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Baroness Blackstone: In the opinion of the Secretary of State, the employer agreement constitutes a binding and enforceable contract between the employer and the Secretary of State. Under that agreement the employer undertakes, among other things, to take the New Deal employee into Class 1 employment. As a consequence, the employee should benefit from a directly enforceable contract of employment containing the terms of his or her relationship, including pay. Irrespective of this, however, it is the intention of the Secretary of State to see that employers keep their side of the bargain reflected in the employer agreement by monitoring and, where necessary, enforcement.
The New Deal employee can inform the Employment Service of any concerns that the agreement is not being met through a confidential telephone hotline, or through confidential discussion with his or her ES New Deal personal adviser. As an employee in the eyes of the law, a New Deal employee will have the same employment protection, and the same capacity, where a period of continuous service is a prerequisite of such protection, to earn employment protection as any other member of the employer's workforce.
stop future payments
cease further client referrals
make recovery, if possible, against other or future payments
take the employer to court.
If a penalty notice was incorrectly issued, the penalty will be reduced to nil on appeal by the taxpayer. A leaflet explaining this, together with an appeal form, is enclosed with every penalty notice.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): Yes. We are determined that all those indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) should be tried in The Hague. The detention on 8 April of two indictees by British SFOR troops in Prijedor reaffirms the high priority we attach to achieving this aim.
Her Majesty's Government fully support the work of ICTY. The UK has committed substantial resources to the tribunal to this end: in addition to our assessed contribution of £720,000 in 1997, we are funding the construction of an interim courtroom at a cost of £300,000. We have also supplied a substantial amount of information and are currently seconding eight personnel to the tribunal. We are also contributing £1.22 million towards the tribunal's 1998 exhumation programme.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Decisions to attend trials or, where practicable, have contact with prisoners are made case by case, taking into account the interests of the individual concerned and whether attendance at a trial might lend it unwarranted credibility. We keep no central record of such visits. The first published annual human rights report was published on 21 April. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House of Lords.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Prime Minister did not raise these issues on his recent visit to the Middle East. But they are regularly raised with both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian authorities during the course of our bilateral contacts. The purpose of the meetings in London on 4 May is to take forward proposals for next steps in the peace process, not to discuss administrative detention and torture.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Baroness Hayman): My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions is responsible for the co-ordination of UK government policy on the marine environment and shipping. My right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is responsible for the co-ordination of fisheries policy. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is responsible for the co-ordination of some specific areas of global maritime affairs, including the Law of the Sea.
Baroness Hayman: The hedge along the A.12 frontage is planted on land outside the highway boundary. It is the responsibility of the owner of the land on which the advertising signs stand, and therefore the concern of that landowner. While there is some evidence of earlier unauthorised trimming of shrubs planted within the highway verge, there is no permanent damage and regrowth is satisfactory. The Highways Agency would
Baroness Hayman: The research reveals a disappointing response to Circular 1/94 by local planning authorities. Whilst many have adopted sensible policies for gypsy sites in their Development Plans, a number either have no policies or contain policies which fail to guide applicants towards those locations where planning permission is more likely to be granted. My honourable friend the Minister for London and Construction has discussed the issue with gypsy representatives and my department will be writing to all local planning authorities about the matter.
Baroness Hayman: My department welcomes the research already done by the Advisory Council for the Education of Romany and other Travellers (ACERT) on Circular 1/94, to which I refer in my reply to the noble Lord's separate question on this issue, and their current project to assess the success rate of gypsy planning applications and appeals. Their work, which is being part-funded by my department, is making an important contribution to our thinking on policy affecting gypsies and other travellers.
The biannual count of gypsy caravans provides my department, and local authorities, with valuable information about the levels of unauthorised camping. The figures show a steady rise in the numbers of caravans on authorised, privately owned sites, but there is no room for complacency and a number of local planning authorities still have work to do to bring their policies in line with Circular 1/94.
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