|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost was of refurbishing (a) 1 Victoria Street, (b) Kingsgate House and (c) 151 Buckingham Palace Road; how many people worked in each building (i) before and (ii) after refurbishment; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The works in these buildings formed part of the Departments very successful Two Roof project which reduced the size of the DTI estate in London by a third, introduced flexible desking on the basis of eight desks for every 10 staff across the whole Department (a Whitehall first on this scale) and generated annual savings of around £15 million per annum. The project has been subject of case studies by both the Office of Government Commerce and the National Audit Office.
The cost of the works to 1 Victoria Street totalled £7.9 million of which over half comprised works to improve the performance of the building infrastructure, particularly the ventilation and cooling systems. The capacity of the building was increased from 1,680 to 2,400.
The cost of the works to 151 Buckingham Palace Road totalled £3.9 million which again included a substantial element of life cycle works to the building infrastructure such as the ICT cabling. This enabled the DTI presence in the building to be concentrated on just three floors (total capacity 1,050) instead of the original five floors. The surplus two floors were completely vacated and then sublet.
The cost of the works to Kingsgate House totalled £2.8 million and was concentrated on three floors. This enabled further activity (totalling 335 staff) to be brought into the building from other DTI accommodation in London which was then vacated and disposed of. The remainder of the building comprising the accommodation occupied by UK Trade and Investment was not part of the Two Roof programme.
The DTI continues to keep its overall accommodation needs under review and an integral part of the overall works was the introduction of a standardized accommodation layout to enable further reductions in space to be carried out quickly and at low cost.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The DTI is committed to the targets for energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions as set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development in Government. During the period 1990-2000 to 2005-2006 the DTI HQ and its Agencies have achieved a reduction in carbon emissions from 5.2 to 4.2 (000 tC) as has been reported annually in annual Sustainable Development in Government returns (SDIG) published through DEFRA.
Over the past two years the Department has reduced the size of its London HQ estate by over 30 per cent. with a corresponding reduction in all the associated environmental impacts. This has been achieved by making more efficient use of its existing accommodation and the adoption of flexible desking on the basis of 8 workstations for every 10 staff. Other carbon reduction initiatives include the purchase of nearly a third of its electricity from renewable sources between 1999-2000 and 2004-05.
Jim Fitzpatrick: DTI staff in central London have access to a 32 place holiday play-scheme in our Victoria Street building. DTI HQ staff in Cardiff have access to a local holiday play-scheme, which is situated within a school.
Costs for (a) the Department for the holiday play scheme in 2005-06 were £59,936 and (b) £14 per day per child for an employee using the holiday play scheme in London and £12 in Cardiff. Each play-scheme place is subsidised by the Department, the full daily rate being £31 in London and £24 in Cardiff.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what contracts were awarded by his Department to Bird and Bird Solicitors in each year since 1997; what the (a) value and (b) duration of each such contract was; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Work and Families Act 2006 is the first step towards delivery of some of the measures set out in the Government response to the consultation, Work and Families: Choice and Flexibility, which was published in October 2005. It aims to establish a balanced package of rights and responsibilities for both employers and employees, in line with the Government's better regulation agenda.
Among other things, the regulations extend entitlement to a year's maternity leave to all pregnant employees; extend notice periods for returning to work later or earlier than agreed from 28 days to eight weeks; and introduce keeping in touch days, so that employees can do up to 10 days work during maternity leave by agreement with their employer
As a result of the Work and Families Act 2006 there will be changes to the existing maternity leave and pay regulations. These will come into force on 1 October 2006 for those employees whose expected date of childbirth is on or after 1 April 2007.
From 1 October 2006 women whose babies are due on or after 1 April 2007 with 26 weeks' service by the 15th week in which their baby is due are entitled to 39 weeks statutory maternity pay. This has been increased from 26 weeks. They are also entitled to a further 13 weeks additional maternity leave (AML) which is unpaid.
All women will continue to be entitled to 26 weeks' ordinary maternity leave (OML), which is unpaid, but from 1 October 2006 women whose babies are due on or after 1 April 2007 the length of service requirement for additional maternity leave AML will be removed, so all mothers who are employees will qualify for 26 weeks AML and will be able to choose to take up to one year off work.
Currently the DTI entitlement allows women with one years service before the fourth week in which their baby is due to have 26 weeks paid maternity leave (PML) at full pay. They must return to work for at least one calendar month after childbirth or will have to repay any payment made less the statutory maternity pay (SMP) amount. There are no plans to extend this entitlement at present.
Therefore from 1 October 2006 women whose babies are due on or after the 1 April 2007 who have the qualifying service are entitled to 26 weeks PML at full pay, then 13 weeks SMP. They are also entitled to a further 13 weeks AML which is unpaid.
All new fathers or partners are entitled to 10 days paid paternity leave except during periods of unpaid absence. This need not necessarily be taken at the time
of the birth but may be taken during the weeks following the birth of the child if this is more helpful.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many of his Department's employees have been (a) dismissed, (b) suspended and (c) subject to disciplinary action for criminal activity in each year since 1997. 
|Table 1: Disciplinary action relating to criminal charges|
|Dismissed following suspension||Currently suspended||Subject to disciplinary penalty short of dismissal|
The Department has procedures in place for dealing with misconduct and gross misconduct. These procedures follow the standards set out in Chapter 4.3 of the Civil Service Management Code, covering central rules on standards of conduct.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department of Trade and Industrys disability equality scheme will be published on its website on 4 December. Alternative formats of the document will be made available on request.
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department of Trade and Industry is using a variety of methods to involve disabled people in the work on its disability equality scheme. We are working closely with the Department's Disability Advisory Group and trade unions to ensure disabled members of staffs views are taken into account. Externally, we are working with a range of disability organisations, such as Remploy; RADAR; the Association of Disabled Professionals; Blind Business Association Charitable Trust, and the Employers Forum on Disability to gather a range of views from our disabled customers.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) which policy areas will be considered
in the report on progress towards disability equality within the trade and industry policy sector due to be published in December 2008; 
(2) what (a) information-gathering and (b) other steps (i) his Department and (ii) other relevant bodies are taking to inform the production of the report on progress towards disability equality within the trade and industry policy sector. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: To inform the work for its disability equality scheme, the Department of Trade and Industry is carrying out an extensive screening exercise for all areas of its work. This will enable the Department to assess the relevance of its functions, policies and proposed policies to the general duty under the Disability Discrimination (Amendment) Act 2005, prioritise these areas of work accordingly, and draw up an action plan that will provide a framework to meet its legal obligations.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was paid to his Department from the Access to Work scheme for adjustments for disabled staff in the last year for which figures are available; from what budget he plans to meet the costs of reasonable adjustments for disabled staff following withdrawal of Access to Work funding for central Government Departments; and if he will make a statement. 
Where staff are in receipt of support through Access to Work, the Department intends to fund future support in line with current provision for reasonable adjustments not covered by the Access to Work scheme.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the likely impact on (a) developing and (b) developed nations of reaching an agreement in the Doha World Trade Talks. 
Clearly the Government are very disappointed that the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations have been suspended, because a successful Doha Round could deliver real benefits to developed and developing nations through increasing trade, stimulating economic growth and helping to alleviate poverty. However, the exact gains that developed and developing nations could derive from the Doha Round are difficult to calculate, because they depend on a large number of variables. Estimates of the global economic gains resulting from particular dossiers have been made by, among others, the World Bank, UNCTAD, the OECD and the Carnegie Institute. These estimates vary considerably, depending
on the assumptions included in the economic models used, although all agree that the gains resulting from ambitious liberalisation are greater than those from a less ambitious outcome. That is why the UK Government remain committed to achieving an ambitious, pro-development outcome to the DDA.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he plans to have over the next month with (a) Commissioner Mandelson, (b) US Ambassador Susan Schwab and (c) the Director General of the World Trade Organisation on prospects for reviving the Doha round of trade talks. 
Mr. McCartney: Clearly the Government are very disappointed that the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations have been suspended, but the Government remain fully committed to securing an ambitious, pro-development outcome to the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). In order to achieve this objective, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, myself and other Ministerial colleagues have had regular contacts with the EU Trade Commissioner, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO. We expect that these contacts will continue, as necessary.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|