|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Prime Ministers answer of 14 November 2007, on the immigration status of employees, what steps his Department has taken to establish the immigration status of its employees since the Security Industry Authority wrote to employers in August on security clearance. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions applies baseline security checks, which include a nationality and immigration status check, to all employees on entry to this Department. The checks form part of our standard recruitment process and are applied to all permanent, fixed term and casual employees.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) under what circumstances elderly people who have received duplicate payments of disability living allowance and attendance allowance are not required to repay the overpayments; 
(2) what mechanisms will be used to determine whether elderly people who have incorrectly received duplicate payments of disability living allowance and attendance allowance knew they were being overpaid; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of elderly people from whom duplicate payments of disability living allowance and attendance allowance will be recovered; and what value of duplicate payments is expected to be recovered; 
Given the circumstances of these overpayments, it is extremely unlikely that people would have clearly known that they were being overpaid. Consequently we do not anticipate that the question of recovery will arise in many cases, if at all.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions further to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 505W, what formula is used to calculate each of the levels of disability living allowance. 
Mrs. McGuire: The levels of disability living allowance are not calculated using a formula. Entitlement is determined by reference to the extent to which a severely disabled person requires personal care or supervision and/or has walking difficulties as a result of their disability.
There are two rates of mobility component, lower and higher, and three rates of care component, lowest, middle and highest. Further information about entitlement to disability living allowance can be found on the Directgov website at
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many secondments of staff were made (a) to and (b) from the Government Equalities Office in each year since 1997; which organisations' staff were seconded (i) to and (ii) from; how many staff were seconded in each year; for how long each secondment lasted; and what the cost was of each secondment in each year. 
Staff transferred to the GEO from the Department of Communities and Local Government under the terms of the Transfer of Functions Order 12 October 2007. There are currently no secondments into, or out of the GEO.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 26 November 2007, Official Report, columns 6-8WS, on next steps to full employment, what his definition is of key out-of-work benefits. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The key out-of-work benefits for people of working age are: jobseekers allowance; incapacity benefit; severe disablement allowance; income support for lone parents; pension credit for men aged 60 to 64; and other income support cases excluding carers allowance cases.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people on jobseekers allowance who have been away from home (a) within the United Kingdom and (b) abroad without informing Jobcentre Plus in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Jobseekers allowance (JSA) regulations, which govern the payment of JSA, state that to receive JSA the jobseeker must be in Great Britain. Therefore when a jobseeker goes abroad on holiday JSA is not payable, nor credit of national insurance contributions awarded, for the period they are away.
Holidays taken within Great Britain are allowed provided the jobseeker remains available and actively seeking employment for the duration of the holiday. There is however, a concession within the regulations which allows jobseekers to be treated as actively seeking employment for two weeks in a 12 month period. This needs to be agreed in advance with the Jobcentre before the holiday commences. There is no limit to the number of weeks a jobseeker can be away from home but usually if the holiday exceeds four weeks the Jobcentre would advise the jobseeker to make a claim in the area they are staying in.
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether jobseeker's allowance regulations allow claimants to refuse a job offer if they are unable to find suitable affordable child care; 
(2) whether jobseeker's allowance claimants are exempt from available and actively seeking work requirements (a) during school holidays, (b) during periods of a child's exclusion from school and (c) when a child is sick and unable to attend school. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 3 December 2007]: Jobseekers allowance regulations do not allow for the refusal of a job offer by a claimant who is unable to find suitable affordable child care as a prescribed reason.
All jobseekers must be available and actively seeking work to receive jobseeker's allowance. There are easements in regulations that allow for caring responsibilities. These include: changing their pattern of availability during school holidays; limiting availability to a minimum of 16 hours and; being treated as available and actively seeking work if there is a domestic emergency. Each case is judged on its own merit and all the available evidence is considered in reaching a decision.
The impact of these measures and how they can best be tailored to lone parents were considered in our Green Paper In work, better off: next steps to full employment and in the subsequent consultation on its proposals. We will be responding to these in our White Paper response.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people who receive (a) jobseekers allowance and (b) incapacity benefits who would be affected by proposed strikes within his Department. 
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply direct to your question on the number of people receiving (a) Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and (b) Incapacity Benefits (IB) who would be affected by the proposed strikes within his Department. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus has robust and proven contingency arrangements in place for continued service to our customers, during periods of industrial action.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will institute procedures so that foreign workers have to register with the worker registration scheme before they are issued with a national insurance number. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 13 November 2007]: The Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) was introduced to monitor the impact of A8 migration on the UK labour market. It does not extend to people from the A2 nations or other foreign nationals.
NINOs are only issued to foreign workers coming to work in the UK who can prove that they have a right to do so. Many NINO applicants with a legitimate right to work choose to apply for a NINO before starting workand are able to prove their right to do so using Home Office specified documentary evidence. Early provision of a NINO can facilitate the prompt deduction and recording of tax and national insurance contributions and is advantageous to both the employer and employee.
WRS registration can only take place after an A8 worker finds employment. So, whilst some A8 nationals do register on the WRS before applying for a NINO, it is not a pre-condition to the allocation of a NINO.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the percentage of economically active people aged between 50 years and state pension age who (a) have a health problem and are educated to degree level or
higher, (b) have a health problem and are educated to GCSE or A-Level, (c) have a health problem and have other or no qualifications, (d) do not have a health problem and are educated to degree level or higher, (e) who do not have a health problem and are educated to GCSE or A Level and (f) who do not have a health problem and who have other or no qualifications. 
|Proportion of economically active people, aged 50-state pension age, broken down by education attainment and whether they have a long-term health problem|
|Health problem lasting more than 12 months||No health problem lasting more than 12 months|
Labour Force Survey, quarter 3 2007, using variables HIQUAL5D to assess qualification attainment and LNGLIM which asks whether the respondent has a health problem lasting more than 12 months
The Labour Force Survey is a sample survey covering over 53,000 households in the United Kingdom. As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the percentage of people aged between 50 and 69 years who were claiming (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) new deal 50 plus and (c) new deal 25 plus in (i) spring 2001, (ii) spring 2002, (iii) spring 2003, (iv) spring 2004, (v) spring 2005, (vi) spring 2006 and (vii) spring 2007, broken down by gender. 
The available information on the percentage of people claiming jobseekers allowance (JSA) as a proportion of the working age population aged between 50 and state pension age, broken down by gender, in the requested time series, is in the following table.
|Percentage of people aged 50 to state pension age who were jobseekers allowance (JSA) claimants|
|Month ending May:||All||Male||Female|
1. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.
2. Percentage population figures have been calculated using the appropriate year apart from 2007 where 2006 population estimates have been used.
Count of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus computer systems ONS, Population Estimates Unit.
People aged 25-59 claiming JSA or national insurance credits for 18 out of last 21 months are mandated to all aspects of new deal 25 plus. Men aged between 60 and state pension age who have been claiming JSA or national insurance (NI) credits for 18 out of the last 21 months are only required to attend the Gateway stage of new deal 25 plus but can volunteer for other aspects of the programme.
A woman cannot be mandated to new deal 25 plus beyond the current female state pension age. Prior to the 1 June 2007, people aged 50 plus who had been claiming JSA or NI credits were mandated to the Gateway stage only of new deal 25 plus. Disadvantaged customers may have early entry to new deal 25 plus at the discretion of their new deal adviser.
New deal 50 plus is a voluntary programme for people who have been claiming a qualifying benefit for at least six months. The programme is also open to those whose partner has been claiming an increase in benefit for them for at least six months.
The available information on the percentage of participants on new deal 25 plus and new deal 50 plus as a proportion of the working age population aged between 50 and state pension age, broken down by gender, in the requested time series, is in the following table.
|Percentage of people aged 50 to state pensions age who were new deal 25 plus and new deal 50 plus participants|
|New deal 25 plus||New deal 50 plus|
|As at May each year||Total||Male||Female||Total||Male||Female|
1. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.
2. New deal 25 plus started in July 1998; new deal 50 plus started in April 2000.
3. Data on the number of people participating on the new deal 50 plus caseload are only available from January 2004.
4. Age is calculated at the point of joining the programme.
5. Percentage population figures have been calculated using the appropriate year apart from 2007 where 2006 population estimates have been used.
6. Data exclude people above state pension age but people above this age can participate on a voluntary basis on new deal 25 plus and new deal 50 plus providing they are in receipt of the pension credit.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions ONS, Population Estimates Unit
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|