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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what efficiency savings projects (a) her Department and (b) its agencies put in place under the Operational Efficiency programme; on what date each such project was initiated; how much each such project was expected to contribute to departmental savings; how much had been saved through each such project on the latest date for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Department has been making substantial efficiencies in its back-office operations throughout the last two Spending Review periods, and was used as an exemplar in the Budget 2009 Operational Efficiency programme (OEP) report. Hence, many of the recommendations of the report were already underway in DWP prior to the report's publication.
All new procurement is conducted collaboratively;
Driving value for money in all new IT contracts, under our future contracting strategy;
Proactively managing internal demand for IT resources;
Benchmarking of property and IT resources; and
Centralisation of back-office functions-with major savings through our shared services organisation, but smaller achievements also demonstrated in other corporate functions.
The Department will continue to report on its efficiency and value for money achievements in its departmental report and other publications. For example, we reported in our 2009 autumn performance report that we had delivered £581 million of efficiency savings during 2008-09 alone.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many layers of management reporting from the most senior to the most junior there are in her Department and each of its agencies; how many officials are employed in each such layer; and how much was spent on salaries and associated employment costs of staff at each such layer in the latest year for which information is available. 
Jonathan Shaw: There are nine layers of management in the Department for Work and Pensions. The following table gives a headcount breakdown of the number of people in each management grade at 31 March 2009.
|Grade||Jobcentre Plus||Pensions and Disability Centre||Corporate and Shared Services||Total|
It is not possible to split staff and associated costs down further by grade as information is not readily available at the level of detail requested, neither is this possible for associated costs of employment. The costs of providing such information would be disproportionate.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employees in (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in (i) her Department and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years; what estimate she has made of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year; and what proportion of employees in transition were classed as being so for more than six months in each year. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much her Department has spent on (a) ministerial photoshoots and (b) production of videos in which Ministers appear in the last three years for which figures are available. 
Jim Knight: Information on the use of external resources to conduct (a) ministerial photoshoots and (b) production of videos in which Ministers appear is detailed in the following tables and is set out as total costs by financial year and is exclusive of VAT.
|(a) Ministerial photo shoots|
|(b) Production of videos in which Ministers appear( 1)|
|(1) This also includes some reproduction and distribution costs where it has not been possible to separate them out.|
The higher cost of video production in 2007 can mainly be attributed to the making of a film to promote the benefits of local employment partnerships to employers. Filming was extensive and included interviews with a wide range of employers from across the country.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average cost was of calls made to her Department's 0845 telephone number from (a) land lines and (b) mobile telephone networks in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
The cost of calls to the Departments 0845 numbers will vary according to each service provider, who will determine their own costs. BT landlines charge the lowest tariff and 70 per cent. of DWP callers do so from a BT landline. BT provide free 0845 calls if the call is made within the individual caller's call plan.
Cost of calls to 0845 numbers from mobile phones will vary according to which mobile operator a customer uses. Although we can identify if a caller is using a mobile phone, the Department is unable to identify which mobile operator a caller is using.
Patrick Hall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of time was between the submission of an appeal against the refusal of an application for disability living allowance and the subsequent hearing in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps she has taken to ensure that claimants of (a) unemployment benefit and (b) jobseeker's allowance are able to take up employment opportunities for (i) full-time work and (ii) work for under 30 hours per week. 
Jobseeker's allowance claimants must be available for and actively seeking work as a condition of their benefit, and Jobcentre Plus provides a wealth of support to help
people back into work, including help with jobsearch techniques, basic skills and work-focussed training.
For example, jobseekers can also claim working tax credits, which provide financial support to people who are working and on a low income. This support aims to boost work incentives by topping up the wages of people on lower pay, according to their family circumstances. This includes providing direct help with the cost of child care for working families.
Jobseekers may also qualify for a Job Grant, a non-taxable, discretionary, work related payment which aims to bridge the gap between a customer's final payment of benefit and first receipt of wages. To qualify for this, a customer must have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for 26 weeks immediately prior to starting work of at least 16 hours per week. Awards are £100 for single customers or couples without children and £250 for lone parents or couples with children.
In addition, jobseekers can have their housing benefit extended to cover the first four weeks they are in work, providing they have previously been in receipt of jobseeker's allowance or other income related benefits for at least 26 weeks immediately before entering work. A similar scheme, with similar rules, exists to support homeowners back into employment. The Mortgage Interest Run-On provides an additional four weeks' payment of mortgage interest costs after a customer enters work.
We know that the vast majority of people are better off in work. However, we understand that some jobseekers still find the transition into work difficult, and in the December White Paper "Building Britain's Recovery: Achieving Full Employment", the Government further announced that we will introduce an enhanced Better off in Work Credit that will ensure that everyone who has been unemployed for 26 weeks or more will receive at least £40 a week more income on moving into work. The new credit will be introduced in one region from October 2010 and we expect the credit will be available nationally from January 2011.
In addition, lone parents in receipt of jobseeker's allowance may be eligible for the In Work Credit which is paid at £60 a week in London and £40 a week in other parts of the country. Customers who return to work from incapacity benefits may be eligible for the Return to Work Credit which is paid at £40 a week. Both credits are available to these customers when they start work for 16 hours a week, with payments lasting for 52 weeks.
Jim Knight: This question falls under my responsibility, as Chair of the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force. This Task Force does not have a specific budget and while Secretariat support is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, this is delivered by the Ethnic Minority Employment policy team.
Jim Knight: This question falls under my responsibility, as Chair of the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force. The Task Force's aim is to close the ethnic minority employment gap, and in pursuing this aim the Task Force seeks to influence cross Government policies, so that issues and barriers which lead to the gap are identified and tackled. It does not deliver employment programmes directly. As such it is not possible to say how many people the Task Force itself has helped into work.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit claimants there are in each (a) county, (b) metropolitan authority, (c) London borough and (d) unitary authority in England. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed incapacity benefit in each year since 1997; and how many such claimants (a) reached retirement age and (b) died in each such year. 
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the entitlement to employment rights will be of jobseeker's allowance claimants participating in the work for your benefit pilots; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 25 January 2010]: Work for Your Benefit is a pilot programme primarily for customers who have been unemployed for more than two years. The programme consists of a work experience placement and other training and support which will be tailored to the individual. The programme is designed to help participants gain skills and experience which will be of value to them as they move towards work.
The programme does not provide jobs. It provides unpaid work experience placements and participants will continue to receive jobseeker's allowance. Participants are not employed, and there will be no contract of employment between host organisations and participants.
Safeguards will however, be in place to ensure that Work for Your Benefit participants are properly treated. Participants will have the right to work in a healthy and safe working environment, and of course host organisations and providers will have to comply with all relevant legislation under the Disability Discrimination Act.
Work for Your Benefit participants will not be required to participate for more than 40 hours per week, and some for less than this, if for example they have caring responsibilities or have a health condition. Participants will be able to take time off during the placement, and will be given all appropriate training to allow them to make the most of their placement.
In addition, all suppliers will have in place a complaints mechanism through which customers will be able to raise concerns about their work experience placement, and ultimately can contact Jobcentre Plus if they have concerns over the support they are receiving.
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