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Table B lists those websites operated by the Department for Work and Pensions where the Department is not responsible for the content:

Website name and address Quantifiable costs financial year 2007-08 (£)

Independent Case Examiner

www.ind-case-exam.org.uk

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council

www.iiac.org.uk

Social Security Advisory Committee

www.ssac.org.uk

Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force

www.emetaskforce.gov.uk


Departmental Pay

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many bonuses were awarded to senior civil servants working at his Department and its agencies in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; and how much was spent on such bonuses in each of those years. [249849]

Jonathan Shaw: The information is as follows:

End of year performance bonuses

Senior civil service individual performance bonuses reward the delivery of in-year personal and business objectives or targets.

For the senior civil service end-of-year bonuses are determined on an individual basis by the relevant DWP SCS pay committee. The number of bonuses awarded
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to senior civil servants in DWP and its agencies and totals paid in 2007 and 2008 are shown in the following table:

DWP and its agencies

Number of bonuses awarded to senior civil servants Total p aid ( £ m illion)

2007

202

1.73

2008

208

1.82

Notes:
1. Some individuals may have received more than one type of bonus payment in the year.
2. The total amount paid includes employers national insurance contribution (ERNIC).

Special bonus and voucher payments

Individuals may also be entitled to special bonus payments either as cash or vouchers. These are one-off recognition awards, payable at any time during the performance year and are not linked to the annual pay award. Information on special bonus and voucher payments is not collated separately for the senior civil service and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Electronic Government

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the accessibility of Government websites; and if he will make a statement. [243868]

Mr. Watson: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Central Office of Information. I have asked the chief executive to reply.

Letter from Alan Bishop, dated December 2008:

EU Grants and Loans

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what allocation the UK has received from the European Union Globalisation Fund for the next 12 months; and what allocations of that funding have been made by his Department. [252128]

Mr. McNulty: The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, or EGF, does not operate through making allocations to member states. It is a contingency fund as such and a member state has to make a specific application for matched funding from the EGF. There is no ring fenced EGF budget: rather, the fund can draw on up to €500 million per year from within the EU budget where there may be underspends or decommitted funds.


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Jobcentre Plus: Vacancies

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many posts in the Jobcentre Plus network have been vacant in each of the last 12 months. [241452]

Mr. McNulty: 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:

Number of vacancies

2007

December

567

2008

January

609

February

642

March

602

April

786

May

756

June

627

July

628

August

513

September

644

October

646

November

742

Source:
Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentres: Scotland

David Mundell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff were employed in job centres in each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) local authority area in Scotland on (i) 1 January 2008 and (ii) 1 January 2009. [253082]

Mr. McNulty: The information is not available broken down by constituency or local authority area.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of jobseeker's allowance (JSA) claimants have returned to claiming JSA within 12 months of gaining employment in the latest year for which figures are available. [249029]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested is not available.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what information his Department holds on people with rheumatoid arthritis; whether
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rheumatoid arthritis is classified as a disability under the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005; and if he will make a statement; [253918]

(2) what recent estimate he has made on the effect of the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005 on access to employment for people with rheumatoid arthritis; [253919]

(3) if he will bring forward proposals to strengthen the legal rights of people with rheumatoid arthritis in the workplace. [253920]

Jonathan Shaw: Data are held by my Department in respect of information provided on claims made to incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance. These data indicate that at February 2007 there were 26,470 claimants whose medical condition was recorded as “other rheumatoid arthritis”(1). Similarly, information on the disabling condition is collected for claimants of disability living allowance, but it does not separately record rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is not specifically classified as a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act as amended (DDA). In general, a person is considered to be disabled for the purposes of the Act if they have a “physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities”. A person with rheumatoid arthritis will be protected by the provisions of the Act where he or she meets this definition of a disabled person. Furthermore, a person with rheumatoid arthritis may be able to benefit from special provisions in the Act which apply to persons with progressive or fluctuating conditions(2).

My Department has made no estimate of the effect of the DDA on access to employment for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Access to employment by disabled people, including those with rheumatoid arthritis is influenced by a range of factors, for example, the economic climate, the availability of work programmes and in-work benefits, and the advice disabled people receive to help them to find work.

It is not possible to isolate the effect of disability discrimination legislation on access to employment for disabled people.

The Government have significantly improved and strengthened the DDA, so that it now provides a comprehensive and enforceable set of civil rights for disabled people. We have no plans to extend legal rights in the workplace specifically for people with rheumatoid arthritis. We are, however, taking the opportunity of the forthcoming Equality Bill to simplify and streamline the disability discrimination legislation to make it more accessible and effective for disabled people, including those with rheumatoid arthritis, to operate.

Communities and Local Government

Coastal Towns Network

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which principal seaside towns are (a) members and (b) not members of the Coastal Towns Network (CTN); and whether there are plans to develop links between the CTN and coastal towns in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. [244860]

Mr. McFadden: I have been asked to reply.

The CTN is made up of representation from a range of national and regional stakeholders. Individual coastal towns are not on the CTN, but relevant towns and places are represented through local authority representation on the CTN programme, and other networks.

So far the network has included the following local authorities in meetings and circulation of papers; Brighton and Hove city council, Thanet district council, Kent county council, Lincolnshire county council, East Lindsay district council, Boston district council. CTN included representation from the BURA (British Urban Regeneration Agency) seaside network (which has a membership of public and private sector organisations in excess of 120), Coastal Communities Alliance and BRADA (British Resorts and Destinations Association). There are plans to make links with similar networks in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the first half of 2009.

Community Relations: Islam

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mrs. Lait) of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 294W, on community relations: Islam, if she will place in the Library a copy of the report by the Change Institute on Understanding Muslim Ethnic Communities. [252177]

Mr. Khan: Communities and Local Government has commissioned the Change Institute to conduct research on Understanding Muslim Ethnic Communities. This work has not yet been completed.

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the merits of establishing further community-based advisory groups modelled on the Young Muslim Advisory Group. [254178]

Mr. Khan: The Department is committed to engaging with community-based groups across the Department's agenda. The Young Muslims Advisory Group has been in existence for less than six months. We will be monitoring
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the group's progress, and will use this information to inform any future decisions on establishing new community-based advisory groups.

Departmental Billing

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Oaten) of 18 December 2008, Official Report, column 1044W, on billing, if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department's letter to its agencies and non-departmental public bodies. [251863]

Mr. Khan: The information has been deposited in the Library of the House.


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