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Jobseeker's Allowance

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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Today I am announcing details of pilot measures and the locations selected to undertake pilot activity from January through to July 2005.

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.

Our pilots include:

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.

Pilot areas are:

Telephone Signing with Random Call-in

Random Call-in for 13 Weeks

Random Call-in for First 3 Signing Events

Screening Tool

Disability Discrimination Bill

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 main duties in the Bill would:

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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.