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The Minister for Work (Jane Kennedy):
On 2 December, the Chancellor announced in his pre-Budget report that we will be looking at a number of ways of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the jobseeker's allowance regime.
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These measures are intended to speed up entry into employment by improving our understanding of conditionally, increasing commitment to personal job search activity and enabling more effective review of progression.
a revised jobseeker's agreement, which we will test in all pilot districts, for completion by the claimant, focussed upon job search steps and including a record of personal job search activity for ongoing review;
three innovative approaches to the fortnightly job search review; fortnightly telephone contact with random call-in (random call-in means that individuals can be called into the jobcentre for a face to face review of their job search), random call-in for the first three signing events, and random call-in for the first six signing events.
Pilot activity will be accompanied by a thorough evaluation programme. To test the effectiveness of the new signing regimes we will be applying a random assignment approach which means that about half of all claimants will experience the standard regime.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Maria Eagle): We have published today a consultation document Disability Discrimination Bill: Consultation on private clubs; premises; the definition of disability and the questions procedure (Cm 6402). Copies have been placed in the Library.
This document sets out our detailed proposals for using regulation-making powers in the Disability Discrimination Bill, which had its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 6 December, in respect of the Bill's duties on: private clubs; landlords and managers of rented premises; the extension of the definition of disability; and the extension of the questions procedure.
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The proposals do not vary the main duties, but clarify and define the detail of key concepts which will ensure the main duties can be properly met.
The consultation document, which is also available in a range of accessible formats, seeks views form interested parties by 18 March 2005. The results will be used in the development of draft regulations and, where appropriate, of Disability Rights Commission statutory codes of practice.
We committed to consult on measures concerning private clubs when the draft Disability Discrimination Bill was published in December 2003, and on private clubs and the other measures listed above during pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Bill.
The consultation document will help to ensure there is full and open debate during the Bill's progress on our plans for using regulation-making powers in the Bill. We have already consulted on using the Bill's regulation-making powers in respect of its duties on public bodies in the consultation document "Delivering Equality for Disabled People". Copies of that document are available in the Library.