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14 Jun 2006 : Column 1300W—continued

Pathways to Work

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information is held on the Pathways to Work evaluation database; what data fields are used; how much of the information from the database is readily accessible to the public; and how that information may be obtained. [76888]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Pathways to Work Evaluation database hold information on most of the end-to-end
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process of Pathways, including National Insurance number (encrypted), Pathways starts, benefit claims, work focused interviews (WFIs), referrals and starts to programme provision, Return to Work Credit (RTWC) awards and job entries.

There are 179 variables (fields) on the database, a large proportion of which are derived variables that are used for calculation purposes such as classifying dates into months, creating binary flags or enabling the merging of data from different sources. The full list of variables has been placed in the Library.

A report, summarising information produced from the database appeared as a DWP Departmental Working Paper in January 2006 entitled “Incapacity Benefit Reforms—Pathways to Work pilots Performance and Analysis (Working paper no.26)”, which is in the Library. Members of the public can access that information on the Department’s website at:

Pay Gap

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the pay gap between able bodied and disabled workers in (a) Tamworth and (b) the UK in each year from 1997 to 2005; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce it. [53421]

Mrs. McGuire: This Department has not undertaken any research into the pay gap between disabled and non-disabled workers. However, the Low Pay Commission reports that, in 2004, the pay gap for people with a work-limiting disability was 13 percentage points.

The employment provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), as amended and strengthened by this Government, place a duty on an employer not to directly discriminate against a disabled person, or to treat the disabled person less favourably for a reason related to that person's disability, unless this can be justified. The Equal Opportunities Commission’s Code of Practice on Equal Pay also makes clear that it is good practice for employers to compare the pay of disabled and non-disabled people doing equal work.

As a result of a strong economy and active labour market policies, the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people is starting to close. The employment rate for disabled people was 38.1 per cent. in spring 1998, rising to 46.6 per cent. by spring 2005; over the same period, the employment gap fell from 35.1 per cent. to 28 per cent.

The Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit report, “Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People” set out a 20 year strategy to realise our vision of substantive equality for disabled people. This strategy is being driven by a new Office for Disability Issues, which was launched in December 2005.

Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the current employer contribution rates to the principal civil service pension scheme are; what assumed rate of return underlies those contribution rates; and what the contribution
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rate would be if the assumed rate of return was in line with current redemption yield on index-linked gilts. [61908]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the then Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for East Renfrewshire (Mr. Murphy) on 29 March 2006, Official Report, column 1030W.

Print/Broadcast Media

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the Department’s policy on the use of broadcast and print media analysis. [37031]

Mrs. McGuire: Departments analyse coverage in the press and broadcast media as part of their day-to-day operations. This is an important part of best practice in communications (in both public and private sectors) as it enables us to measure the impact of our communications activities and so helps us manage future activity more effectively.

Private Members' Bills

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list those private Members' Bills in respect of which his Department has adopted a policy of neutrality in each session since 2001-02; and if he will make a statement. [72106]

Mrs. McGuire: None.

It is not possible to state the Department's position on private Member's Bills that did not reach Second Reading. Only one private Member's Bill has completed that stage since 2001 and the Department opposed the Bill.

Private Office Staff

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of his private office staff is (a) male, (b) female and (c) disabled. [68995]

Mrs. McGuire: DWP Private Office consists of seven Ministers’ offices, the Permanent Secretary’s office, the Special Advisers office and the Parliamentary and Correspondence Teams. Of a total 73 staff in post, the percentage of Private Office staff in the Department for Work and Pensions who are recorded as (a) male, (b) female and (c) disabled is as follows:

It should be noted that departmental records of disability are solely based on voluntary declarations of disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

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Registered Disabled (Mobility Aids)

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of (a) the number of registered disabled persons who use cycles of various kinds as mobility aids, (b) the extent of the mobility benefits provided as a result of the use of (i) cycles and (ii) other mobility aids and (c) the status of cycles as a mobility aid in relation to Parts 3 and 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act. [63625]

Mrs. McGuire: Information on the number of registered disabled persons who use cycles of various kinds as mobility aids is not available.

There are several types of cycles on the market designed for use by disabled people. However, we have made no assessment of the extent to which they, or other forms of cycles, are used as mobility aids and information to inform such an assessment is not held centrally. The extent to which cycles benefit the mobility of disabled people when compared with other forms of mobility aids has therefore not been determined.

Similarly, we have made no assessment of the status of cycles as a mobility aid in relation to duties under Part 3 or Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Part 3 of the Act includes provisions which place duties on service providers not to discriminate against disabled people and to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people in the way that they provide their services. Since 5 December 2005, the duties in Part 3 have started to be extended in stages to more areas, including private clubs, public bodies in their carrying out of public functions, and letting of premises. An adjustment for a disabled person who required a cycle as a mobility aid would need to be considered by those with duties under the Act when deciding what may be a reasonable adjustment to make. Factors such as the cost and practicability of making an adjustment, and the resources available to the service provider, private club or landlord may be taken into account in deciding what is reasonable in any individual situation.

Part 5 of the Act concerns accessibility regulations for all land-based public transport (trains, buses, coaches and taxis) rather than private modes of transport.


Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ensure that job opportunities for disabled people at Remploy factories will not be reduced as a result of the current review. [67764]

Mrs. McGuire: The Review of Remploy, which was announced on the 16 March, is about creating more employment opportunities for disabled people. The Department commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake a review, supported by an independent disability expert, Stephen Duckworth from Disability Matters, in order to put forward options for a strategy to enable Remploy to help more disabled people into work.

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Remploy factories there are in (a) Government office regions, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales. [74642]

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Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 5 June 2006]: Remploy has 81 factories in the Great Britain. The requested breakdown is in the following table.

Remploy factories in Great Britain, by country and region



North West


North East


Yorkshire and Humber


East Midlands


East of England


West Midlands


South East


South West








Small Change Big Difference

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department and its agencies have taken following the launch of the Government’s Small Change Big Difference Campaign. [72003]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions has not launched any new initiatives specifically linked to the Small Change Big Difference Campaign. It has, however, a good track record over many years of working with its occupational health consultants and local partners to promote a healthy lifestyle.

The Department of Health is leading the implementation for this initiative as part of its cross-government commitment to deliver the public health White Paper ‘Choosing Health’. As the programme of work develops the Department of Health will be working across all of government to ensure the programme joins up to promote maximum impact.

Spending Review (Efficiency Targets)

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the target level of employment expressed as full-time equivalents is in his Department by April 2008, in order to meet his Department's civil service workforce reductions target set out in the 2004 Spending Review. [52842]

Mrs. McGuire: The target level of employment by 31 March 2008 in the Department is 101,900 full-time equivalent posts. The target is benchmarked against those activities undertaken by the Department at the start of the efficiency challenge, 1 March 2004.

In addition, 625 full-time equivalent posts have been approved by HM Treasury to fulfil new public service commitments.

Telephone Advice Lines

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many telephone advice lines his Department and its non-departmental public bodies
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support; how many telephone advisers each employs; and how much funding is provided by (a) his Department and its non-departmental public bodies, (b) other Government departments, (c) the private sector and (d) the voluntary sector. [66583]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions and its non-departmental public bodies (NDPB’s) have a total of 28 telephone advice lines. The information that is available (from the advice lines where some relevant data are held) is included in the following table.

Funding information is not held on a consistent basis. We do not provide any funding for helplines run by the voluntary sector. The constructing better health CLG helpline run by the Health and Safety Commission/Executive receives funding from another Government Department, Department of Trade and Industry and from the private sector. The pensions regulator raises an administration levy on pension schemes and money raised from this levy is offset against funding provided by DWP.

The number of advisers shown in the table are full-time equivalents at March 2006 for those who spend the majority of their time answering calls.

The Pension Service (TPS) operates its telephony service as an integrated part of its business, and does not hold separate data on the number of telephone advisers nor is it able provide specific data for telephony costs alone. Other pension service helplines are run by private companies and, under the terms of confidential commercial contracts, suppliers are not required to provide information on staffing or budgeting information.

Debt management staff undertake both telephony and non-telephony duties, therefore separate data are not available for the number of telephone advisers or telephony budgetary information.

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Helplines (a) Number of advisers


Child support agency

CSA national helpline



Benefit enquiry line


Disability living allowance/ attendance allowance


Jobcentre Plus( 1)

Employer direct

Not available

Jobcentre plus direct—jobseeker direct


Jobcentre plus direct—first contact


National benefit fraud hotline

Not available

Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPB)

Executive NDPB

Disability Rights Commission (DRC)(2)


Health and Safety Commission/Executive (HSC/E)

Health and safety infoline


Health and safety gas safety advice line

Incident contact centre

Workplace health connect

Health and Safety Executive/Freight Transport Association advice line

Constructing better health CLG

Remploy Ltd.


The pensions regulator


Other bodies funded by DWP

The pensions advisory service (TPAS)


Pension protection fund (PPF) (public corporation)


(1 )For national benefit fraud hotline and employer direct specific data on the number of telephone advisors is not available as data collected relates to all staff employed regardless of their responsibilities.
(2 )Helpline is contracted out.

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