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13 Feb 2003 : Column 958W—continued

Government Information (Disabled People)

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to improve access to government information about disabled people for organisations in the voluntary sector which have been contracted to deliver (a) Workstep, (b) Job Broking and (c) other programmes under the New Deal for Disabled People. [95702]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department's statistical publications provide a very wide range of information about disabled people. Arrangements are in place for making additional and more detailed results available on request, subject to restrictions of confidentiality and data quality.

All personal information held in social security records is regarded as confidential, and will not normally be disclosed to third parties without the consent of the person concerned.

We have no plans to change these arrangements.

Greater London Assembly

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what financial assistance his Department gave to the Greater London Assembly in 2002; and for what projects. [95845]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Department for Work and Pensions did not provide any financial assistance to the Greater London Assembly in 2002.

Health and Safety

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what advice Ministers have received from the Health and Safety Commission on the responsibility of company directors for health and safety, as referred to in the DETR document "Revitalising Health and Safety-a strategy statement", of June 2000; and what plans he has to introduce legislation to make this a statutory responsibility. [92097]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Government and the Health and Safety Commission are committed to encouraging boards of directors to take responsibility and provide leadership for ensuring that health and safety is properly managed.

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The Health and Safety Commission published guidance in July 2001, "Directors' responsibilities for health and safety". The guidance has attracted considerable interest among private, public and voluntary sector organisations.

The HSC is carrying out research to evaluate the effectiveness of the guidance in helping to promote greater board responsibility for health and safety. Preliminary findings reveal that the Government and HSC strategy together with a number of other factors are encouraging boards to take a greater interest and responsibility for health and safety. HSC has undertaken to report to Ministers in summer 2003 on the effectiveness of this strategy, the success of the voluntary approach and the need for further legislation.

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many successful new claims for Incapacity Benefit and its predecessor benefits were made by (a) men and (b) women in each of the last 25 years; [94238]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The available information is in the tables.

The following table shows the IB disallowed at onset figures due to failing the contribution conditions, as a percentage of all new claims.

New claims to IBNew claims to IB disallowed at onsetDisallowed claims as a proportion of total new claims to IR (%)
13 April 1995 to 31 March 19961,054,340382,44536.3
1 April 1996 to 31 March 19971,062,815439,64541.4
1 April 1997 to 31 March 19981,012,980435,09543.0
1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999930,000398,60542.9
1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000907,595393,58543.4
1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001873,490374,64042.9
1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002823,650350,89042.6


1. Disallowed at onset figures may still result in an award of IB credits.

2. CDU new claims figures may not result in an award of benefit or credits, as they

include "accident declarations" etc.

3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest five.

4. Figures are not collected by gender.


1. Figures for claims disallowed at onset (due to failing the contribution conditions) are 100 per cent. counts of the Incapacity Benefit computer system.

2. Figures for new claims to Incapacity Benefit are from DWP Central Data Unit, 100 per cent. counts of all claims received.

Sickness Benefit, Invalidity Benefit and Incapacity Benefit new claims by gender

7 June 1976 to 4 June 19779,182,0006,691,0002,491,000
6 June 1977 to 3 June 19789,982,0007,131,0002,851,000
5 June 1978 to 2 June 197910,490,0007,279,0003,210,000
4 June 1979 to 31 May 19809,208,0006,165,0003,043,000
2 June 1980 to 30 May 19817,465,0004,872,0002,593,000
1 June 1981 to 29 May 19826,981,0004,454,0002,527,000
5 April 1982 to 2 April 19835,813,0003,665,0002,149,000
4 April 1983 to 31 March 19841,141,000794,000347,000
2 April 1984 to 30 March 19851,094,000758,000336,000
1 April 1985 to 5 April 19861,137,000778,000359,000
7 April 1986 to 4 April 1987737,000506,000231,000
6 April 1987 to 2 April 1988810,000518,000292,000
4 April 1988 to 1 April 1989805,000509,000296,000
3 April 1989 to 31 March 1990839,000540,000299,000
2 April 1990 to 30 March 1991850,000562,000288,000
1 April 1991 to 4 April 1992926,000617,000309,000
6 April 1992 to 3 April 1993918,000606,000312,000
5 April 1993 to 2 April 1994904,000588,000315,000
4 April 1994 to 12 April 1995978,000635,000343,000
1 March 1995 to 29 February 1996874,000565,000308,000
1 March 1996 to 28 February 1997836,000540,000296,000
1 March 1997 to 28 February 1998804,000511,000293,000
1 March 1998 to 28 February 1999740,000457,000283,000
1 March 1999 to 29 February 2000688,000434,000254,000
1 March 2000 to 28 February 2001690,000436,000255,000
1 March 2001 to 28 February 2002642,000403,000239,000


1. From September 1980, spells of less than four days ceased to be classed as a claim to benefit except under certain circumstances.

2. Statutory Sick Pay was introduced on 6 April 1983 for the first eight weeks of illness, this was extended to the first 28 weeks of illness from 6 April 1986.

3. Incapacity Benefit replaced Sickness Benefit and Invalidity Benefit from 13 April 1995.

4. Figures include 'Credits Only' cases.

5. Figures include claims that have subject to linking. Linking provisions exist to protect people who qualified for Incapacity Benefit under their previous contribution conditions where they move into work and return to benefit within the linking period.

6. Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.


1. 2 per cent. sample of the Sickness Benefit and Invalidity Benefit caseload to 1977–78.

2. 1 per cent. sample of the Sickness Benefit and Invalidity Benefit caseload to 1995.

3. From April 1995 a 5 per cent. extract from the Incapacity Benefit computer system, which excludes a small number of cases held clerically.


1. Figures are not collected by gender.

2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest five.


100 per cent. count of the Incapacity Benefit computer system.

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Independent Schools (Health and Safety)

Mr. Burnett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are taken to ensure that asbestos surveys are carried out by experts and that their safety guidance is found in independent schools. [94386]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002, which have recently been made, will from 21 May 2004, place a new duty on those who manage asbestos in non-domestic premises. This includes independent schools. It requires them: to assess whether those premises contain asbestos; to assess the risk from asbestos; and to take action to manage the risk from asbestos. The duty does not specifically require a survey. However, if duty holders decide, as part of their assessment and management process, that a survey is necessary, and that they need independent expertise, the Health and Safety Executive publishes guidance on verifying the competence of a surveyor.

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Although the specific duty to manage regulation does not come into force until 21 May 2004, employers have, for many years, had a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to protect employees and others from the risks posed by asbestos.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the estimated cost is of a case-law change exercise in (a) correcting Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit records and (b) notifying claimants; and if he will make a statement. [95512]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The information is not available. The cost of correcting Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit records following a change in the interpretation of the law by a Social Security Commissioner or the courts can vary greatly depending on the nature of the change and the number of people affected by the change.

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