Problem communicating with remote server...
Previous Section Index Home Page

23 May 2006 : Column 1685W—continued

Workplace Health Connect

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will report progress made on the development of Workplace Health Connect. [72249]

Mrs. McGuire: Workplace Health Connect was launched on 23 February 2006. The service is now up and running, providing free, impartial and practical advice and support on workplace health, safety and return to work issues to small businesses. The aim of the service is to provide employers and workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to manage workplace health issues for themselves.

Workplace Health Connect is a collaborative service, set up in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive, offering a telephone Adviceline for England and Wales, and workplace visits from qualified Workplace Health Connect advisers. The workplace visits are currently available in the North East, North West, West Midlands, South Wales and Greater London, covering approximately 38 per cent. of small businesses in England and Wales.

Owners of small businesses and their employees can access the service by calling the Workplace Health Connect Adviceline on 0845 609 6006. They can talk to
23 May 2006 : Column 1686W
an expert adviser about their own particular workplace challenges to help them find appropriate solutions.

Further information on the service can be found at:

www.workplacehealthconnect.co.uk and www.hse.gov.uk/workplacehealth

Workplace Stress

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of how many days were lost due to stress in the workplace in each of the last 20 years. [72626]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 22 May 2006]: The most reliable and comparable data on days lost due to stress in the workplace in Britain are provided by the surveys of self-reported work-related illness (SWI) in 2001-02, 2003-04 and 2004-05. They relate to sickness absences taken by people who believed that they were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety and are given in the following table:

Estimated full day equivalent working days lost (in millions) due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety

2001-02

12.9

2003-04

12.8

2004-05

12.8


Data from an earlier SWI survey in 1995 provides an estimate of 4.6 million days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in Britain. This is not comparable with later SWI survey estimates because of differences in design, coverage and the level of information collected. Indications suggest that if it was possible to put this estimate on the same basis as later SWI data it could be up to 3 to 4 million lost working days lost different. Despite this uncertainty it is clear that days lost to work-related stress, depression or anxiety were lower in 1995 than 2001-02 and subsequent years.

Young Carers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to review the eligibility of young carers undertaking more than 21 hours of supervised study to claim carers’ allowance. [69390]

Mrs. McGuire: Carer’s allowance is available to young carers aged 16 or over who undertake training or part-time education, but it is not available to those in full-time education involving 21 hours or more of supervised study a week. This is because young people aged 16 or over who remain in full-time non-advanced education are regarded as financially dependent on their parents, who can receive child benefit and child tax credits on their behalf. Support for those who choose to undertake full-time advanced education is provided by the student support system rather than by social security benefits. We keep social security rules under constant review, but we have no current plans to change the full-time education rule in carer’s allowance.


23 May 2006 : Column 1687W

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that Jobcentre Plus supports young carers. [69985]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the former Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, on 10 March 2006, Official Report, column 1793W.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Absenteeism

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total number of days lost due to (a) sickness absence and (b) unauthorised absence in (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) its non-departmental public bodies was in each year since 2000. [71538]

Barry Gardiner: DEFRA was created in June 2001, and the answer given relates to full calendar years since then.

The total number of working days lost due to sickness absence in DEFRA and its Agencies is shown in the following table.

Department/Agency 2002 2003 2004

DEFRA

89,800

60,500

56,100

CEFAS

2,800

4,000

3,300

CSL

4,200

4,700

4,400

PSD

1,200

1,000

1,100

RPA

11,900

38,900

30,600

VLA

10,100

11,200

10,900

VMD

800

1,000

600

Note:
All figures rounded to the nearest 100.

Statistics on the average number of working days lost per staff-year for all Government Department and Agencies each year since 1999 is published on the civil service website at: http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management/conditions_of_service/publications/index.asp#sickness

The Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service in 2005 is due to be published in August 2006.

Animal Welfare

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has undertaken to explore alternatives to animal testing. [71199]

Mr. Bradshaw: DEFRA policy on using animals in research covers five main areas and is designed to:


23 May 2006 : Column 1688W

DEFRA is particularly active in looking for alternatives to using live animal experiments. Examples are:

Further information on DEFRA’s policy on the use of animals in research can be found on our website.

Emissions Trading

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the emissions target is for carbon dioxide emissions for each EU country under the EU emissions trading scheme for 2006; and what targets are planned for each of the next five years. [72436]

Ian Pearson: The following table, published on the European Commission website(1), shows the total allowances allocated by member states for phase I (2005-07) in their national allocation plans. Most countries have allocated these allowances evenly over the three years.


23 May 2006 : Column 1689W
Member state Phase I CO 2 allowances (million tonnes) Percentage share of EU allowances

Austria

99.0

1.5

Belgium

188.8

2.9

Czech Republic

292.8

4.4

Cyprus

16.98

0.3

Denmark

100.5

1.5

Estonia

56.85

0.9

Finland

136.5

2.1

France

469.5

7.1

Germany

1,497.0

22.8

Greece

223.2

3.4

Hungary

93.8

1.4

Ireland

67.0

1.0

Italy

697.5

10.6

Latvia

13.7

0.2

Lithuania

36.8

0.6

Luxembourg

10.7

0.2

Malta

8.83

0.1

Netherlands

285.9

4.3

Poland

717.3

10.9

Portugal

114.5

1.7

Slovak Republic

91.5

1.4

Slovenia

26.3

0.4

Spain

523.3

8.0

Sweden

68.7

1.1

United Kingdom

736.0

11.2

Total

6,572

100.0

(1 )http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/05/84&format=HTML&aged=1&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Member states are currently preparing plans for phase II (2008-12) in which they will determine their total allocations for the five year period. European Commission guidance states that the emissions caps must use the phase I allocation as a starting point and must make steps towards each member state’s Kyoto protocol target under the burden sharing agreement. Member states must submit final installation level allocation plans to the Commission by 31 December 2006.

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will estimate the yield to the Exchequer from a UK auction of 10 per cent. of allowances under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme at a price of (a) 10, (b) 15, (c) 20 and (d) 30 euros per tonne of carbon from 2008. [72522]

Ian Pearson: The total number of allowances to be allocated in phase II of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (2008-12) has yet to be decided. The draft UK National Allocation Plan, currently out for public consultation, explains that the final figure will represent a reduction against Business As Usual emissions of between 3 and 8 MtC a year. The projections for Business As Usual are currently being evaluated following consultation. It is not therefore possible at this stage to precisely calculate the yield from auction at these prices.


Next Section Index Home Page