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Maria Eagle: We are providing new training for women and men who have been out of work for six months. We are investing £15 million in skills development and support for women. We are funding 35,000 more apprentices. We are providing help with mortgages and extending the right to request flexible working from this April. The booklet Real Help Now for Women, published this week, signposts women towards a full range of support that they and their families may need in the economic downturn.
Maria Eagle: Over the past 10 years we have transformed the way that the Criminal Justice System deals with domestic violence. Section 12 of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 will extend the courts' powers under the criminal provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 to enable them to impose restraining orders when sentencing for any offence or on acquittal. We are fully committed to implementation of section 12 in September 2009.
Maria Eagle: We want equal pay for women because women are of equal value. The forthcoming Equality Bill will include a number of measures to improve pay transparency. From April we are also extending the right to request flexible working to the parents of children up to 16, and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is conducting a formal inquiry into the financial services sector, where the gender pay gap is 44.4 per cent.
Mary Creagh: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government are taking to reduce the disincentive to provide childcare vouchers arising from employers' liability to pay for the cost of childcare vouchers in the last six months of maternity leave. 
No such steps are planned. The provision of childcare vouchers through the Employer Supported Childcare (ESC) scheme already offers significant rewards to employers. Employers offering ESC currently save £130 million in national insurance contributions each year, and an attractive package of benefits, of which childcare can be an important part, improves staff retention, ensures access to a wider recruitment pool, reduces absenteeism and leads to a more motivated workforce.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much the Equality and Human Rights Commission spent on consultants in 2008-09; and what project each consultant was engaged to work on. 
Maria Eagle: The Equality and Human Rights Commission expects to spend £420,000 on consultants in the 2008-09 financial year. The consultancy projects were focused on the Commissions organisational development and on ensuring EHRC had the necessary skills and means to deliver the Commissions new three year strategic plan. The plan itself is due to be published in April 2009.
Mr. Scott: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many staff of her Office were recorded absent for non-medical reasons on (a) 2 February 2009 and (b) 3 February 2009; what estimate she has made of the (i) cost to her Office and (ii) number of working hours lost as a result of such absence; and what guidance has been issued to staff in respect of absence on those days. 
Maria Eagle: 32 staff from the Government Equalities Office were absent due to non-medical reasons on 2 February 2009 and two staff were absent on 3 February 2009. Many were able to work from home once it was clear transport was disrupted, as access to departmental IT systems was unaffected. The total number of working hours lost was 245 and the cost for time lost is estimated at £5,060. For all absences the Department asks that staff notify their line manager by 10 am on the day of any change to their normal working pattern. When staff made contact they were asked to consider all transport options to enable them to attend the office but to take into account any personal safety issues.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many and what percentage of letters sent by the Government Equalities Office were given to (a) the Royal Mail and (b) another postal services provider for delivery in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The Government Equalities Office does not have any arrangements of its own for postal services. GEOs staff and Ministers work, or have worked in buildings belonging to other Departments and have used the post arrangements set up by those host Departments. Letters from the GEO in the last 12 months have been sent via the arrangements set up by: Communities and Local Government, the Ministry of Justice, the Cabinet Office, the Attorney-Generals Office, and the Department for Work and Pensions. GEO letters would be included within the totals for these other Departments and sent via the providers that they use.
Mr. Paul Goodman:
To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many staff the Equality and Human
Rights Commission (EHRC) employs; what the EHRC staff costs are expected to be for 2008-09; how many staff the (a) Disability Rights Commission, (b) Equal Opportunities Commission and (c) Commission for Racial Equality employed in their last full year of existence; and what the staffing costs of each were in that year. 
The Commission for Racial Equality employed 247 members of staff. Total staffing costs were £9,559,000.
The Equality Opportunities Commission employed 172 members of staff. Total staffing costs were £5,166,000.
The Disability Rights Commission employed 209 members of staff. Total staffing costs were £8,338,000.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what cars are (a) owned, (b) leased, (c) hired and (d) otherwise regularly used by the Government Equalities Office, broken down by cubic capacity of engine. 
Maria Eagle: The Ministers of the Government Equalities Office, Harriet Harman and Maria Eagle, make regular use of cars supplied by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. The cubic capacity of the engine for Harriet Harman's car is 1497cc; the cubic capacity of the engine of Maria Eagle's car is 1339cc. The Government Equalities Office itself does not own, lease or hire cars.
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your request to ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many civil partnership ceremonies have been conducted in each English local authority. (261863)
Statistics on the number of civil partnerships in the UK by area of formation for 2005 to 2007 are available online at:
Table 5 shows the numbers of civil partnerships by area of formation, year and sex. A copy of this table is attached. Statistics are available for the following types of area within England: Government Office Regions, counties, London boroughs, metropolitan districts and unitary authorities. A copy of the table is available in the Library of the House.
The figures in Table 5 relate only to civil partnerships taking place in the constituent countries of the UK. They do not include civil partnerships of UK residents taking place abroad but will include non UK residents who form a partnership in the UK. Figures for England and Wales are based on date of formation. Figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland are based on date of registration. Data are based on area of formation and not area of residence.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which ICT projects the Cabinet Office initiated and abandoned before completion in each year since 1997; what costs were incurred in each project; who the contractors for each were; on what date each was (a) commenced and (b) abandoned; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Watson: The Cabinet Office initiated one major IT project that was cancelled prior to completion in the last six years. For information regarding this project I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Liddell-Grainger) on 14 December 2005, Official Report, columns 2057-58W, by the then Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Murphy).
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which external organisations the Cabinet Office has engaged to provide training for fast stream civil service staff in the last three years; and how many civil servants in the Cabinet Office have participated in provision of training for external organisations in that period. 
Mr. Watson: The Cabinet Office does not arrange training for members of the civil service fast stream programme. Each Department is responsible for determining training and development arrangements for its own fast streamers. There is no central co-ordination or record of fast stream training civil service-wide.
The Cabinet Office does however offer training for the fast streamers it employs directly. The Department
currently employs 14 fast streamers. All these fast streamers have participated in training provided by external providers in the last three years. The majority of fast stream training is provided by the National School of Government. Other training providers are on an occasional basis, within Government procurement guidelines.
Ms Keeble: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) men and (b) women were in (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employment in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many (a) men and (b) women were in (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employment in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
The requested information is shown in the attached table. This information is updated monthly as part of the Labour Market Statistics First Release and can be found on the Office for National Statistics website at the following address.
The estimates are derived from the Labour Force Survey. As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
|People aged 16 and over in employment by sex and working pattern( 1) . Three month rolling periods, November 2007-January 2008 to October-December 2008, United Kingdom, seasonally adjusted|
|(1) Full-time and part-time employment is based on respondents' self-classification.|
It should be noted that the above estimates exclude people in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc).
Labour Force Survey
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