the enforcement notice is ignored.
Alan Johnson: Manufacturing, which accounts for over 10 per cent. of GDP and nearly 300,000 jobs, remains an important part of London's economy. More people work in manufacturing in London than in Birmingham, Manchester or Sheffield. Figures based on the Office for National Statistics figures for 1998, which are the latest available, show performance of manufacturing industry in London, on a gross value added per employee basis, is 123.2 per cent. of the UK average. Manufacturing labour productivity in London is now the highest of the English regions.
As part of DTI's plans to establish a nationwide Manufacturing Advisory Service, the London Development Agency is taking forward plans to establish a Regional Centre for Manufacturing Excellence (RCME). The RCME will make available sources of practical help on all manufacturing related expertise and support issues, and act as the focal point for the regional delivery of support services to SME manufacturers.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who initiated the review which led to the increase in BNFL's liabilities announced in her statement to the House on 28 November 2001. 
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total cost of financial settlements made by BNFL was following its acquisition of (a) Sierra Nuclear Corporation, (b) Manufacturing Sciences Corporation and (c) Parajito Scientific Corporation. 
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on how the Working Time Directive is functioning; and how many prosecutions have been made against employees who are failing to implement it. 
Alan Johnson: The Working Time Directive was implemented in Great Britain through the Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998 No. 1833) and the amending regulations of 1999 and 2001 (SI 1999 No. 3372 and SI 2001 No. 3256 respectively). These regulations are functioning effectively in providing workers with entitlements to rest, paid annual leave and working time and night work protections.
In referring to the number of prosecutions against employees, I take my hon. Friend to mean employers. There are no readily available figures in this respect. However, 1,369 claims received by the Employment Tribunal Service for 200001 and 469 investigations completed by the Health and Safety Executive's Working Time Officers since the Regulations came into force, indicates that workers have not been dissuaded from asserting their rights and entitlements.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make it her policy to (a) provide employees with a direct right to claim compensation from an employer on the grounds that no written statement of his or her employment terms and conditions exists, (b) oblige employers to provide employees with relevant information in disputes over payments or other entitlements, (c) entitle the parties in employment disputes to access to specialist advice through the legal services commission and (d) set up a Fair Employment Commission. 
Alan Johnson: Providing employees with a right to compensation where the only issue is the absence of a written statement might encourage speculative claims where no real damage had been suffered. However, the Employment Bill, currently before Parliament, includes a proposal for employment tribunals to increase awards in cases brought under certain jurisdictions where it becomes evident that there was no written statement or that it was defective, and I believe this will do much to encourage compliance.
Information about the redress available to workers who are in dispute about statutory employment rights, including a range of free booklets on employment rights published by my Department, is widely available from Citizens Advice Bureaux, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and other sources. My Department has no plans to require employers to provide such information themselves or to set up a Fair Employment Commission.
The Community Legal Service (CLS), administered by the Legal Services Commission, was launched to improve access to good quality legal and advice services throughout England and Wales, and this incudes access to
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advice on employment law issues. The CLS Fund provides for advice and assistance in all areas of employment law as well as representation before the Employment Appeal Tribunal, subject to the standard means and merits tests. It does not however provide for representation before Employment Tribunals. The Lord Chancellor will not make any decisions on extending CLS funding to representation at employment tribunal proceedings until the responses to the consultation on Sir Andrew Leggatt's review of tribunals have been fully analysed.
Alan Johnson: The Employment Bill, currently before Parliament, contains powers to extend the time limits within which unfair dismissal and certain other claims need to be made to allow the relevant statutory dispute resolution procedure contained in the Bill to be completed.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment she has made of the impact of (a) wayleaves and (b) easements in the construction of overhead pylons and the related impact on the price of property; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: I have made no assessment. Compensation for a landowner for the presence of an overhead line is a matter to be settled voluntarily or if there is a dispute to be considered by the Lands Tribunal.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action she has taken to ensure that the NGC respects the legal entry on to farmland in connection with the Lackenby to Shipton overhead transmission line; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Alexander: The UK telecoms market is fully liberalised and competition has developed rapidly in recent years, with the majority of customers having a choice of telecoms operator. The UK has one of the most competitive telecoms markets in the world.
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she will reassess the basis on which the Government's share of the surplus is determined; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will place obligations on telecommunications providers to increase the availability of broadband technologies in rural areas; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Alexander: The Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) sets the minimum service standard for telecommunications in the UK as part of the Universal Service Obligation on BT, taking into account the appropriate European legislation. Oftel have no plans at present to place obligations on telecommunications providers to make broadband services available. Oftel will keep the situation under review.
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