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Written Question
Slavery
Monday 7th February 2022

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the then Secretary of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on 12 January 2021 (HC Deb, col 160) that they will "introduce fines for businesses that do not comply" with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, when they plan to bring forward these changes.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)

The landmark transparency provisions contained in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 made the UK the first country in the world to require businesses with a turnover of £36m or more to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

To enhance the impact of transparency and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government committed to strengthening the reporting requirements contained in section 54 and introduce new measures including financial penalties for organisations that fail to meet their statutory obligation to publish modern slavery statements. These measures require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows. The Government will publish guidance to help organisations prepare for the new reporting requirements when timings of legislation is clear.


Written Question
Slavery and Forced Labour
Thursday 28th May 2020

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on (1) labour exploitation, and (2) modern slavery.

Answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford - Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)

Modern slavery is a harmful and hidden crime and its victims may be especially isolated and vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to protecting those who may be subject to exploitation and modern slavery, during this time.

We are working closely with the police, the National Crime Agency, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs - National Minimum Wage Team to monitor and assess any emerging changes to the threat of modern slavery during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure law enforcement activity can respond to the changing environment. We are confident that law enforcement agencies continue to pursue high risk modern slavery cases where there is a risk of harm or detriment to individuals.

In addition, we have taken clear steps to ensure that we continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society. To ensure victims continue to feel supported and safe, we announced on 6 April 2020, that all individuals in accommodation provided by the government-funded specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract, will not be required to move on from their accommodation for the next three months.


Written Question
Care Leavers: Personal Records
Monday 27th June 2016

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) will have on care leavers’ full access to their care records.

Answered by Lord Nash

The Government is currently assessing the full impact that the General Data Protection Regulation will have on individual areas of data processing. Certain provisions of the Regulation will have direct effect in UK law, including a continuing right of access for data subjects to their personal data and other information. In certain areas, the regulation leaves the option for domestic legislation to restrict rights that arise under it in certain circumstances (article 23).

The Regulation will apply from 25 May 2018. Before then, the Department for Education will assess whether the current statutory guidance covering care leavers’ access to their case records needs to be revised.


Written Question
Surrogate Motherhood: Lone Parents
Monday 27th June 2016

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the barriers to amending taxation requirements so that the permanent branding on corporate uniforms could be replaced with non-permanent branding.

Answered by Lord O'Neill of Gatley

There is an income tax deduction available where an employer provides corporate uniforms, or where an employee must purchase such clothing. To be considered a uniform clothing must meet certain criteria. The clothing must be: specialised, recognisable as a uniform and intended to identify its wearer as having a particular occupation. These requirements ensure that the tax deduction is used as intended.

No assessment has been made of how many corporate uniforms in the UK could be diverted from landfill or incineration if these tax rules were changed. No assessment has been made of the financial implications of changing these taxation requirements.


Written Question
Gaza
Monday 27th June 2016

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the financial implications of changing taxation requirements to replace permanent branding on corporate uniforms with non-permanent branding.

Answered by Lord O'Neill of Gatley

There is an income tax deduction available where an employer provides corporate uniforms, or where an employee must purchase such clothing. To be considered a uniform clothing must meet certain criteria. The clothing must be: specialised, recognisable as a uniform and intended to identify its wearer as having a particular occupation. These requirements ensure that the tax deduction is used as intended.

No assessment has been made of how many corporate uniforms in the UK could be diverted from landfill or incineration if these tax rules were changed. No assessment has been made of the financial implications of changing these taxation requirements.


Written Question
Gaza: Fentanyl
Monday 27th June 2016

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of how many corporate uniforms in the UK could be diverted from landfill or incineration if the tax regime relating to permanent branding were changed.

Answered by Lord O'Neill of Gatley

There is an income tax deduction available where an employer provides corporate uniforms, or where an employee must purchase such clothing. To be considered a uniform clothing must meet certain criteria. The clothing must be: specialised, recognisable as a uniform and intended to identify its wearer as having a particular occupation. These requirements ensure that the tax deduction is used as intended.

No assessment has been made of how many corporate uniforms in the UK could be diverted from landfill or incineration if these tax rules were changed. No assessment has been made of the financial implications of changing these taxation requirements.


Written Question
Parliament: Textiles
Thursday 29th October 2015

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question

To ask the Chairman of Committees what the arrangements are for the disposal of discarded textiles, such as uniforms, from the Houses of Parliament and Portcullis House.

Answered by Lord Laming

Different departments have different approaches to the disposal of discarded textiles. For example, some have contracts for the replacement of uniforms (and suppliers must reuse, dispose or recycle them securely, as appropriate); others recycle them themselves. We are working towards a more consistent approach to the recycling of discarded textiles including uniforms. Members of the House will be kept updated on these efforts.


Written Question
Parliament: Uniforms
Thursday 29th October 2015

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question

To ask the Chairman of Committees whether the process for procuring uniforms for parliamentary staff includes criteria for sustainable and ethical sourcing of textiles throughout the supply chain.

Answered by Lord Laming

New uniforms are procured through a Parliamentary framework for corporate clothing. The new Procurement Regulations (Public Contracts Regulations 2015)which came into force earlier this yearallow the two Houses to specify much more by way of social and ethical criteria. In line with the values contained within the House of Lords Strategy for the Administration of "obtaining value for money while recognising our corporate responsibility to wider society” and "environmental sustainability", the framework for corporate clothing includes the following criteria relating to sustainable and ethical procurement:

  • All suppliers must have ISO certification or an acceptable environmental policy.
  • All suppliers must have an acceptable equal opportunities policy.
  • All clothing must be inclusive and take into consideration the needs of all groups particularly in relation to protected characteristics such as: disability, gender, religion, ethnicity and the provision of maternity wear.
  • The materials used must be ethically sourced, durable and hard wearing while retaining aesthetic and design elegance.
  • Within their business objectives the two Houses are aspiring to be seen both in the UK and abroad as a model of good practice. The contractor is required to support the two Houses to further develop these aims in relation to this contract i.e. to maximise responsible purchasing, ensuring compliance with employment legislation and good practice, and reducing environment impacts during the life of this contract.
  • To support the two Houses’ environmental aims and contribute to sustainability, it is preferable that the majority of garments supplied are machine washable at lower temperatures.
  • The contractor must ensure that any changes in suppliers used in the delivery of the contract will ensure full compliance with appropriate environment and equalities considerations as detailed in the specification.

Written Question
International Decade for People of African Descent
Friday 23rd October 2015

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to mark the UN International Decade for People of African Descent.

Answered by Baroness Anelay of St Johns

The British Government has no specific plans to mark the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. However, we remain strongly committed to combating racial discrimination, xenophobia and racial intolerance. We actively work to tackle all forms of racism, both domestically and internationally. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has in the past highlighted the solid progress we continue to make on fighting racism.


The UK has one of the strongest legislative frameworks in the world in place to protect communities from hostility, violence and bigotry. We keep it under review to ensure that it remains effective and appropriate in the face of new and emerging threats. Key legislation includes specific offences for inciting hatred on the grounds of race, religion, belief and sexual orientation; separate racially and religiously aggravated offences; and powers for the courts to increase the sentence of an offender convicted of a crime where hostility towards the victim was shown to be based on their disability, race, religion, belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.


Written Question
Prisons: Race Relations
Monday 15th September 2014

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Ministry of Justice:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many race relations posts at a senior level there are currently in prisons; and what were the numbers (1) five, and (2) ten years ago.

Answered by Lord Faulks

Data on the number of Race Relations posts is not collected centrally. In 1997, the Prison Service Order (PSO) 2800 The Race Relations Manual made it compulsory for all Governors to appoint a Race Relations Liaison Officer and recommended that this should be at the Principal Officer (middle manager) grade. In September 2006, a revised PSO 2800 mandated that Prison Governors would recruit a Race Equality Officer (REO) based on competence and the skills needed to perform the role.

In April 2011, Prison Service Instruction (PSI) 32/2011 Ensuring Equality was published, which removed all mandatory orders to have a specific post for race equality. It mandated that all prisons should have a senior manager with lead responsibility for coordinating work on all equality related issues.