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Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures his Department is taking to combat discrimination against black and Asian women in the workplace; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government want everyone to achieve their potential at work, and recognise that women from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups may face additional barriers to doing so, because of a combination of factors related to gender, ethnicity and in some cases, religious belief. While black and Asian women are increasingly well qualified, and there are many successful women from these communities, there is compelling evidence that many black and minority ethnic women do find it harder to get into employment, to progress at work, and to be paid fairly.
Measures introduced by the Government to support parents and carers in the workplace and to eliminate discrimination benefit women from all backgrounds equally. These include improved maternity rights, better access to child care, and the right for parents of young or disabled children and carers of adults to request flexible working. In addition, the Government remain committed to ensuring that the legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment on the grounds of sex, race and religion or belief is properly enforced, and believes that the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights will assist in addressing instances of multiple discrimination.
Further, black and Asian women will benefit from progress on steps taking place across Government to address the gender pay gap and its underlying causes.
These are set out in Towards a Fairer Future, Implementing the Women and Work Commission recommendations, published in April this year. More details can be found in that report of a number of initiatives specifically designed to benefit women from minority ethnic communities in finding and progressing in employment, including the Cities Strategy; Partners Outreach; Work Search Premium; the Deprived Areas Fund; work with employers on recruitment and progression arising from a report by the National Employment Panel's Business Commission; employer-led Fair Cities pilots in Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford and Brent, London; and a range of regional activities. The Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force is taking a pro-active strategic approach to addressing the particular challenges faced by minority ethnic and minority religious women, and will shortly be reporting back to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to propose a focused set of priorities around procurement and employer engagement including tackling employer discrimination, not just in recruitment to the workplace but also in progression through it.
In the public sector, the duties to promote race and gender equality and to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on these grounds will ensure that black and Asian women are not disadvantaged in the workplace.
Mr. Jim Murphy: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply to your questions about the number of people who used each of our offices in the London Borough of Sutton in each of the last five years, and the number of staff employed at those offices in the same period. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
In 2002 there were two offices in SuttonSutton Jobcentre and Sutton Social Security Office. The Sutton Social Security Office dealt with personal callers and Incapacity Benefit processing for the London Boroughs of Sutton, Merton, Kingston and Richmond and the county of Surrey. With the reorganisation of benefit delivery work the Incapacity Benefit work was moved in stages to other centres prior to the closure of the Social Security Office in March 2006. Sutton Jobcentre Plus opened on 9 January 2007.
Information on the number of people using the offices is not available as people do not have to receive benefits to use the job search facilities. The available information on the number of staff who were working at both Sutton Jobcentre and Sutton Social Security Office, including those who are now working at the Jobcentre Plus Office is in the table. Sutton Jobcentre now provides the full range of Jobcentre Plus services.
|Sutton Jobcentre( 1)||Sutton Social Security Office( 1)|
|(1) Figures are for full-time equivalents (i.e. two people working half normal hours will count as one person) Staffing records are retained only for three years so figures for 2003 are not available. (2 )The March 2007 figure is for number of staff employed at Sutton Jobcentre Plus.|
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration he has given to David Freuds recommendation to transfer lone parents to jobseekers allowance, or other appropriate benefit, when their youngest child reaches 12 years of age. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: We have said in the recent Working for Children child poverty strategy report that we think we should consider a move to jobseekers allowance for those that are able to work, with the same basic financial entitlements, but with a much greater work focus. We are considering David Freuds recommendations carefully and will respond in the summer.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many participants there were in the New Deal for Disabled People each month since 1998; how many in each month successfully found employment; and how many of those people have remained in employment for longer than six months. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 8 February 2007]: New deal for disabled people (NDDP) has, year on year, been successful in increasing the proportion of participants it has helped into work. Information on the number and proportion of participants on the programme who have been helped into work since the programme started in July 2001, is in the table.
|New deal for disabled people|
1. Figures relate to April to March each year, apart from 2001-02, which relates to July 2001 to March 2002.
2. Starts data relate to registrations with Job Brokers, and jobs relate to jobs gained via Job Brokers.
Information on employment lasting for longer than six months through new deal for disabled people is not available. Information broken down by month since the programme started in July 2001 is in the table.
|Participants||People gaining a job|
1. The table includes separate figures for the number of people participating in a particular month, and the number of people gaining a job in a particular month.
2. People participating in a particular month may have gained a job in a subsequent month, and so will be recorded in that month as gaining a job.
3. New deal for disabled people started in July 2001.
4. Latest data are to August 2006.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions.
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