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13 Jan 2009 : Column 575W—continued

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Business Working days lost Average working days lost per staff year

Jobcentre Plus



Disability and Carers Service



The Pension Service



Child Support Agency



Other, including central directorates






1. DWP is unable to report precise part year data for the current financial year because its computer system is configured to calculate sickness absence levels using a rolling 12 months’ data. The figures for 2008-09 are therefore based on data from December 2007 (rather than April 2008) to November 2008 inclusive. November 2008 is the latest month for which figures are available.
2. Up to 2006-07, average absence levels per staff year were reported annually by the Cabinet Office. The average figures for 2006-07 derive from the report “Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service 2006-07”. All other data in the tables, including those for working days lost, reflects information currently held on DWP's internal personnel computer system.
3. The averages shown are the average per full-time staff year, rather than per employee, to take account of part-time workers.
4. Any difference between the sum of the agency figures and the total for DWP is due to rounding.

Industrial Health and Safety

Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the rate of under-reporting of workplace health and safety incidents in Scotland in the last five years. [244492]

Jonathan Shaw: In relation to the under reporting of workplace health and safety incidents in Scotland:

In addition to formal RIDDOR reports HSE receives information on incidents from a variety of other sources.

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Health and Safety Commission prosecutions there were against directors and managers of companies alleged to have committed health and safety breaches in each of the last five years, broken down by sector; and if he will make a statement. [245278]

Jonathan Shaw: The Government recognise the need for robust enforcement of health and safety law, and prosecution of offenders where there is the supporting evidence and it is in the public interest to do so. Prosecution is one aspect of the current arrangements, involving a mix of legislation, enforcement and voluntary guidance, which serve to focus directors' and senior managers' attention on their responsibilities for health and safety, and to influence their behaviour.

Health and Safety Executive prosecutions in each of the last five years against individual directors and other officers and members of corporate bodies, via s.37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, is given in the following table.

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2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08







Not guilty






Adjourned/not concluded






Withdrawn/not taken












A sector break-down is not readily available and its provision would involve a disproportionate cost.

Jobcentre Plus: Expenditure

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much expenditure his Department has incurred in providing Jobcentre Plus services in each of the last 10 years, broken down by district. [241456]

Jonathan Shaw: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

Annex A
£ billion

Net administration costs Net programme costs Net operating costs
























1 Source of the above information is the Jobcentre Plus annual report and accounts for each year from 2002-3 to 2007-8.
2 Information is shown for each complete financial year since Jobcentre Plus started in 2002.
3 Figures are quoted in nominal terms only.
4 From April 2007, accounting responsibility for employment programmes moved to Welfare Work Equality Group (WWEG) within DWP.

Jobcentre Plus: Resignations

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff have left their posts in Jobcentre Plus after a period of sick leave in each month in each of the last five years. [241450]

Jonathan Shaw: The information is not available.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have claimed jobseeker's allowance (JSA) in each quarter since 1997; and what proportion in each quarter had been claiming
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JSA for (a) between 0 and 13 weeks, (b) between 13 and 26 weeks, (c) between 26 and 39 weeks, (d) between 39 and 52 weeks, (e) over 52 weeks and (f) over 104 weeks. [243468]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 December 2008]: The available information has been placed in the Library.


Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many former prisoners are employed by his Department; and what his Department's policy is on employing former prisoners. [246340]

Jonathan Shaw: I am unable to answer how many former prisoners the Department employs as we do not collect or record this information. We would be unable to gather the information as paperwork relating to appointment is destroyed in line with the Data Protection Act.

Current policy position

Our policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders is to employ individuals with unspent convictions wherever it is appropriate to do so. A risk assessment is made on each individual case taking into account the nature of the offence and the appropriateness of recruiting the individual concerned into the specific post on offer. Occasionally it is necessary to refuse employment to ex- offenders but this decision is not taken lightly. The Department is fully compliant with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and with Cabinet Office guidelines.

Pension Credit

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the way in which income from savings is taken into account in calculating entitlement to pension credit following the reduction in the Bank rate to two per cent.; and if he will make a statement. [242666]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 11 December 2008]: Pension credit disregards savings up to £6,000 (£10,000 for those in a care home). The vast majority of pensioners (around 80 per cent.) who are eligible for pension credit have savings of £6,000 or less and do not have tariff income applied.

Pension credit rules assume a notional rate of income at a rate of £1 for every £500 (or part of £500) savings held above the £6,000 threshold. This is half the rate assumed for working age benefits and is significantly more generous than those of the previous minimum income guarantee.

The formula is not intended to represent any rate of return that could be obtained from investing capital. It provides a simple method of calculating the weekly contribution that people with capital in excess of £6,000 (or £10,000 if in a care home) are expected to make from those resources to help meet their normal living expenses.

Pension credit, through the savings credit, is designed to specifically reward pensioners with low or modest second pensions or savings. Deemed income from capital is also qualifying income for the savings credit.

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Pensions: Sheffield

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many pensioners in Sheffield receive their pensions by direct credit to their bank or building society account; [244102]

(2) how many pensioners in Sheffield collect their pensions from their local post office. [244103]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available in the format requested.

Information available at April 2008 shows that in Sheffield around 62,000 pensioners were being paid their state pension by direct credit to their bank or building society accounts and around 18,500 were being paid into a Post Office card account.

Many of the 62,000 pensioners paid into a bank account may still choose to collect their cash from the Post Office using one of the 25 or so bank and building society accounts that can be accessed over the counter at Post Office branches.

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans his Department has to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. [243975]

Jonathan Shaw: My Department has not, at this stage, developed plans on how to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen in 2012.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is in discussions with the Royal Household about how to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Social Security Benefits: Reform

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effects of his recently-announced proposals for welfare reform on severely mentally and physically disabled people; and if he will make a statement. [245848]

Jonathan Shaw: The impact on disabled people of all the proposals in our White Paper, Raising expectations and increasing support—reforming welfare for the future, was assessed as part of the wider impact assessment. The measures that have the most direct impact on disabled people are those to do with employment and support allowance and incapacity benefit.

The impact assessment can be found on the internet at:

Sunbeds: Safety

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Health and Safety Executive will publish a response to the guidance on controlling the health risks associated with working with UV tanning equipment consultation. [246211]

13 Jan 2009 : Column 580W

Jonathan Shaw: The Health and Safety Executive expects to publish the revised guidance leaflet (INDG209) and a summary of the responses to consultation on the draft version early in 2009.

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