|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government asked the Low Pay Commission to consider the impact of extending annual leave entitlements. The following table from their annual report for 2005 shows the paid leave entitlement for low-paid working age employees in autumn 2003.
|Paid leave entitlement||Part-time||Full-time||All|
|Fewer than 10 days||41.1||6.8||24.4|
|10 to fewer than 12 days||4.2||3.4||3.8|
|12 to fewer than 20 days||18.2||14.0||16.1|
|20 days or more||36.6||75.8||55.7|
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many widescreen televisions have been purchased by his Department for use in London Headquarters in each of the last five years; and what the cost was in each year. 
Alan Johnson: The Department is unable to identify separately widescreen televisions purchased from expenditure on other electrical audio-visual equipment such as flatscreen displays or traditional cathode ray tube TVs.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many days sick leave on average staff in his Department have taken in each of the last five years; and what percentage of total working days this represented in each year. 
Alan Johnson: The following sets out average sick absence in the DTI HQ (including Small Business Service) in each of the last five years; and percentage of total working days this represented in each year. All data include weekends and public and privilege holidays; and therefore based on working year of 335 days.
|Average days||Percentage of total working days||Average days||Percentage of total working days|
Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what factors he took into account in deciding on the level of funding to be allocated to (a) the Commission for Racial Equality, (b) the Disability Rights Commission and (c) the Equal Opportunities Commission. 
Alun Michael [holding answer 31 January 2006]: Regulations implementing the bulk of the EU Accounts Modernisation Directive were made in November 2004. Guidance for companies on the effect of the amendments was placed on the DTI website prior to that date. Regulations implementing the requirement of the Directive to produce a Business Review and introducing the Operating and Financial Review were made in March 2005. Guidance covering both aspects of the 2005 regulations was placed on the DTI website prior to that date. Following a decision not to proceed with the Operating and Financial Review the guidance has now been updated to relate solely to the Business Review and consultation is under way about what changes to the Businesses Review is needed as a consequence.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions his Department has had with the European Commission concerning the impact of European public procurement law on the costs to small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK of bidding for public contracts. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 9 January 2006]:The UK played an active role in the negotiations on proposals from the European Commission regarding the two new European public procurement directives which were implemented on 31 January 2006. DTI was involved in that process where SME's interests were taken into account. These new directives, which replace existing EU rules on public procurement, will help to improve the procurement process for suppliers, including SMEs, and contracting authorities through their greater clarity and the scope they provide to take account of modern procurement methods and systems.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to ensure that foreign farm workers working in the United Kingdom are paid above the national minimum wage. 
Any person employed to work in agriculture, anywhere in England and Wales, is entitled to be paid at least the appropriate agricultural minimum wage rate set out in the Agricultural Wages Order. This includes all foreign nationals legally entitled to work in the United Kingdom. The Agricultural Wages Order is enforced by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs in England and the National Assembly for Wales Agriculture Department in Wales. If a worker considers s/he might have been underpaid they should contact the Agricultural Wages Team on 0845 000 01 34 and they will arrange for the matter to be investigated.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the dates on which his Department had discussions with (a) Ofgem,
1 Feb 2006 : Column 548W
(b) Energywatch and (c) gas supply companies regarding erroneous transfers of customers' gas supplies to other suppliers. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Department has extensive contact with Ofgem, Energywatch and gas and electricity suppliers about a range of aspects of domestic gas and electricity supply, including erroneous transfers. DTI, Ofgem and Energywatch have been closely involved in the suppliers' Customer Transfer Programme, which began in June 2003. This is a very substantial project that is designed to improve all aspects of the switching process, including reducing erroneous transfers. Such transfers have already fallen significantly. In 2005 there were around 110 complaints per month about erroneous transfers of gas supply. In the same period, gas transfers were running at an average of 300,000 per month. This compares with 150 complaints per month in 2004, and 290 per month in 2003. I expect complaints about erroneous transfers to decline still further once the Customer Transfer Programme is completed in March 2006.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the national targets are for the National Weights and Measures Laboratory; and what the performance has been of relevant offices in Devon and Cornwall in relation to those targets. 
To complete calibration jobs within the time requested by customers, with at least 95 per cent. of all jobs (including preparation of certificates) completed within 18 working days of acceptance of the work and an average completion time of less than 13 working days.
In respect of approved verification to complete the evaluation of the application and supporting Quality documentation within 30 working days (six weeks) of receipt for at least 80 per cent. of applications.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|