Stephen Timms Portrait

Stephen Timms

Labour - East Ham

Committee on Exiting the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Exiting the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Education Committee
1st Feb 2016 - 31st Oct 2016
Education, Skills and the Economy Sub-Committee
1st Feb 2016 - 31st Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
8th Oct 2010 - 18th Sep 2015
Shadow Financial Secretary
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Shadow Minister (Digital Britain)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Digital Britain) (also HM Treasury)
6th Aug 2009 - 6th May 2010
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Tax Law Rewrite Bills (Joint Committee)
12th Jan 2009 - 6th May 2010
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Employment and Welfare Reform)
25th Jan 2008 - 5th Oct 2008
Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Competitiveness)
2nd Jul 2007 - 25th Jan 2008
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
5th May 2006 - 28th Jun 2007
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th May 2005 - 5th May 2006
Public Accounts Committee
18th Oct 2004 - 12th Jul 2005
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Sep 2004 - 10th May 2005
Minister of State (e-Commerce & Competitiveness)
29th May 2002 - 9th Sep 2004
Minister of State (Education and Skills) (Schools)
11th Jun 2001 - 28th May 2002
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jul 1999 - 7th Jun 2001
Public Accounts Committee
3rd Nov 1999 - 11th May 2001
Minister of State (Department of Social Security)
1st Jan 1999 - 29th Jul 1999
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Social Security)
28th Jul 1998 - 30th Dec 1998
Treasury Committee
15th Jan 1996 - 21st Mar 1997
Consolidation etc. Bills (Joint Committee)
27th Jun 1994 - 21st Mar 1997


Department Event
Wednesday 7th September 2022
09:25
Department for Work and Pensions
Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
7 Sep 2022, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Chemicals (Health and Safety) Trade and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2022
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Department Event
Monday 17th October 2022
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Oral questions - Main Chamber
17 Oct 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Monday 18th July 2022
Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government
I want to focus on one example of a specific problem with this Government that I think makes it impossible …
Written Answers
Friday 22nd July 2022
Jobcentres: Staff
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Disability Employment advisers were employed by her Department …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 19th April 2022
Care provision for pregnant migrant women
That this House welcomes the publication by the Royal College of Midwives of its position statement and accompanying pocket guide …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 27th June 2022
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Refugee, Asylum and Migration Policy (RAMP)
Address of donor: c/o Kirk Rice, The Courtyard, 69 High Street, …
EDM signed
Friday 24th June 2022
Specialist Huntington’s Disease Services
That this House notes that Huntington’s Disease is a rare, hereditary and incurable neurological condition that slowly robs patients of …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 13th July 2022
Fashion Supply Chain (Code and Adjudicator) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to provide for a Code of Practice to be followed by retailers of fashion clothing, footwear and accessories …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stephen Timms has voted in 482 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stephen Timms Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Guy Opperman (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(34 debate interactions)
Thérèse Coffey (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(27 debate interactions)
Will Quince (Conservative)
Minister of State (Education)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Work and Pensions
(124 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(40 debate contributions)
Home Office
(37 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(25 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Stephen Timms's debates

East Ham Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

The Government should bring forward legislation to allow assisted dying for adults who are terminally ill and have mental capacity. It should be permitted subject to strict upfront safeguards, assessed by two doctors independently, and self-administered by the dying person.

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme


Latest EDMs signed by Stephen Timms

17th May 2022
Stephen Timms signed this EDM on Friday 24th June 2022

Specialist Huntington’s Disease Services

Tabled by: Hilary Benn (Labour - Leeds Central)
That this House notes that Huntington’s Disease is a rare, hereditary and incurable neurological condition that slowly robs patients of their ability to walk, talk, eat, drink, make decisions and care for themselves; notes that a University of Aberdeen study, published in the Journal of Neurology, highlights that the number …
81 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 38
Labour: 18
Liberal Democrat: 10
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Conservative: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Green Party: 1
22nd June 2022
Stephen Timms signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 22nd June 2022

Recruiting and retaining NHS staff

Tabled by: Tony Lloyd (Labour - Rochdale)
That this House acknowledges there is a staffing crisis in the National Health Service, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic but predating it; recognises the intense pressure on healthcare staff, who having worked incredibly hard during the pandemic now face the vast challenge of clearing the backlog of care caused by …
57 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 36
Liberal Democrat: 10
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Conservative: 1
Alliance: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Stephen Timms's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stephen Timms, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.



587 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
4 Other Department Questions
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of the extent to which large employers refer to socioeconomic background data of applicants to inform their recruitment and progression policies.

This Government believes the circumstances of one's birth should not determine life outcomes. The Social Mobility Commission (SMC), an independent body sponsored by the Equality Hub in the Cabinet Office, works to achieve this aim.

The SMC published research in June 2020 that examined how people from disadvantaged backgrounds have fared within the apprenticeship system. In keeping with the findings from this research, the SMC's employer engagement team produced a practical toolkit for employers, training providers and apprenticeship practitioners to increase the socio-economic diversity of apprenticeship starts.

This includes guidance on how employers can collect the socio-economic background data of their applicants in order to understand where barriers may exist, which interventions can support socio-economic inclusion and how to monitor progress.

The SMC's employer engagement team works with employers of varying size across multiple sectors to create more inclusive and diverse socio-economic workforces, drawing on research and engagement with employers and industry trade bodies to develop practical guidance for employers.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether her Department has commissioned research on the socioeconomic background data for (a) work experience schemes, (b) apprenticeships and (c) entry-level applicants held by large employers.

This Government believes the circumstances of one's birth should not determine life outcomes. The Social Mobility Commission (SMC), an independent body sponsored by the Equality Hub in the Cabinet Office, works to achieve this aim.

The SMC published research in June 2020 that examined how people from disadvantaged backgrounds have fared within the apprenticeship system. In keeping with the findings from this research, the SMC's employer engagement team produced a practical toolkit for employers, training providers and apprenticeship practitioners to increase the socio-economic diversity of apprenticeship starts.

This includes guidance on how employers can collect the socio-economic background data of their applicants in order to understand where barriers may exist, which interventions can support socio-economic inclusion and how to monitor progress.

The SMC's employer engagement team works with employers of varying size across multiple sectors to create more inclusive and diverse socio-economic workforces, drawing on research and engagement with employers and industry trade bodies to develop practical guidance for employers.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress she has made in identifying funding to extend the time limits for Equality Act claims from three to six months; and if he will make a statement.

The Government continues to look closely at extending the time limit for bringing Equality Act 2010 based cases to employment tribunal.

This decision, however, must take account of wider impacts across the justice system. We recognise that the pandemic has put additional pressure on the entire courts and tribunal service, particularly the employment tribunal, and that restoring its existing levels of service needs to be the priority before additional loading is added.

While the time limit for bringing an Equality Act based claim to employment tribunal remains at three months, tribunals have the discretion to provide extensions where they consider it ‘just and equitable’ to do so.

14th Jul 2021
What plans he has to identify potential sources of finance to tackle climate-related loss and damage ahead of COP26.

I am taking a pragmatic approach to ensure that we increase overall finance moving to climate action, from both the public and private sector. Obviously, the 100 billion dollars a year promised by developed countries to support developing nations must be delivered and we also need to scale up finance for adaptation.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, what assessment he has made of the circumstances in which making a Ministerial Correction in Hansard is appropriate.

As I have previously noted, my answer of 23 June 2022 to PQ 18053, and my letter of 26 April 2022 to the Liaison Committee (a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House), clarified my previous answers. Corrections and clarifications can be made in a number of ways.

I note the Procedure Committee is looking into these processes in more depth, and the Government looks forward to engaging with its inquiry.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his Answer of 14 July 2022 to Question 33662 on Employment, what assessment he has made of the likelihood that people reading the record of his statements on the level of UK employment will become aware of his Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18053 or his letter of 26 April 2022 to the Liaison Committee; and if he will make a statement.

As I have previously noted, my answer of 23 June 2022 to PQ 18053, and my letter of 26 April 2022 to the Liaison Committee (a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House), clarified my previous answers. Corrections and clarifications can be made in a number of ways.

I note the Procedure Committee is looking into these processes in more depth, and the Government looks forward to engaging with its inquiry.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
15th Jul 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his Answer of 14 July 2022 to Question 33662 on Employment, for what reason he has not corrected the record with a Ministerial Correction in the Official Report in respect of oral contributions on the level of employment in the UK.

As I have previously noted, my answer of 23 June 2022 to PQ 18053, and my letter of 26 April 2022 to the Liaison Committee (a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House), clarified my previous answers. Corrections and clarifications can be made in a number of ways.

I note the Procedure Committee is looking into these processes in more depth, and the Government looks forward to engaging with its inquiry.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18053 on total UK employment levels, what plans he has to correct the record, with a Ministerial Correction in the Official Report, in respect of oral contributions of (a) 24 November 2021, Official Report, column 344, (b) 5 January 2022, Official Report, column 11, (c) 5 January 2022, Official Report, column 14, (d) 5 January 2022, Official Report, column 15, (e) 12 January 2022, Official Report, columns 567-8, (f) 19 January 2022, Official Report, column 323, (g) 2 February 2022, Official Report, columns 268-9, (h) 23 February 2022, Official Report, column 314 and (i) 20 April 2022, Official Report, column 155.

My answer of 23 June 2022 to PQ 18053, and my letter of 26 April 2022 to the Liaison Committee (a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House), clarified my previous answers about employment levels in the UK.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Procurement Bill on procurement opportunities for ethnic minority business owners.

The Procurement Bill contains proposals to simplify the procurement process and make it easier for all companies to bid rather than specific groups. The changes that are proposed are designed in particular to benefit businesses of all sizes throughout the whole economy, including ethnic minority businesses; this includes measures that will reduce barriers to entry including establishing a single transparency platform so that bidders only have to submit their core credentials once, and making reforms to procurement frameworks so that suppliers are not locked out.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, when he plans to respond to Question 83228, tabled on 29 November 2021 by the right Hon. Member for East Ham, regarding Inequalities in Health Alliance: Correspondence.

I answered the Hon. Member’s question on 2 December. My office has since been informed that a system error with Parliamentary systems meant that it was not published in the Official Record. My reply was as follows: ‘My Office has no record of receiving this letter.’ I have asked my Office to contact the organisation to see if they can re-send the correspondence, and ensure they have the correct address for any future correspondence.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his oral contribution of 5 January 2022, Official Report, column 11, if he will set out the evidential basis for his statement that there are now record numbers of people in work, 420,000 more than there were before the pandemic began.

Looking at the payroll employment measure of people in work, the most recent statistical release shows there were 29.4 million people in work in November 2021 – 424,000 more than in February 2020 and a new record high, compared with the previous high of 29.175 million in October 2021.

(Source: Office for National Statistics, Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, UK: December 2021, December 2021).

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/earningsandemploymentfrompayasyouearnrealtimeinformationuk/latest

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, what plans he has to respond to the letter dated 15 September 2021 from the Inequalities in Health Alliance on a cross-Government strategy to tackle health inequality.

I answered the Hon. Member’s question on 2 December. My office has since been informed that a system error with Parliamentary systems meant that it was not published in the Official Record. My reply was as follows: ‘My Office has no record of receiving this letter.’ I have asked my Office to contact the organisation to see if they can re-send the correspondence, and ensure they have the correct address for any future correspondence.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the change in the population of London since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Written Statement of 11 May 2022, HCWS1, on Low-income Workers: Exclusivity Clauses, whether he plans to undertake a consultation in advance of publishing the employment status guidance; and when he plans to publish that guidance.

The Government is committed to publishing employment status guidance in due course. It will make it easier for individuals and businesses to understand which employment rights apply to them, enhancing worker protections whilst maintaining flexibility and ensuring a level playing field within the labour market. The Government will continue to work closely with stakeholders to ensure the employment status framework is fit for purpose.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his letter of 25 March 2021 to the Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, whether he has reached a conclusion in considering the idea of establishing a Garment Trade Adjudicator; and if he will make a statement.

In the response to the single enforcement body consultation published last year, the Government reaffirmed its commitment to continue to engage with the enforcement bodies and industry partners to strengthen our understanding of levels of non-compliance across the garment trade. We will continue to review this issue and consider options to drive up standards across the sector.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making Scope 3 emissions reporting mandatory, rather than voluntary, in the TCFD regulation for UK businesses; and if he will make a statement.

In January 2022, the Companies (Strategic Report) (Climate-related Financial Disclosure) Regulations 2022 were made in Parliament. These Regulations require climate-related financial disclosures from certain UK-registered companies.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a long-term target for floating wind platforms in securing economic benefits and UK supply chain growth.

The Government set an ambitious target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030 last year as part of the wider 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target, and is committed to ensuring the UK captures the economic benefits of deploying such technology.

We are committed to developing a strong supply chain for floating offshore wind in parallel with growing deployment and are working with industry and other stakeholders on this.

Floating offshore wind projects will be eligible to bid in the next Contract for Difference (CfD) allocation round, which will open in December 2021. Our approach to the next CfD allocation round will provide the foundation for investment in a sustainable, competitive UK based supply chain from which we will learn to help plan our future approach and the feasible scale of ramp up of deployment, building on the success of fixed bottom wind, which has this year delivered supply chain investments in blades, monopiles and transition pieces, creating and safeguarding over 1,800 direct jobs by 2030.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help secure the potential benefits of the supply chain position of the UK’s lead in floating wind technology.

The Government set an ambitious target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, last year as part of the wider 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target. This will stimulate development in projects and investment in the supply chain.

As part of the Government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio fund, announced in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, we are supporting innovation through the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme. This aims to support development and demonstration of state of the art technologies and products in the future offshore wind industry.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when she plans to reduce the age of entitlement to the National Living Wage to 21; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has announced that in April 2020 the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase by 6.2 per cent to £8.72 for those aged 25 and over. The Government has also announced inflation-beating increases in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates for younger workers and apprentices of between 4.6 per cent and 6.5 per cent.

My rt. hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has pledged that the National Living Wage will increase further, reaching two-thirds of median earnings by 2024, providing economic conditions allow. The Government also plans to expand the reach of the National Living Wage, bringing down the eligibility threshold first to age 23 in 2021 and then to 21 by 2024.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the fraudulent advertising duty in the Online Safety Bill is not being applied to Category 2(b) firms; and if she will make a statement.

We introduced the Online Safety Bill to Parliament on 17 March. We have designed the Online Safety Bill to be proportionate and risk-based.

The Bill will ensure that people using the largest platforms and where there is greatest risk of harm are protected from scams, and ensure these services do not profit from illegal activity.

The Online Advertising Programme will build on this duty and examine the whole ecosystem to provide a holistic review of the regulatory framework.

24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the fraudulent advertising duty imposed on search engine firms in the Online Safety Bill is less stringent than that imposed on Category 1 firms; and if she will make a statement.

We introduced the Online Safety Bill to Parliament on 17 March.

The duties on search engines reflect that they facilitate harm in a different way to user to user services. The duties on search engines are therefore designed to be proportionate and risk-based.

We have also launched a consultation on proposals for wider reform of online advertising regulations, including in relation to fraud.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February 2022 to Question 124952 on Gambling: Fines, in which of the 46 cases was the level of the financial penalty reduced following representations and evidence received from the company concerned.

The Commission’s statement of principles for determining financial penalties and indicative sanctions guidance sets out the process governing imposition of a penalty, including the circumstances in which the Commission may consider it appropriate to reduce the size of a financial penalty. This can be for various reasons, including mitigating factors and affordability concerns.

Except in exceptional circumstances, the Commission publishes the outcome of its considerations and not the prior steps, which could involve release of commercially sensitive information and/ or provide a formula for pricing in non-compliance. It is not therefore appropriate to share further detail on specific cases by name. However, since April 2018, the Gambling Commission has identified five financial penalties which were reduced as a result of representations made to the Commission prior to the point of issue.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which companies have been served by the Gambling Commission with fines in excess of £100,000 since April 2018.

The Gambling Commission can fine a gambling operator if a licence condition has been breached. In some circumstances, the Commission may decide to agree a regulatory settlement instead of issuing a fine. While fines are paid to the exchequer, regulatory settlements are divested by the company to third parties.

Since April 2018, the Gambling Commission has imposed financial penalties in excess of £100,000 on 46 operators. These include both fines and regulatory settlements where an operator has admitted fault and made a payment in lieu of a fine, at a level agreed with the Commission. Regulatory action is published on the Commission’s website here.

Fines

Date

Name

Fine (£)

17/12/2021

Genesis Global Limited

£3,769,920

19/11/2021

Buzz Group Limited

£780,000

02/09/21

EU Lotto Limited

£760,000

02/07/21

Daub Alderney Limited

£5,850,000

08/03/21

In Touch Games Limited

£3,400,000

03/03/21

Casumo Services Limited

£6,005,000

01/02/21

A & S Leisure Group Limited

£377,340

27/10/20

Aspers (Stratford City) Limited

£652,500

26/10/20

BoyleSports

£2,800,000

17/02/20

Triplebet Limited

£739,099

03/04/19

Bestbet Limited

£230,972

17/01/19

Silverbond Enterprises Limited

£1,800,000

06/11/18

Casumo Services Limited

£5,850,000

06/11/18

Daub Alderney Limited

£7,100,000

Regulatory settlements

Date

Name

Payment in lieu (£)

Divestment (£)

20/01/2022

Annexio (Jersey) Limited

£612,000

N/A

20/01/2022

Rank Digital Gaming (Alderney) Limited

£700,557

N/A

2/12/2021

Greentube Alderney Limited

£685,000

N/A

13/10/21

VGC Leeds Limited

£209,000

£241,000

30/03/21

Double Diamond Gaming Limited

£247,000

N/A

30/03/21

Les Croupiers Casino Limited

£202,500

N/A

30/03/21

Shaftesbury Casino Limited

£260,000

N/A

30/03/21

Clockfair Limited

£260,000

N/A

28/01/21

White Hat Gaming Limited

£1,344,053.18

N/A

28/10/20

Netbet Enterprises Limited

£748,000

N/A

28/10/20

GAN (UK) Limited

£100,000

£46,754

28/10/20

BGO Entertainment Limited

£2,000,000

N/A

06/05/20

FSB Technology (UK) Limited

£600,000

N/A

02/04/20

Caesars Entertainment Limited Group

£13,000,000

N/A

12/03/20

Betway Limited

£5,800,000

£5,800,000

27/02/20

Mr Green Limited

£3,000,000

N/A

10/10/19

Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited

£182,000

£140,000

31/07/19

Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Limited

£4,800,000

£1,100,000

11/07/19

Casino 36 Limited

£152,259

£147,741

13/06/19

Platinum Gaming Limited

£990,200

£629,420

12/06/19

Gamesys Operations Limited

£690,000

£460,472

15/05/19

In Touch Games Limited

£2,200,000

N/A

15/05/19

Betit Operations Limited

£1,400,000

N/A

15/05/19

MT SecureTrade Limited

£592,333

£107,667

29/11/18

Videoslots Limited

£1,000,000

N/A

16/10/18

TSE Malta LP

£910,993

£95,444

16/10/18

Power Leisure Bookmakers Limited

£190,760

£95,380

16/10/18

PPB Entertainment Limited

£349,762

£174,881

16/10/18

Paddy Power Holdings Limited

£265,606

£132,803

10/10/18

Rank Digital Gaming (Alderney) Limited

£500,000

N/A

10/10/18

Grosvenor Casinos (GC) Limited

£500,000

N/A

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister to the Liaison Committee on 7 July 2021, Q79, that one of the key objectives of the Online Safety Bill is to tackle online fraud, if he will list the key objectives of the Online Safety Bill.

The Online Safety Bill will deliver the government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online while defending freedom of expression. The Bill’s key objectives are to protect users online and uphold users’ rights online.

With regard to protecting users, the Bill will focus on:

  • tackling criminal content online, including fraud where this is facilitated through user-generated content;

  • protecting children from harmful and inappropriate content; and

  • building trust between users and their online platforms.

To uphold users’ rights online, the legislation will defend freedom of expression and the invaluable role of a free press.

17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on UK productions touring in the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The UK’s creative industries are the finest in the world and this government is determined to support them. Touring is a vital part of musicians and performers’ careers, providing not only a vital income stream, but also enriching opportunities for cultural exchange across the world.

Being outside the European Union does not change this. It does, however, mean practical changes on both sides of the Channel that will require understanding and adaptation.

DCMS has established a working group with other key government departments, the devolved administrations, and over fifteen representatives from across the creative and cultural industries. The working group is seeking to build evidence on the impact leaving the EU has had on touring, to clarify the steps creative and cultural practitioners will need to take to tour in the EU, and identify ways to support those practitioners in touring confidently. We will set out next steps in due course.

We are now working urgently across government and in collaboration with the music and wider creative industries, including through a new working group, to help address these issues so that touring in Europe can resume with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department's working group has made on EU touring productions.

The UK’s creative industries are the finest in the world and this government is determined to support them. Touring is a vital part of musicians and performers’ careers, providing not only a vital income stream, but also enriching opportunities for cultural exchange across the world.

Being outside the European Union does not change this. It does, however, mean practical changes on both sides of the Channel that will require understanding and adaptation.

DCMS has established a working group with other key government departments, the devolved administrations, and over fifteen representatives from across the creative and cultural industries. The working group is seeking to build evidence on the impact leaving the EU has had on touring, to clarify the steps creative and cultural practitioners will need to take to tour in the EU, and identify ways to support those practitioners in touring confidently. We will set out next steps in due course.

We are now working urgently across government and in collaboration with the music and wider creative industries, including through a new working group, to help address these issues so that touring in Europe can resume with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department's engagement with the live events supply chain businesses during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The government recognises the challenges faced by the arts and creative sector during the pandemic and has introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. Supply chain organisations are recognised as a critical part of our sectors and were eligible to apply for the Culture Recovery Fund.

The discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) forms part of a wider package of support for businesses that have been mandated to close and also had their trade adversely affected by the Covid-19 Restrictions. The guidance for ARG funding encourages Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which - while not legally forced to close - are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.

This could include - for example - businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector. The guidance specifically refers to the live events sector.

We continue to engage with stakeholders, including through the Tourism Industry Council, and industry representatives, including the Chair of the Events Industry Board and the Events and Entertainment working group, to monitor the situation facing the sector.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has plans to support live event supply chain businesses from the unallocated balance of the Culture Recovery Fund; and if he will make a statement.

Of the £1.57bn Culture recovery Fund announced in July, £400m was held back as a contingency which forms the basis of the second round of grant (£300m) and repayable finance (£100m) funding. Applications are currently being assessed and allocations will be made by the end of the Financial Year.

The Government recognises the severe impact the pandemic has had on supply chain businesses for the events sector and their critical role in the cultural ecosystem. Supply chain organisations were eligible for the first and second rounds of Culture Recovery Funding, and many organisations were successful in the first round. Production Park in Wakefield, for instance, is receiving a £12m loan, whilst Adlib Audio in Knowsley is receiving a grant of £1,650,356. The government’s commitment to the sector has been further evidenced by the announcement at Budget of an additional £300m for the Culture Recovery Fund. Details will be announced in due course.

We will continue to engage with the sector through the ministerially chaired Events and Entertainment Working Group which include the Production Services Association, to better understand the issues facing the sector ensure live event supply chain businesses are supported.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussion he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for people working in the live event supply chain with previous operating profits of over £50,000 per year who are excluded from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The Government recognises the significant challenge the current pandemic poses to the arts and creative sectors and to the many businesses, individuals and freelancers working across these industries. We are working very hard to help freelancers in those sectors access support, including through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and funding from Arts Council England.

Live Event Supply chain organisations have benefitted from economy-wide support that the Government has provided, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The Government has announced that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and fifth grant. Individuals will be able to qualify for the new grants based on their 2019-20 tax returns. This means that over 600,000 self-employed individuals may be newly eligible for the SEISS, including many new to self-employment in 2019-20.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to encourage local authorities to provide financial support to live event supply chain businesses affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. Supply chain organisations are recognised as a critical part of our sectors and were eligible to apply for the Culture Recovery Fund.

The discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) forms part of a wider package of support for businesses that have been mandated to close and also had their trade adversely affected by the Covid-19 Restrictions. The guidance for ARG funding encourages Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which - while not legally forced to close - are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.

This could include - for example - businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector. The guidance specifically refers to the live events sector.

It is up to each local authority to determine eligibility for the ARG based on their assessment of local economic need; however, we encourage local authorities to support businesses which have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but which are ineligible for the other grant schemes.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using dormant assets to fund the delivery of national primary financial education; and if he will make a statement.

The Dormant Assets Scheme has allocated £96m to tackling financial exclusion and improving financial capability. Fair4All Finance has used this money to increase access to affordable financial products and services for people in vulnerable circumstances.

Following a 2020 public consultation, the government is developing new legislation to expand the Scheme, which could unlock £880m for social and environmental initiatives.

We are considering whether the ways that dormant assets funding can be spent should be reviewed, and will update on this.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he will launch the consultation on Online Advertising.

We intend to launch a public consultation during 2021 on measures to enhance the regulation of online advertising in the UK. The proposals in that consultation will build on the call for evidence we held in 2020, and we will consider options to enhance the regulation of advertising content and placement online.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to tackle the proliferation of online financial scam adverts; and if he will make a statement.

Fraudulent online financial advertising is illegal. Action Fraud, the national police centre for fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority as the financial regulator regularly investigate potential frauds.

Through DCMS's Online Advertising Programme (OAP) we are developing solutions that address harms in relation to general online advertising content and standards.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the prospects of securing a data adequacy agreement with the EU within the next six months.

The EU’s adequacy assessments, underway since March 2020, ascertain whether UK data protection standards are ‘essentially equivalent’ to the EU’s. Given we have an existing data protection framework that is equivalent to the EU’s, we see no reason why the UK should not be awarded adequacy and we expect the process to be concluded promptly.

The EU left insufficient time to adopt data adequacy decisions before the end of the transition period. We have therefore agreed with the EU a time-limited ‘bridging mechanism’ which will allow personal data to continue to flow as it did previously whilst EU adequacy decisions for the UK are adopted. In practice, we do not expect the bridging mechanism to be in place for more than 4 months, which is when the bridge is envisioned to expire, but there is scope to extend it to 6 months if required. As stated above, given the UK has an existing data protection framework that is equivalent to the EU’s, we see no reason why the UK should not be awarded adequacy in this timeframe.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the £5 billion announced in the 2020 Spring Budget to ensure all homes and businesses can access gigabit broadband by 2025 remains available for that purpose; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Our programme for gigabit-capable broadband has made dramatic progress. More than a third of UK premises now have access to gigabit-capable connections, up from nine per cent when the government took office in July 2019. By next year, more than half of all premises will have access. We are working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025 but will seek to accelerate rollout further to get as close to 100% as possible.

We remain committed to investing £5bn in bringing gigabit coverage to the hardest to reach areas and will continue to work with suppliers to accelerate this investment.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his target is for gigabit broadband coverage by 2025.

The Government remains committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Our programme for gigabit-capable broadband has made dramatic progress. More than a third of UK premises now have access to gigabit-capable connections, up from nine per cent when the government took office in July 2019. By next year, more than half of all premises will have access. We are working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025 but will seek to accelerate rollout further to get as close to 100% as possible.

We remain committed to investing £5bn in bringing gigabit coverage to the hardest to reach areas and will continue to work with suppliers to accelerate this investment.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to tackle financial crime in his forthcoming legislation on online harms; and if he will make a statement.

The government is deeply concerned about the scale and growth of financial crime online, including online fraud.

We have consulted widely on the proposals set out in the Online Harms White Paper. We are clear that regulation must be proportionate and targeted. The new regulatory framework will not duplicate existing government activity or impose undue burdens on companies in scope. We will be setting out further details on the scope of regulation in the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, which will be published this year.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Prime Minister's announcement of 22 September 2020 that conferences and exhibitions will not be permitted for at least another six months, what plans he has to provide support to the exhibitions industry during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We recognise the events industry’s disappointment at the delayed reopening of large business conferences and exhibitions.

We also recognise that the new national restrictions will have a significant impact on jobs and the economy, as well as on mental health and wellbeing. We’ve confirmed that there will be a package of financial support in place, with the furlough scheme extended for this period of lockdown.

We continue to engage with stakeholders, including through the Tourism Industry Council and the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel, to assess how we can best support the sector’s safe reopening. The business events pilots we carried out in September will ensure that the correct advice and guidance is put in place to help larger events reopen when it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to provide funding to the UK Safer Internet Centre when its funding from the EU ends.

The government recognises the important work the UK Safer Internet Centre delivers on online safety. The Centre currently receives funding from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility programme. Officials regularly engage with the Centre, including on its funding position following the UK’s exit from the EU.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the oral contribution by the Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability to the Offensive Weapons Bill Committee on 11 September 2018, Column 280, what policy proposals he is discussing with the Home Secretary on preventing the sale of illegal knives on online platforms.

The Government is committed to delivering on the people’s priorities by tackling violent crime, including through the Offensive Weapons Act which received Royal Assent on 16 May 2019.

In addition, the Government published the initial response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation on 12 February 2020. This is a joint Home Office and DCMS publication that summarises themes from the 2019 consultation.

The interim response confirmed that the Government is developing legislation on online harms to establish a new duty of care on online companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. This will ensure companies take action to address harmful behaviour online, including the sale of weapons and other illegal goods and services. The regulator will issue codes of practice on what companies need to do to fulfil their duty of care. The regulator will work with law enforcement regarding expectations relating to illegal content and behaviour to ensure they adequately keep pace with the threat.

We will set out our final policy position on this issue in a full Government response later this year, before moving to legislation.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to support UK orchestras to tour throughout the world.

Our British orchestras are renowned across the globe for their world-leading performances; collectively touring to an average of 35 countries per year.
We understand the importance of being able to tour, and recognise that it depends on performers and crew being able to move quickly and easily between countries, taking necessary equipment with them.

As we increase and develop our links with countries across the globe, we will continue our close dialogue with the sector, maintaining our deep understanding of sectoral need and ambition. We will ensure that the interests of our great cultural institutions are considered at every opportunity, including during the development of future trade agreements.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support orchestras in the UK.

In the past five years, Arts Council England (ACE) has invested over £107 million in orchestras and related classical music organisations in its National Portfolio. This figure does not include ACE investment in Opera companies, each of whom also support their own orchestra. As culture is a devolved matter, this figure excludes funding decisions taken by the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Orchestras have also benefited from the Government’s introduction of the Orchestras Tax Relief (OTR), which is helping to support the increase of productions, especially via touring. Since the introduction of the OTR in 2016, £23 million has been paid out relating to 170 claims and 770 productions.

12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the prevalence of large employers offering inclusive blended work experience programmes, both in-person and virtual, for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We currently do not collect data on the number of T Level industry placements delivered, or committed to, by individual employers. Instead, this information is held by education providers, who are responsible for securing industry placements for their T Level students and, therefore, we are unable to report on the number of large employers currently offering or planning on offering industry placements. However, as part of our ongoing engagement with employers on T Levels, we are encouraging employers of all sizes, including large employers, to offer industry placements.

Traineeships provide young people from all backgrounds with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and skills needed to start a successful career in a variety of industries.

Through The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), we continue to support schools and colleges to provide young people with access to meaningful experiences of the workplace.

We know that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Careers Leaders in schools,colleges and employers responded creatively to the challenges of providing experiences of the workplace, adapting their careers programmes to provide virtual encounters with employers. Many employers are now taking a blended approach to providing workplace experiences..

The CEC have published a range of key resources to support Careers Leaders to develop their careers programmes. This includes guidance around how to meet Gatsby Benchmark 6 (experiences of the workplace) more meaningfully, resources from the ‘My Week of Work’ event, and links to virtual tours with employers and work experience programmes.

The CEC has also worked in partnership with CareerMap and Engineering UK to develop a new resource for employers around virtual work experience and continue to increase opportunities for young people to engage with employers.

Over 300 ‘Cornerstone’ employers who represent a range of business sizes and sectors, including Rolls Royce and BAE Systems, are working with Careers Hubs to bring together business effort and engagement with local schools and colleges. 3,750 Enterprise Advisers are also working with schools and colleges to develop their employer engagement plans.

Andrea Jenkyns
Assistant Whip
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to renew Primary PE and Sport Premium funding for the academic year 2022-23.

I refer the hon. Member for East Ham, the hon. Member for Streatham and the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish, to the answer I gave on 16 June 2022 to Question 16901.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for Universities of 15 July 2021, Official Report, column 646, that the Government will provide an update on alternative student finance as it concludes the post-18 review of education and funding, what plans he now has to introduce a system of alternative student finance.

The government’s priority, in our response to the report of the Independent Panel of the Review of Post 18 Education and Funding, is to put the student finance system on a sustainable footing for the long term.

As part of our response, we are introducing the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE). We are considering if and how Alternative Student Finance (ASF) could be delivered as part of the LLE.

We believe it is sensible to align future delivery of an ASF product with these major reforms to ensure fair treatment for all students.

10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of schools enrolled on the National School Breakfast Programme have been issued breakfast food orders this academic year since 7 February 2022.

The government is committed to supporting school breakfast provisions. Accordingly, it is investing up to £24 million to extend the National School Breakfast Programme until July 2023. This funding will support up to 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas, meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better assist their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to be taught.

As of 22 December 2021, 1,245 schools signed up for the programme, and 847 schools placed food orders. The government will continue to work with its supplier, Family Action, to monitor relevant data and consider suitable occasions to share more information on the programme as it progresses.

Despite the number of challenges faced by schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the department has noted positive levels of interest in the programme. The enrolment process for the programme is still underway. The department has extended free breakfast provision beyond April 2022, allowing schools to receive free provisions until the end of July 2022. As a result, any school signing up to the programme now is still able to benefit from two terms worth of free food.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the National School Breakfast Programme not reaching its target of 2,500 schools by January 2022; and if he will make a statement.

The government is committed to supporting school breakfast provisions. Accordingly, it is investing up to £24 million to extend the National School Breakfast Programme until July 2023. This funding will support up to 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas, meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better assist their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to be taught.

As of 22 December 2021, 1,245 schools signed up for the programme, and 847 schools placed food orders. The government will continue to work with its supplier, Family Action, to monitor relevant data and consider suitable occasions to share more information on the programme as it progresses.

Despite the number of challenges faced by schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the department has noted positive levels of interest in the programme. The enrolment process for the programme is still underway. The department has extended free breakfast provision beyond April 2022, allowing schools to receive free provisions until the end of July 2022. As a result, any school signing up to the programme now is still able to benefit from two terms worth of free food.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his policy to deliver enhanced pupil premium funding for pupils who have been eligible for support over four or more of the past six years.

This government is committed to levelling up opportunities to make sure everyone has a fair chance to realise their potential and ensure no-one is left behind. The pupil premium furthers this objective by helping schools improve the academic attainment and wider outcomes of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Total pupil premium funding is increasing to more than £2.5 billion in the 2021-22 financial year, up by £60 million from 2020-21. This reflects an increase in funding in approximately two thirds of schools, as more children have become eligible for free school meals. The department plans to announce rates for the 2022-23 financial year later this year, in line with the usual timetable. Announcements for future years will be made in due course.

The department is continuing to deliver year on year real terms per pupil increases to school funding. As part of the spending review, by the 2024-25 financial year, we are investing a further £4.7 billion in the core schools budget, of which the pupil premium is an important part, compared to previous plans. On top of that, the government has announced an additional £1 billion for a recovery premium over the next two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24). Building on the pupil premium, the recovery premium will help schools deliver evidence-based approaches to support the most disadvantaged pupils.

The department periodically reviews and assesses the effectiveness of all its policies, and this includes the pupil premium.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is his policy to increase the pupil premium in real terms each year for the duration of this Parliament.

This government is committed to levelling up opportunities to make sure everyone has a fair chance to realise their potential and ensure no-one is left behind. The pupil premium furthers this objective by helping schools improve the academic attainment and wider outcomes of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Total pupil premium funding is increasing to more than £2.5 billion in the 2021-22 financial year, up by £60 million from 2020-21. This reflects an increase in funding in approximately two thirds of schools, as more children have become eligible for free school meals. The department plans to announce rates for the 2022-23 financial year later this year, in line with the usual timetable. Announcements for future years will be made in due course.

The department is continuing to deliver year on year real terms per pupil increases to school funding. As part of the spending review, by the 2024-25 financial year, we are investing a further £4.7 billion in the core schools budget, of which the pupil premium is an important part, compared to previous plans. On top of that, the government has announced an additional £1 billion for a recovery premium over the next two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24). Building on the pupil premium, the recovery premium will help schools deliver evidence-based approaches to support the most disadvantaged pupils.

The department periodically reviews and assesses the effectiveness of all its policies, and this includes the pupil premium.

27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what comparative assessment he has made of the educational disadvantage caused by covid-19 school closures to (a) those eligible for the pupil premium and (b) other pupils; and if he will make a statement.

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 disruption on the attainment and progress of all pupils is a key research priority for the government. The department has commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to provide a baseline assessment of catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England and monitor progress over the course of the 2020/21 academic year. This research is based on assessments that schools are already using and adds no additional burden on teachers. Initial findings from the research were published on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year-interim-report. The department is currently exploring options to assess progress over the course of the current academic year.

The latest evidence suggests that, in Summer 2021, primary pupils were on average around 1 month behind in reading and around 3 months behind in maths compared to where we would expect them to be in a ‘normal year’. Secondary pupils were behind in reading by around 2 months.

Once adjusted for historic differences in pupil progress, pupils who are currently eligible for free school meals or had been within the last six years, were on average around half a month further behind in primary reading and maths, and 1.7 months further behind in secondary reading compared to their more advantaged peers in Summer 2021. Education loss estimates for pupils who are being looked after by a local authority, or who have left care, are not available due to data limitations. However, education loss estimates of children in need, some of whom are also eligible for pupil premium, show that they were on average 1.2 months behind in primary reading and 3.3 months behind in secondary reading.

This government is committed to ensuring children and young people can make up for education lost during the COVID-19 outbreak, especially those most in need. The department has announced funding of almost £5 billion since June 2020 to support education recovery for children and young people in schools, 16-19 colleges and early years. This will have a material impact in closing gaps that have emerged.

The department’s recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need, including the most disadvantaged - with many programmes specifically targeted at disadvantaged pupils.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to (a) increase flexibility in the apprenticeship system and (b) extend access to workers on temporary contracts.

We are making apprenticeships more flexible so that they better meet the needs of employers in all sectors. We are encouraging greater use of innovative apprenticeship training models, such as the front-loading of off-the-job training, so apprentices can be productive from day one in the workplace. We are also developing accelerated apprenticeships so that apprentices with substantial prior learning from other skills programmes, such as traineeships and T Levels, can complete an apprenticeship more quickly. Additionally, we are making it easier for large employers to transfer levy funds to support new starts in small businesses, or in a certain sector or region. On 13 September 2021, we launched a new online service to allow levy paying employers to advertise funding pledges, enabling a much wider range of businesses to browse and apply for available funds.

We recognise that some sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles, including creative, digital, adult social care, transport, and manufacturing have found it challenging to benefit from the high-quality apprenticeships available. In August, to help these sectors, we launched our new flexi-job apprenticeship offer. We have invited sector bodies, groups of employers, and other interested organisations to register as flexi-job apprenticeship agencies, giving them access to a £7 million fund to support new agencies with their start-up costs. These agencies will enable apprentices to work across multiple short-term projects with different employers and allow them to benefit from the high-quality long-term training that an apprenticeship provides.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of extending means-tested free school meals to all universal credit or equivalent benefits claimants.

Under this government, eligibility for free school meals (FSM) has been extended several times, and to more groups of children than any other government over the past half century. Our analysis in 2018 estimated that extending eligibility to all families on Universal Credit would result in almost half of all school pupils becoming entitled to FSM. We think it is important that FSM support is targeted at those that need it most, and FSM is an integral part of our provision for families on low incomes, and our wider actions to promote social mobility.

In 2018, the government introduced new eligibility criteria for families on Universal Credit, following a consultation in 2017. It is estimated that this will be more generous in its reach by 2022, in comparison to the legacy benefit system. Further to this we included generous protections, which mean any family eligible for FSM transitioning to Universal Credit from a legacy benefit will continue to have access to FSM even if they move above the earnings threshold.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the levels of take-up of free school meals among families with No Recourse to Public Funds in 2019-2021.

We are working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility will continue with the current income threshold until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

At present, data is not available regarding the take up of free school meals by no recourse to public funds groups during the temporary extension.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has conducted research on the stigmatisation of children who receive free school meals; and if he will make a statement.

There is absolutely no reason for schools to stigmatise pupils by limiting choice for free school meal pupils at lunchtime. The vast majority of schools and caterers already make use of cashless systems and other methods to ensure that children who are eligible for free school meals are not identified separately, removing any stigma for receiving the benefit.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the decision by the Scottish Government to provide universal free breakfasts to primary school age children.

Decisions around school funding and the provision of school food including breakfast clubs are a matter for the devolved administrations.

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs in England and is further investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme for the next two years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas in England, including Opportunity Areas. This will mean that thousands of children from low income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing, and readiness to learn.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to provide further support to schools to enable them to help children who are experiencing food insecurity.

The continuing provision of free school meals (FSM) to children from households that are out of work, or on low incomes, is of the utmost importance to the government. Under this government, eligibility for FSM has been extended several times and to more groups of children than any other government over the past half a century.

We want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming FSM, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.

To support this:

  • We provide an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities.
  • We have developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for FSM.
  • We also provide guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

We have provided around £450 million worth of food vouchers to families whilst schools were largely closed. Now schools are open again, school food provision has returned to typical delivery arrangements, with meals being provided free of charge to eligible pupils at school. If pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals are required to stay at home due to COVID-19, schools should continue to work with their school catering team or food provider to offer a good quality lunch parcel.

Throughout 2021 we are investing up to £220 million in our Holiday Activities and Food programme. Taking place in schools and community venues across the country, delivery began at Easter, has run across the summer and will run in the Christmas holidays. It supports disadvantaged pupils and their families with enriching activities, providing them with healthy food, helping them to learn new things and supporting socialisation and well-being. We are also further investing with £24 million in the National Breakfast Club programme, providing breakfast clubs in schools in disadvantaged areas.

Beyond this, the Department for Work and Pension has provided £429 million through the Covid Local Support Grant. This is being run by local authorities in England to support the hardest hit families and individuals with food and essential utility costs.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of eligible students who are not in receipt of food support from their school.

The continuing provision of free school meals (FSM) to children from households that are out of work, or on low incomes, is of the utmost importance to the government. Under this government, eligibility for FSM has been extended several times and to more groups of children than any other government over the past half a century.

We want to make sure as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming FSM, and to make it as simple as possible for schools and local authorities to determine eligibility.

To support this:

  • We provide an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities.
  • We have developed a model registration form to help schools encourage parents to sign up for FSM.
  • We also provide guidance to Jobcentre Plus advisers so that they can make Universal Credit recipients aware that they may also be entitled to wider benefits, including free school meals.

We have provided around £450 million worth of food vouchers to families whilst schools were largely closed. Now schools are open again, school food provision has returned to typical delivery arrangements, with meals being provided free of charge to eligible pupils at school. If pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals are required to stay at home due to COVID-19, schools should continue to work with their school catering team or food provider to offer a good quality lunch parcel.

Throughout 2021 we are investing up to £220 million in our Holiday Activities and Food programme. Taking place in schools and community venues across the country, delivery began at Easter, has run across the summer and will run in the Christmas holidays. It supports disadvantaged pupils and their families with enriching activities, providing them with healthy food, helping them to learn new things and supporting socialisation and well-being. We are also further investing with £24 million in the National Breakfast Club programme, providing breakfast clubs in schools in disadvantaged areas.

Beyond this, the Department for Work and Pension has provided £429 million through the Covid Local Support Grant. This is being run by local authorities in England to support the hardest hit families and individuals with food and essential utility costs.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the impact of child hunger on levels of lost learning.

We recognise that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education and we are committed to helping pupils catch up as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The department commissioned Renaissance Learning to provide a baseline assessment of lost learning for pupils in schools in England and monitor progress over the course of the 2020/21 academic year. The latest interim findings from this research were published on 4 June: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year-interim-report.

Since June 2020, we have announced more than £3 billion to support education recovery, including over £950 million flexible funding to schools and £1.5 billion for a national tutoring revolution. This will have a material impact in closing gaps that have emerged.

Recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school, and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need. This includes the most disadvantaged and will expand our reforms in two areas where the evidence is clear that our investment will have a significant impact for disadvantaged children - high quality tutoring and great teaching.

We have provided around £450 million worth of food vouchers to families whilst schools were largely closed. Now schools are open again, school food provision has returned to typical delivery arrangements, with meals being provided free of charge to eligible pupils at school. If pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals are required to stay at home due to COVID-19, schools should continue to work with their school catering team or food provider to offer a good quality lunch parcel.

Throughout 2021 we are investing up to £220 million in our holiday activities and food programme. Taking place in schools and community venues across the country, delivery began at Easter, has run across the summer and will run in the Christmas holidays. It supports disadvantaged pupils and their families with enriching activities, providing them with healthy food, helping them to learn new things and supporting socialisation and well-being. We are also further investing with £24 million in the National Breakfast Club programme, providing breakfast clubs in schools in disadvantaged areas.

Beyond this, the Department for Work and Pension has provided £429 million through the Covid Local Support Grant. This is being run by local authorities in England to support the hardest hit families and individuals with food and essential utility costs.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to help increase the number of students studying mathematics at (a) A Level and (b) Higher Education.

Mathematics remains the most popular A level subject with 19% more entries since 2010. There has been an increase in entries to both A level Mathematics and further Mathematics of 3.8% and 7.1% respectively since 2020.

The Department has reformed the curriculum for Mathematics so that it matches standards set in the highest performing jurisdictions internationally. A new, more challenging GCSE provides a better foundation to study these subjects at A level, and the reformed mathematics A levels ensure that students are prepared for higher education.

The Department funds a national network of 40 maths hubs across England to raise the standard of Mathematics education to meet the standards achieved in top-performing jurisdictions. Through a school-led model, maths hubs aim to harness Mathematics expertise within an area to develop and spread excellent practice in the teaching of Mathematics, for the benefit of all students.

The Department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) to support schools and colleges to improve the effectiveness of level 3 Mathematics teaching and increase participation, including the provision of tailored support to schools and colleges in areas with low levels of progression.

The Government will nurture our top mathematical talent by delivering its commitment to have a 16-19 maths school in every region, 11 in total. The principal aim of maths schools is to help prepare more of our most mathematically able students to succeed in maths disciplines at top universities and pursue mathematically intensive careers.

This is part of a range of initiatives to improve maths provision, including the AMSP and additional funding via the Advanced Maths Premium to support schools to increase A level maths participation. It will also complement the work of maths hubs.

The AMSP also provides targeted support for students preparing for study in higher education.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to help promote the study of mathematics at universities.

Universities are autonomous bodies, independent from government, and they have control over decisions about who to admit to their courses.

The department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics through targeted support ensuring students in all 16-19 state funded schools and colleges can access AS and A level maths and AS and A level further mathematics and helping them study these subjects to a higher level.

We are working with universities and academy trusts to establish a specialist maths school in each region (and a total of 11 nationally). These aim to prepare more of our most mathematically able students to succeed in maths disciplines at top universities. They also deliver outreach work with teachers and students in schools in their surrounding areas to increase maths A level participation and attainment.

We strongly believe effective careers guidance and advice is key to supporting young people in their education and career choices, to undertake learning and develop skills in the areas employers are looking for.

The government’s Careers Strategy sets out a long-term plan to build a world class careers system to achieve this ambition. We are increasing the information available to students to ensure they can make informed choices about what and where to study. The delivery of the Careers Strategy also ensures that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) encounters, such as with employers and apprenticeships, are built into school career programmes.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions his Department has had with Vice Chancellors on the promotion and protection of pure mathematics (a) teaching and (b) research at UK universities.

The department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics. The AMSP targets ensuring students in all 16-19 state-funded schools and colleges can access AS/A level mathematics and AS/A level further mathematics and helps them study these subjects to a higher level.

With AS and A level mathematics, 100% of the course is prescribed, but with AS and A level further mathematics, 50% of the content is a prescribed pure mathematics core. For the remaining 50% of the content, different options are available. These options vary between specifications and may include mechanics, statistics, discrete/decision mathematics and additional pure mathematics.

In May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), published the research and development budget for financial year 2021/22, outlining how his department will allocate £11.35 billion.

BEIS is investing more money than ever before in core research, which will include pure mathematics. At the Spending Review in November 2020, BEIS announced that the government will increase investment in core UK Research and Innovation and National Academy funded research by more than £1 billion by 2023/24.

The government announced up to an additional £300 million for mathematical sciences in January 2020. This was new investment for research projects, fellowships and doctoral awards where the research focus is in mathematical sciences, as well as providing additional funding to the Heilbronn Institute to support PhD students and research, and to the Isaac Newton Institute and International Centre for Mathematical Sciences to enable increased participation.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to universities on promoting and protecting the (a) teaching and (b) research of pure mathematics.

The department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics. The AMSP targets ensuring students in all 16-19 state-funded schools and colleges can access AS/A level mathematics and AS/A level further mathematics and helps them study these subjects to a higher level.

With AS and A level mathematics, 100% of the course is prescribed, but with AS and A level further mathematics, 50% of the content is a prescribed pure mathematics core. For the remaining 50% of the content, different options are available. These options vary between specifications and may include mechanics, statistics, discrete/decision mathematics and additional pure mathematics.

In May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), published the research and development budget for financial year 2021/22, outlining how his department will allocate £11.35 billion.

BEIS is investing more money than ever before in core research, which will include pure mathematics. At the Spending Review in November 2020, BEIS announced that the government will increase investment in core UK Research and Innovation and National Academy funded research by more than £1 billion by 2023/24.

The government announced up to an additional £300 million for mathematical sciences in January 2020. This was new investment for research projects, fellowships and doctoral awards where the research focus is in mathematical sciences, as well as providing additional funding to the Heilbronn Institute to support PhD students and research, and to the Isaac Newton Institute and International Centre for Mathematical Sciences to enable increased participation.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to mark the contribution of pure mathematics as part of the 80th anniversary of the breaking of the Enigma code.

It is for schools, colleges, and universities to decide how or if they choose to celebrate this important anniversary.

The Department remains committed to encouraging more students to study advanced mathematics so they can follow in the footsteps of those men and women whose brilliant grasp of mathematics led to the breaking of the Enigma code.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will publish data on the take-up of free school meals from children from families with No Recourse to Public Funds during the temporary extension period.

We have temporarily extended our eligibility for free school meals during the COVID-19 outbreak to include children of Zambrano carers, families with leave to remain under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, families receiving Section 17 support who also have a no recourse to public funds condition and to families receiving Section 4 support.

The department does not plan to publish data regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date university students will be able to return to their campus and resume face-to-face teaching.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending free school meals eligibility to undocumented children.

We are continuing to work with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the temporary extension of eligibility will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

At present, data is not available regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made from the October 2020 schools census of the number of children from families with no recourse to public funds accessing free school meals.

We are continuing to work with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the temporary extension of eligibility will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

At present, data is not available regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to (a) conclude and (b) publish the review in respect of the extension of free school meals to children from low-income families affected by no recourse to public funds.

We are continuing to work with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the temporary extension of eligibility will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

At present, data is not available regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he made of salary levels in London in deciding that London weighting should be removed from the higher education teaching grant; and if he will make a statement.

On 8 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) to set out his priorities for the forthcoming year. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/48277145-4cf3-497f-b9b7-b13fdf16f46b/ofs-strategic-guidance-20210208.pdf.

One of these priorities is to change the name of the Teaching Grant to the Strategic Priorities Grant. This is to ensure the name of this funding reflects its important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally and nationally, to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

London weighting funding is a small proportion of the overall income of providers and it is right for the government to re-allocate public money where it is most needed. Universities should not receive additional investment for teaching simply because of where they are located. Excellent provision can be delivered across the country.

London already has, on average, the highest percentage of good or outstanding schools, the highest progression to HE, and more HE providers than any other region in England. This reform will invest more money directly into high quality institutions in the Midlands and the North.

The analysis we offer at this stage, as presented in the annex to the letter to the Office for Students (OfS), gives a broad indication of the impact of the changes to aid understanding. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/a3814453-4c28-404a-bf76-490183867d9a/rt-hon-gavin-williamson-cbe-mp-t-grant-ofs-chair-smb.pdf.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly, before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

We are also making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship given the £20 million made available to higher education providers in December. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need.

This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding higher education providers are able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Furthermore, we have asked the OfS to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in 2021/2022 through the proposed reforms to Strategic Priorities grant funding, to help address the challenges to student mental health posed by the transition to university, given the increasing demand for mental health services. This will target those students in greatest need of such services, including vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach students.

The OfS has also been asked to allocate £5 million to providers in order to provide additional support for student hardship. This is to mitigate the rise in student hardship due to COVID-19 impacts on the labour market which particularly affect, for example, students relying on work to fund their studies, students whose parents have lost income and students who are parents and whose partner's income has been affected.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, whether his Department has a copy of the locally agreed syllabus for religious education for each local education authority in England.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, what requirement is in place for local authorities to ensure that any resident can read the locally agreed syllabus for religious education; and if he will make a statement.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, whether his Department has a record for each local education authority of (a) the date on which its religious education syllabus was last reviewed and (b) when the current syllabus was brought into effect.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's 2012 guidance on Religious education (RE) and collective worship in academies and free schools, what information his Department holds on (a) the religious education syllabus operating in each academy school and (b) whether that syllabus is the agreed syllabus for its locality.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) adequacy of the different syllabuses for religious education in place in England and (b) extent to which those syllabuses take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 31 January 2019 to Question 213168, what plans his Department has to bring the former East Ham police station building back into use.

The Department has engaged with the Local Authority and will submit a planning application shortly. Once planning permission has been obtained, we will be able to deliver the expansion of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 12 November to Question 106891 on Free School Meals: Immigrants, what plans he has to publish the outcome of the review being undertaken by his Department with the Home Department.

We are working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility will continue with the current income threshold until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer dated 2 November 2020 to Question 106891, whether he plans to consult externally in working with the Home Office on how immigration status and no recourse to public funds interact with free school meals and other educational entitlements; and if he will make a statement.

We are working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals and other educational entitlements for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility for free school meals will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made. At present there are no plans for a statement to be made.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to calls by the Association of School and College Leaders that Ofsted inspections should not return until September 2021, what discussions he has had with the Chief Inspector for Ofsted on resuming inspections on state (a) schools, (b) nurseries and (c) colleges.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has regular discussions with Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, about a range of matters, including Ofsted’s inspection approaches and programmes. The Department is committed to keeping under review the current suspension of Ofsted’s routine inspections, which has now been in place since March 2020. That process continues. It will be important for school inspections to start up again in the new year, but at the right time and in the right way. The Department is carefully considering with Ofsted and the sector how this can be achieved safely and sensitively, with a clear focus on provision for pupils whether in the classroom or remotely.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of outdoor education facilities affected by covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

The guidance for full school opening enables schools to resume educational day visits but continues to advise against UK overnight educational residential visits. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Department’s educational visits advice is in line with guidance from Public Health England, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and will be reviewed again in November 2020. Information on support for businesses impacted by COVID-19 is available at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using UCAS predicted grades to determine the A-level results for external candidates who were unable to sit their exams in summer 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Ofqual and the exam boards explored the options for those students who did not have an existing relationship with an exam centre and who needed results this summer for progression purposes. The Joint Council for Qualifications published guidance which set out the options that would be available. The guidance can be found here: https://www.jcq.org.uk/jcq-publishes-supplementary-information-on-validation-of-evidence-by-centres-for-private-candidates/.

Ofqual and the Government asked organisations that represent higher and further education to consider the steps that they could take when making admissions decisions this summer for any external candidates who do not receive a grade. The Department have asked institutions to consider a range of other evidence and information for these students to allow them to progress wherever possible.

Where schools and colleges had accepted entries from external candidates, those students should have been taken into account in the process of producing centre assessment grades, where the head teacher or principal was confident that they and their staff had seen sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgement. In addition, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) predicted grades can be provided by schools, colleges and other further education providers, including for external candidates. Other external candidates, such as those who work with private tutors or self study, may not be able to receive a UCAS predicted grade.

To support students who are unhappy with their summer grade or for whom there was not enough evidence for a grade to be awarded, the Department is running an additional series of exams in the autumn. AS and A level exams will take place in October and GCSE exams in November, and will be available in all GCSE, AS and A level subjects.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria he plans to use to determine for how long families with No Recourse to Public Funds will have access to free school meals; and if he will make a statement.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds. The extension of free school meal eligibility to these groups will continue while the COVID-19 outbreak impacts upon schools, and it includes access to the COVID Summer Food Fund.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will update his Department’s online guidance to show that the current maximum income threshold for free school meals eligibility for children in families with No Recourse to Public Funds is £16,190.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds. We will update the guidance as soon as possible.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, by what date schools will start teaching Relationships Education, Health Education and Relationships and Sex Education; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is committed to supporting all children to grow up happy, healthy and safe, and to provide them with the knowledge they need to manage the opportunities and challenges of modern Britain. That is why all primary age children will be taught Relationships Education, all secondary age children will be taught Relationships and Sex Education, and all children in state-funded schools will be taught Health Education.

The Department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver these subjects. In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching.

Schools that are ready to teach these subjects and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance, including those relating to engagement with parents and carers, are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.

Schools that are not ready to teach these subjects or unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19 should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and commence teaching the new content by at least the start of the summer term 2021.

To ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, schools are encouraged to take a phased approach, if needed, when introducing these subjects. Schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as knowledge on supporting your own and others’ wellbeing will be important as pupils return to schools.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the current suspension of consultation exercises, what steps he will take to ensure adequate consultation is completed before the new relationships and sex education requirements take effect in schools; and if he will make a statement.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. That is why we are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools from September 2020.

The Department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver these subjects and has been working to assess the impact of COVID-19 on a school’s ability to discharge their duty relating to the implementation of these subjects. The Department will provide an update in due course.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of local authority Serious Case Reviews into child deaths have involved families with no recourse to public funds in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held by the Department for Education. The Department for Education does not undertake internal analysis of serious case reviews but commissions an expert analysis of the main themes from serious case reviews on a biennial or triennial basis. The most recently published document is ‘Complexity and challenge: a triennial analysis of serious case reviews 2014 to 2017’, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/analysis-of-serious-case-reviews-2014-to-2017.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to introduce a national measure of children’s well-being; and if he will make a statement.

In October 2019, the government published the first ‘State of the Nation’ report on children and young people’s mental wellbeing, to improve understanding of the trends and issues that influence young people’s wellbeing. This report drew on a number of existing, large-scale, sample surveys.

The government plans to provide advice for schools later this year to help them to access evidence-based tools to measure and support their pupils’ mental wellbeing. This advice is intended to be used voluntarily by schools and will not include a requirement to report back to the government.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2021 to Question 148675 on Overseas Trade: Israeli Settlements, which products originating from settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories must be labelled as such.

Under retained marketing and food information rules, country of origin information is required for unprocessed beef, pork, sheep, goat and poultry, fruit and vegetables, olive oil, fish and shellfish (whether pre-packed or loose), wine, and honey.

Under the provisions of the retained 1169/2011 Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, the country of origin or place of provenance of food must also be given on prepacked food where failure to indicate this might mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of the food, in particular if the information accompanying the food or the label as a whole would otherwise imply that the food has a different country of origin or place of provenance.

In addition, retained Regulation 775/2018 requires that if the origin or provenance of food is provided and is different to that of the primary ingredient of that food, the origin of the primary ingredient must also be given or an indication that it is not the same as that of the food.

In respect of wine, retained Regulation 1308/2013 requires that an indication of the provenance of a wine must be shown on the label. This should match the indication of provenance shown on the VI1 import certificate, and be authorised by the appropriate bodies in the exporting country.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jan 2020
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the potential effect of the Withdrawal Agreement on the Northern Ireland economy.

I regularly meet with my predecessor, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to discuss the deal, including the new Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will continue to do so.

As the Prime Minister has said, beyond the changes introduced by the Protocol, there will be no changes to GB-NI trade. Northern Ireland remains part of the UK’s customs territory.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how consumers can recognise before purchase products from the illegal Palestinian settlements; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom does not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including settlements, as part of Israel. Certain products, such as food, originating from settlements must be labelled as such. Our retained EU legislation is clear that information on origin and provenance of goods must not be misleading and should be provided if failure to do so would itself be misleading to consumers.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 63203 on clothing: Bangladesh, what further discussions she has had since 21 May 2020 with UK retailers on payments to garment manufacturers in Bangladesh for products supplied during the covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement.

My Department continues to work across HM Government and with British retailers on this important issue. We have been encouraging companies to honour existing orders, prioritising the labour portion of cost of goods to help protect workers’ incomes. We work with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and British garment retailers to combat payment issues through a regular working group too. Moreover, FCDO has recently launched the Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility, which will enable vulnerable garment workers in Bangladesh to recover from – and remain resilient to – the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations she has made to UK retailers who have not paid garment manufacturers in Bangladesh for products supplied during the covid-19 pandemic.

My Department is working across HM Government and with British retailers on this important issue.

There was a joint Ministerial meeting with the British Retail Consortium and its members on 21st May on the garment supply chains of British companies. Some of the topics for discussion included providing advice to businesses operating in Britain on how they can (a) support workers impacted by COVID-19; (b) support their supply chains in developing countries; and (c) meet their own duties to uphold rights and responsibilities overseas.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has for new infrastructure at ports to enable additional checks on vehicles and goods arriving from the EU from 1 January 2021; and if he will make a statement.

HMG will be engaging with ports, airports and other stakeholders at key border locations over the next few months to understand local constraints and opportunities and how the government can best support planning for operational readiness.

The Department for Transport has already committed £10 million, as part of the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, to help deliver upgrades which will enhance capacity and maintain trade flow.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether training offered by her Department to (a) Disability Employment Advisors and (b) Work Coaches covers assistive technology.

All staff who undertake the DEA role are expected to have completed the Work Coach Learning Journey prior to commencing learning for the DEA role. As part of the Work Coach Learning, staff complete a module, Assisted Digital (UC37) where they are provided with the knowledge and skills which will enable them to:

  • explain what assisted digital is
  • describe the benefits of using the digital service to a claimant
  • identify challenges claimants may have using digital channels
  • explain the support available to claimants with low or no digital capability or access to digital services, and
  • signpost claimants to further support available

There is also a new product Accessibility Fundamentals learning which provides delegates with the knowledge to understand the various features in Microsoft that can be used to make opportunities more accessible.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) Disability Employment Advisors and (b) Work Coaches employed by her Department identify as disabled.

Disability Employment Advisors who identify as disabled in June 2022 – 298.10 (FTE)

Work Coaches who identify as disabled in June 2022 – 3062.25 (FTE)

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Disability Employment advisers were employed by her Department as of 18 July 2022.

Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) are an integral part of our services and we are absolutely committed to supporting disabled people, including ensuring that every work coach in every jobcentre across England, Scotland and Wales continues to have access to a DEA. Since April 2021, we have increased the number of DEAs and DEA Leaders to 941 FTE.

Our DEA and DEA leaders are one part of our offer to help disabled people into work. There are a range of Government initiatives to support our customers, including the Work and Health programme, the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident, and supporting partnerships with the health system.

Please note that the data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made towards its target of increasing the number of Disability Employment Advisors, as announced in April 2021.

Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) are an integral part of our services and we are absolutely committed to supporting disabled people, including ensuring that every work coach in every jobcentre across England, Scotland and Wales continues to have access to a DEA. Since April 2021, we have increased the number of DEAs and DEA Leaders to 941 FTE.

Our DEA and DEA leaders are one part of our offer to help disabled people into work. There are a range of Government initiatives to support our customers, including the Work and Health programme, the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident, and supporting partnerships with the health system.

Please note that the data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Disability employment gap: Government Response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s Second Report of Session 2021–22 In-Work Support – Information and Advice, when her Department plans to launch its service to support employers managing health and disability in the workplace.

We expect to launch the Information and Advice service into Public Beta testing shortly. It will be named “Support with Employee Health and Disability”.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the Household Support Fund for supporting low income families.

The Household Support Fund has provided additional support for households who have needed extra help to meet cost of living pressures. The Department for Work and Pensions requires that Local Authorities provide management information returns detailing their expenditure.

For the Household Support Fund, the returns record the Local Authority’s grant allocation, spend and volume of awards made in relation to food, energy and water bills, wider essentials and housing costs.

This information, for the scheme running 6 October 2021- 31 March 2022, will be published shortly, and will be considered during future policy making.

Management Information for previous discretionary welfare funds is published online and can be found here: COVID Local Support Grant management information; COVID Winter Grant management information.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what basis the allocations from the Household Support Fund to each local authority in England have been calculated in each of the three tranches announced as of 7 July 2022; and if she will make a statement.

For the current Household Support Fund running 1 April – 30 September each Local Authority has been allocated a share of the £421m based on population weighted by the index of multiple deprivation. This is the same basis on which the previous Household Support Fund running 1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022 was allocated. The allocations for the current Household Support Fund can be found here

A further £421 million extension of the Household Support Fund is to be made available from October 2022. Guidance and individual Local Authority allocations for this further extension to the Household Support Fund will be announced in due course.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which local authorities have (a) underspent and (b) returned to her Department funding allocated to them from the first tranche of the Household Support Fund.

Local Authorities are paid in arrears, at the mid-way point and after the Fund end, subject to the return of management information confirming the spend is in line with the conditions set out in the Grant Determination and Guidance. For the first iteration of the Household Support Fund, 6 October 2021 – 31 March 2022, the Management Information, including Local Authority spend levels, will be published shortly.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much has been allocated from the Household Support Fund to each local authority in England, in each of the three tranches announced so far.

Local Authorities have received their allocations for the current £421m Household Support Fund covering April – September 2022, alongside the grant determination and guidance. The allocations for Local Authorities for this period are the same as for the first scheme which ran from 6 October 2021 - 31 March 2022 and can be found here.

A further £421 million extension of the Household Support Fund is to be made available from October 2022. Guidance and individual Local Authority allocations for this further extension to the Household Support Fund will be announced in due course.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance she has given to local authorities on the disbursement of the Household Support Fund for each of the three tranches of that Fund.

For each iteration of the Household Support Fund, the Government has issued a Grant Determination as well as written guidance for Local Authorities. For the current scheme, which runs 1 April – 30 September 2022, these documents, along with others relating to the scheme, can be found here: Household Support Fund: guidance for local councils - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). A further £421 million extension of the Household Support Fund is to be made available from October 2022. Guidance and individual Local Authority indicative allocations for this further extension to the Household Support Fund will be announced in due course.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Universal Credit claims have been identified as not correct through the reverification exercise to date; and, of those, how many claimants have applied for mandatory reconsideration.

In March 2020 the Department introduced a temporary verification easement to Universal Credit claims to support people during the height of the pandemic. This easement meant the Department successfully paid an additional 2.4 million claims during the early months of the pandemic.

We reported last year on how we were reviewing cases paid under these temporary verification easements, known as “Trust and Protect”, and were re-applying these specific checks. The number of cases where evidence has been reviewed under this process has now risen from the figure of 900,000 previously reported to 1.1 million.

Of that number, 125,000 cases have been found to have an element of incorrectness that has affected the original entitlement decision. Decisions made as a result of this exercise have generated c14,500 (12%) Mandatory Reconsideration requests. (This data is based on internal and emerging internal management information and therefore has not been subject to the same degree of scrutiny and quality assurance as an official statistic.)

The learning from this work is informing the new Targeted Case Review exercise announced in the ‘Fighting Fraud in the Welfare System’ plan (published May 2022) which will review over 2 million UC claims over the next 5 years.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she last reviewed the benefit cap.

There is a statutory duty to review the levels every 5 years . The last time the Benefit cap was reviewed was November 2016.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee of the Change Director General and Senior Responsible Owner for universal credit, on 24 November 2021, Q34, HC728, how many cases of the 90,000 estimated as not correct have been identified through reverification as not correct; and in how many of those cases has mandatory reconsideration been applied for.

In March 2020 the Department introduced a temporary verification easement to Universal Credit claims to support people during the height of the pandemic. This easement meant the Department successfully paid an additional 2.4 million claims during the early months of the pandemic.

We reported last year on how we were reviewing cases paid under these temporary verification easements, known as “Trust and Protect”, and were re-applying these specific checks. The number of cases where evidence has been reviewed under this process has now risen from the figure of 900,000 previously reported to 1.1 million.

Of that number, 125,000 cases have been found to have an element of incorrectness that has affected the original entitlement decision. Decisions made as a result of this exercise have generated c14,500 (12%) Mandatory Reconsideration requests. (This data is based on internal and emerging internal management information and therefore has not been subject to the same degree of scrutiny and quality assurance as an official statistic.)

The learning from this work is informing the new Targeted Case Review exercise announced in the ‘Fighting Fraud in the Welfare System’ plan (published May 2022) which will review over 2 million UC claims over the next 5 years.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has taken to support unpaid carers applying for Universal Credit on behalf of people with complex disabilities undergoing the process of managed migration.

We recently restarted work to design and deliver a service for people to move to Universal Credit. We are currently taking forward a discovery phase focussing on controlled, small volumes. During this phase we will seek to understand how best to support claimants when making their claim to Universal Credit, including where claimants receive additional support from people who are not their appointees to make their claim.

A variety of support is in place for those issued with migration notices, including for individuals with health conditions and disabilities. Our current support consists of:

  • A dedicated phoneline.
  • Further guidance on website Welcome to GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • Specially trained staff in JCP’s and service centres who can identify local tailored support; and
  • Support through the Help to Claim
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people with complex disabilities who are undergoing managed migration to Universal Credit will not have their benefits claims unfairly stopped.

We are committed to fully complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

A variety of support is in place for those issued with migration notices including for individuals with a heath condition and disabilities. As we progress through discovery phase, we are keen to understand what additional support is required for people to make their claim to UC.

Our current support consists of

  • A dedicated phoneline
  • Further guidance on the Gov.uk website
  • Specially trained staff in the JCP’s and Service Centres who can identify local tailored support
  • Support through help to claim
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the (a) help and (b) guidance available to people with complex disabilities undergoing managed migration to Universal Credit.

We are committed to fully complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

A variety of support is in place for those issued with migration notices including for individuals with a heath condition and disabilities. As we progress through discovery phase, we are keen to understand what additional support is required for people to make their claim to UC.

Our current support consists of

  • A dedicated phoneline
  • Further guidance on the Gov.uk website
  • Specially trained staff in the JCP’s and Service Centres who can identify local tailored support
  • Support through help to claim
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what protections her Department has put in place for people with complex disabilities undergoing managed migration to Universal Credit.

We are committed to fully complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

A variety of support is in place for those issued with migration notices including for individuals with a heath condition and disabilities. As we progress through discovery phase, we are keen to understand what additional support is required for people to make their claim to UC.

Our current support consists of

  • A dedicated phoneline
  • Further guidance on the Gov.uk website
  • Specially trained staff in the JCP’s and Service Centres who can identify local tailored support
  • Support through help to claim
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance she has given to support services assisting people with complex disabilities undergoing managed migration to Universal Credit.

We recently restarted work to design and deliver a service for people to move to Universal Credit. The first phase is Discovery with controlled small volumes; during this phase we will work with small numbers of claimants to learn how best to ensure a smooth transition to Universal Credit and identify what support claimants need to make their claim to UC.

A variety of support is in place for those issued with migration notices, including for individuals with health conditions and disabilities. Our current support consists of:

  • A dedicated phoneline
  • Further guidance on Gov.uk website
  • Specially trained staff in JCP’s and service centres who can identify local tailored support
  • Support through Help to Claim

The Department holds regular engagement sessions with a broad range of external stakeholders, including in the health and disability sector. As we progress through the discovery phase, we are keen to understand what additional support is required for people to make their claim to UC.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether tax credit recipients who have more than £16,000 in savings will lose all their support on being migrated to Universal Credit after the one year grace period, or whether they will be entitled to further transitional protection.

Tax Credit claimants will have any capital they hold above £16,000 disregard for up to 12 months once moved to Universal Credit as part of the managed migration process. This means that the normal rules for the treatment of capital, that would usually prevent them claiming UC, will not be applied during this period.

Normal UC rules for capital will still be applied to the capital they hold between £6,001 and £16,000. If their capital falls to £16,000 or below during the 12 months, then the disregard is not re-applied, should their capital rise above £16,000 again.

After 12 months, the disregard on tax credit claimants’ income that permits them to claim UC if their capital exceeds £16,000 will cease to apply and, like all claimants with capital over £16,000, they will not be entitled to Universal Credit.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date her Department made the most recent equality impact assessment of (a) the benefit cap and (b) local housing allowance rates.

The Impact Assessment of the benefit cap was published on 26 August 2016 and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/welfare-reform-and-work-act-impact-assessment-for-the-benefit-cap.

The Secretary of State has complied with her duties under the Equality Act 2010 and had due regard to the equality impacts of the benefit cap for example in respect of the Covid 19 policy changes. There is no requirement to record or publish this in the form of an equality impact assessment and we do not intend to publish the analysis.

In November 2021 the Secretary of State considered the equality impacts of the decision to maintain Local Housing Allowance rates in 2022/23 at the elevated cash rates agreed for 2020/21. Following PQ UIN 120618, a copy of the equality analysis was placed in the House of Commons library.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Household Support Fund in supporting low income families; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Work and Pensions requires Local Authorities provide management information (MI) returns detailing their spend and volume of Household Support Fund awards made in relation to food, energy and water bills, essentials linked to energy and water bills, wider essentials, and housing costs. MI returns also detail grant spend and the volume of awards made in relation to families with and without children.

This information, for the scheme running 6 October 2021- 31 March 2022, will be published in the coming months.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to support Access to Work applicants facing delays in the processing of their application; and if she will make a statement.

Access to Work are currently receiving an increased level of applications for support and are working through all applications to ensure that they are progressed as soon as possible.

For applications where a customer is due to begin a job in the next 4 weeks (whether employed or self-employed), and renewal applications for on-going support, their case will be prioritised and contact made as soon as possible. The Department is currently recruiting and training more people to work on Access to Work, as well the use of overtime working to support reducing the outstanding claim volumes.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will re-introduce the six-month extension of Access to Work grant awards for claimants who rely on support workers and are experiencing delays in the processing of their renewal applications.

In response to the increase in Access to Work applications, business processes have been regularly reviewed, including the Renewals process. As part of this, we will now treat applications that are classified as renewals for on-going support as a priority group.

Although this is not an automatic extension of the award, the prioritisation of renewals will enable applications to be cleared more quickly. Where the decision is to put in place a new award, this will be put in place for the longest period appropriate (up to the current 3 year maximum) so that the customer has stability in terms of their award, rather than having to renew again in a very short timeline, as was the case with automatically extended awards.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people are awaiting a review of their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) award after registration; and what the average time taken to review a PIP award is in the most recent period for which data is available.

On 31st January 2022 (most recent data available), there were around 220,000 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Award Reviews registered that were awaiting a decision.

For PIP Award Review decisions made in January 2022 (most recent data available) the average (median) time from Award Review registration to DWP decision was around 16 weeks.

Customers awaiting an assessment to review their PIP will continue to be paid until the review is complete. We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible, considering the need to review all available evidence, including that from the claimant.

Notes:

Data Source: PIP Atomic Data Store (ADS)

  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures refer to planned PIP Award Reviews, where a claimant has reached their scheduled review date and the Department has sent an AR1 form.
  • The average referred to here is the median. The median time is the middle value if you were to order all the times within the distribution from lowest value to highest value.
  • Processing times have been rounded to the nearest whole number of weeks.
  • The 'Award Review Registration to DWP decision (end to end)' processing time is measured as the average (median) time between the date of Award Review registration and the date of the DWP decision on the outcome of the review.
  • Median processing times are for Award Reviews where a decision was made in January 2022.
  • Processing Time measures do not include claims that were withdrawn by the claimant during the review or claims that were disallowed by DWP prior to assessment (e.g. for failure to return paperwork).
  • Award reviews that are subsequently cancelled by DWP are excluded from these figures.
  • Figures are for Great Britain only.
Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of Personal Independence Payment assessments have been carried out by (a) telephone, (b) paper based or (c) face-to-face assessments between (i) November 2021 and January 2022, (ii) August and October 2021, (iii) May and July 2021, (iv) February and April 2021 and (v) February 2020 and January 2021.

The information requested can be found in the table below.

We have not included February and March 2020 as the data is not available. Therefore, the information provided in the table covers April 2020 to January 2022.

Although not included in your question, it may be helpful to know that from autumn 2020, we have also been conducting video assessments, where appropriate, alongside telephone, paper based and face to face assessments. The proportion of video assessments have been included in the table for completeness.

v

iv

iii

ii

i

Apr 20 – Jan 21

Feb 21 – Apr 21

May 21 – Jul 21

Aug 21 – Oct 21

Nov 21 – Jan 22

Paper based review

17.4%

16.1%

17.2%

16.3%

16.3%

Face to face assessment

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

6.8%

4.6%

Telephone assessment

82.5%

83.8%

82.3%

76.3%

77.3%

Video assessment

0.0%

0.1%

0.4%

0.7%

1.8%

Please Note:

The above data is derived from unpublished management information which is produced by the assessment providers and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics Publication standards.

Some of the monthly totals have been calculated using weekly MI as there is no monthly MI available.

All percentages have been rounded to the nearest .1%, therefore percentages may not add to 100%.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what comparative assessment he has made of the equity of pension income being treated as equivalent to earned income for Universal Credit purposes whereas pension income inherited by the pensioner’s widow is deducted pound for pound from a Universal Credit award.

No such assessment has been made.

The general principle is that income, other than earnings, which is provided to meet everyday living costs, is fully taken into account in the calculation of Universal Credit. This includes income from pensions and widow’s pensions.

In common with the means tested legacy benefits it replaces, Universal Credit takes into account money available from other sources which allow a claimant to support themselves, allowing a fair balance to be struck between those in the greatest financial need and hardworking taxpayers.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for Access to Work grants are awaiting a decision.

I refer the Hon. Member/ Rt Hon. Member to my response to parliamentary question UIN 127254, on 28th February 2022.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for Access to Work grants have been decided in each of the last four weeks.

I refer the Hon. Member/ Rt Hon. Member to my response to parliamentary question UIN 131034 on 28th February 2022.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of time is for which Access to Work grant applications have been awaiting a decision; what proportion of those applications have been waiting for a decision for longer than six weeks; and what the longest time is for which such an application has been awaiting a decision.

I refer the Hon. Member/ Rt Hon. Member to my response to parliamentary question UIN 127255, on 1st March 2022.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for Access to Work grants have been decided in each of the last four weeks.

The volume of Access to Work applications decided in each of the last four weeks is:

Week ending 30/01/2022 = 1,566 applications

Week ending 06/02/2022 = 1,426 applications

Week ending 13/02/2022 = 1,486 applications

Week ending 20/02/2022 = 1,722 applications

Please note that the data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only, and have not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. They should therefore be treated with caution.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of delay for Access to Work grant applications currently awaiting a decision; what proportion of those applications have been waiting for a decision for longer than six weeks; and what is the longest time for which an application of that type has been awaiting a decision.

The information requested is in part not held or not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for Access to Work grants are currently awaiting a decision.

There are currently 17,940 Access to Work applications awaiting a decision as of 22nd February 2022. Please be aware however that this information is based on internal unpublished data.

The Access to Work statistical release includes how many applications results in provision being approved from 2007/08 to 2019/20. Please see Table 1 of the Access to Work statistics.

The latest Access to Work statistical release can be found here:

Access to Work statistics: April 2007 to March 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the costs and potential merits of opening jobcentres on Saturday since 2016; and if she will make a statement.

Initially 262 large and medium sized Jobcentres began opening on Saturdays from December 2020, with additional Jobcentres opening their doors on Saturdays in 2021. Due to the global pandemic and the application of social distancing in these sites, it is too early to make a robust assessment of the costs and merits of opening Jobcentres on Saturdays.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2022 to Question 98884, on Employment, whether it is her policy to include the self-employed in the calculation of the total number of people in employment; and what comparative estimate she has made of the total number of people in employment when calculated (a) with and (b) without the number of self-employed (i) as of 17 January 2022 and (ii) before the covid-19 outbreak.

The answer of 11 January 2022 to question 98884 referred to the payroll employment measure of people in work.

The payroll employment measure is the timeliest labour market measure of people in work, derived from Real Time Information employers submit to the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. Further explanation of this measure is available at: Comparison of labour market data sources - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to enable people aged 16 to 24 who are (a) not universal credit claimants and (b) at risk of unemployment to undertake work placements as part of the Kickstart scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme offers six-month jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 years’ old who are currently claiming Universal Credit (UC) and are at risk of long-term unemployment. There are no current plans to extend the eligibility criteria of the Kickstart Scheme.

For those not eligible to claim UC, they can still receive help from our DWP Youth Hubs who work with a range of local providers to help them address and overcome any barriers and support them in moving forward into employment.

9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many referrals from Job Centre work coaches have been made to the Kickstart Scheme; and how many of those referrals were people classified as being disabled.

As of 9th November, there have been 2,203,000 referrals made by Work Coaches of young people onto the Kickstart Scheme. Young people on the Kickstart Scheme can be referred to multiple Kickstart jobs and several young people can be referred to each job.

We are unable to break these referrals down to those with a disability and those without as the information is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

However, we do plan to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the scheme’s evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many disabled people have undertaken work placements under the Kickstart scheme or other similar programmes as part of the Plan for Jobs.

The Kickstart Scheme supports eligible young people at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

We are unable to provide information on the number of jobseekers with disabilities who are participating on the Kickstart Scheme or similar programmes as a part of the plan for jobs. This is because the information is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme including those who have a disability or health condition as part of the evaluation. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence given by the Permanent Secretary to the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday 28 October 2021, Qs 59-62, when her Department plans to start paying the State Pension due to (a) Gerald Simon Pengelley, following his application submitted on 30 July and (b) Iain Davidson, following his application submitted on 4 June 2021.

Both applications have been processed and are being paid.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new claims for State Pension were paid more than four weeks after the claimant’s sixty-sixth birthday in each of the last 12 months.

This information is not collated as part of normal business and is only available at disproportionate cost to the Department.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for calls to her Department’s telephone lines for (a) attendance allowance, (b) the Child Maintenance Service, (c) personal independence payment, (d) the State Pension and (e) debt management in each month from January 2021 to October 2021.

The average call waiting time (Average Speed of Answer) for calls to DWP Service Lines for (a) attendance allowance, (b) the Child Maintenance Service, (c) personal independence payment, (d) the State Pension and (e) debt management in each month from January 2021 to September 2021 is shown in the table below in the format of hours:minutes:seconds.

The figures provided for Debt Management have been split between the Pay and Recovery lines.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

Personal Independence Payment New Claims

00:02:50

00:03:41

00:02:16

Personal Independence Payment New Claims Reassessment

00:02:40

00:03:33

PIP New Claims & New Claims Reassessments

00:02:59

00:05:06

00:06:51

00:03:28

00:02:56

00:07:47

PIP New Claims Special Rules for Terminally Ill

00:03:06

00:03:53

00:04:00

00:04:08

00:03:59

00:05:01

00:05:36

00:06:00

00:05:11

PIP Enquiries

00:23:17

00:19:19

00:16:50

00:19:24

00:17:40

00:28:01

00:30:44

00:23:30

00:21:46

PIP Reassessment Enquiries

00:00:35

00:00:52

00:00:21

00:00:17

00:00:25

00:00:42

00:00:32

00:01:07

00:01:35

State Pension New Claims

00:21:55

00:21:31

00:15:21

00:10:13

00:12:35

00:04:39

00:06:37

00:26:39

00:17:51

State Pension Changes

00:21:05

00:21:37

00:21:56

00:20:53

00:21:14

00:20:08

00:21:18

00:20:26

00:21:51

Attendance Allowance Total

00:14:05

00:14:48

00:13:57

00:19:27

00:15:18

00:14:22

00:12:35

00:15:05

00:14:57

State Pension Enquiries

00:04:12

00:02:37

00:09:26

00:13:30

00:09:17

00:01:02

00:03:24

00:03:41

00:05:10

Child Maintenance Service

00:20:02

00:20:23

00:16:11

00:15:07

00:16:43

00:17:15

00:19:27

00:19:22

00:20:59

Debt Management "Pay"

00:54

00:51

01:57

0.14

00:29

02:00

00:26

02:01

02:04

Debt Management "Recovery"

06:47

07:05

07:55

05:53

04:40

02:25

05:13

04:40

04:13

Data Source: BT - Historical Management Information (GI2 – HMI) Serco, G4S

PIP New Claims & PIP New Claims Reassessment lines were combined for reporting purposes from April 21.

The telephony system does not use the term “waiting time” but instead provides data on the average speed that the call is answered.

Average Speed of Answer is the average customer wait time from the point of entering a queue to connection to an agent. This figure excludes any time spent in pre-queue messaging and any wait time for calls ultimately abandoned by callers.

October data has not yet been compiled.

The data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of calls to her Department’s telephone lines for (a) attendance allowance, (b) the Child Maintenance Service, (c) personal independence payment, (d) the State Pension and (e) debt management were answered in each month from January 2021 to October 2021.

The Percentage of Calls Answered by DWP telephone lines for (a) attendance allowance, (b) the Child Maintenance Service, (c) personal independence payment, and (d) the State Pension were answered in each month from January 2021 to September 2021 is shown in the table below

The table below also shows the number of calls received (i.e. offered to the network) and answered across all of Debt Management’s “Pay” and “Recovery” lines, over the period January to September 2021.

The proportion of calls answered is shown as a percentage for each month. Debt Management aims to achieve 90% of calls answered. In the table below there are two months where the percentage fell below 90% (March and September) but for both of these months the number of calls received was higher so placing extra demands on the system.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

Personal Independence Payment New Claims

94.1%

92.4%

94.6%

Personal Independence Payment New Claims Reassessment

93.7%

91.9%

PIP New Claims & New Claims Reassessments

93.3%

89.6%

86.4%

92.0%

93.0%

84.6%

PIP New Claims Special Rules for Terminally Ill

92.6%

92.8%

91.6%

91.0%

92.1%

89.8%

90.7%

89.0%

89.2%

PIP Enquiries

69.9%

73.7%

76.7%

74.3%

76.2%

65.5%

65.5%

71.4%

73.0%

PIP Reassessment Enquiries

87.0%

85.1%

87.4%

89.6%

84.8%

87.4%

88.9%

84.8%

79.0%

State Pension New Claims

61.3%

64.0%

70.1%

81.1%

78.1%

90.9%

88.1%

58.6%

70.0%

State Pension Changes

56.7%

55.2%

53.6%

56.2%

59.6%

58.7%

58.0%

59.7%

58.6%

Attendance Allowance

65.0%

63.9%

66.5%

55.8%

61.4%

65.1%

67.9%

64.3%

63.1%

State Pension Enquiries

87.6%

92.0%

74.8%

67.9%

76.8%

97.3%

90.8%

90.4%

84.6%

Child Maintenance Service

69.9%

70.0%

74.9%

76.4%

74.5%

74.5%

71.3%

73.8%

70.4%

Debt Management "Pay" and "Recovery" Lines

91.4%

90.0%

88.7%

91.8%

92.9%

95.1%

92.4%

91.1%

89.4%

Data Source: BT - Historical Management Information (GI2 – HMI) Serco, G4S

PIP New Claims & PIP New Claims Reassessment lines were combined for reporting purposes from April 21.

October data has not yet been compiled.

The data supplied is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2021 to Question 56659 on State Retirement Pensions, what management information her Department holds on the timeliness of the payment of new State Pension claims; and if she will make a statement.

Yes. As of 4 November, there were 3,220 claims where we awaited further information from the customer before we can finalise their claim.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in each of the Restart contract package areas, how many of the people referred to Restart providers since July 2021 have so far started the programme.

As of Sunday 17 October 2021, 73,665 people have been referred to the Restart programme since it began in July 2021. Many of those who have been referred to the programme will not yet have started due to the time factors involved: so far 41,570 have been recorded as having started on the programme. In addition, not all starts that occurred in this period will have been recorded on the system yet as a small number are recorded retrospectively.

The table below shows the breakdown of the total number of Referrals and Starts by Contract Package Area.

Contract Package Area

People Referred

People with a Start

CPA 1a West Central

7,020

3,795

CPA 1b East Central

6,865

3,910

CPA 2a North East & Humber

5,370

3,610

CPA 2b S&W Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire

9,560

5,050

CPA 3a North West

3,940

2,020

CPA 3b Greater Manchester

4,015

1,990

CPA 4a South West

5,795

3,155

CPA 4b South Central

5,620

2,960

CPA 5a Central & West London

7,060

4,220

CPA 5b East & South London

5,900

3,085

CPA 5c Home Counties

9,095

5,750

CPA 6 Wales

3,430

2,025

All

73,665

41,570

Notes:

Source: Management Information from Provider Referral and Payment System

Not all starts will have been recorded on the system – a small number are recorded retrospectively.

All figures have been rounded to nearest 5, and totals do not necessarily sum due to rounding.

The Management Information above has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with Official Statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been referred to Restart scheme providers in each of the Restart scheme contract package areas since July 2021.

As of Sunday 17 October 2021, 73,665 people have been referred to the Restart programme since it began in July 2021. Many of those who have been referred to the programme will not yet have started due to the time factors involved: so far 41,570 have been recorded as having started on the programme. In addition, not all starts that occurred in this period will have been recorded on the system yet as a small number are recorded retrospectively.

The table below shows the breakdown of the total number of Referrals and Starts by Contract Package Area.

Contract Package Area

People Referred

People with a Start

CPA 1a West Central

7,020

3,795

CPA 1b East Central

6,865

3,910

CPA 2a North East & Humber

5,370

3,610

CPA 2b S&W Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire

9,560

5,050

CPA 3a North West

3,940

2,020

CPA 3b Greater Manchester

4,015

1,990

CPA 4a South West

5,795

3,155

CPA 4b South Central

5,620

2,960

CPA 5a Central & West London

7,060

4,220

CPA 5b East & South London

5,900

3,085

CPA 5c Home Counties

9,095

5,750

CPA 6 Wales

3,430

2,025

All

73,665

41,570

Notes:

Source: Management Information from Provider Referral and Payment System

Not all starts will have been recorded on the system – a small number are recorded retrospectively.

All figures have been rounded to nearest 5, and totals do not necessarily sum due to rounding.

The Management Information above has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with Official Statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new claims for State Pension from (a) men and (bi) women were paid more than four weeks after the claimant’s sixty-sixth birthday in each of the last twelve months.

This information is not collated as a matter of normal business under this, or previous governments and is only available at disproportionate cost to The Department for Work & Pensions.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of trends in the level of food insecurity amongst school children since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have not made an assessment of this kind. Issues of food insecurity amongst school children fall within the remit of the Department for Education so assessments such as this would be their responsibility.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims awarded under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness have been reviewed by her Department following the end of their three-year award duration in each of the last five years.

Claims can be awarded under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) across a range of DWP benefits. The information requested in relation to reviews of SRTI awards is not readily available across all of these benefits, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason people with a terminal illness are required to reapply for a claim after three years under the special rules for terminal illness.

For the majority of cases made under the SRTI, people are given three year awards. This approach was based on a recommendation from an expert advisory group, initially for DLA, but later adopted in other benefits. The three year awards given to SRTI claims strikes a balance that recognises making a prognosis is not an exact science and that people who do live longer than expected should continue to receive the support provided to them by benefit system, while also enabling those who live for much longer than expected, to be looked at afresh in light of their circumstances as they come towards the end of their award.

As part of the Health and Disability Green Paper consultation, we are consulting on reform of assessments and seeking views on policy proposals, including the principle of receiving unnecessary assessments and reviews. Following the consultation, detailed proposals will then be brought forward in a White Paper next year.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will remove the three year award duration for benefits claims made under the special rules for terminal illness.

For the majority of cases made under the SRTI, people are given three year awards. This approach was based on a recommendation from an expert advisory group, initially for DLA, but later adopted in other benefits. The three year awards given to SRTI claims strikes a balance that recognises making a prognosis is not an exact science and that people who do live longer than expected should continue to receive the support provided to them by benefit system, while also enabling those who live for much longer than expected, to be looked at afresh in light of their circumstances as they come towards the end of their award.

As part of the Health and Disability Green Paper consultation, we are consulting on reform of assessments and seeking views on policy proposals, including the principle of receiving unnecessary assessments and reviews. Following the consultation, detailed proposals will then be brought forward in a White Paper next year.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date her Department received the final report of the NatCen research project entitled The Uses of Health and Disability Benefits; and for what reason that report has not been published.

The Government considers a broad range of analysis and evidence to support the formation of all its policy, including that which is both internally and externally commissioned. It is not necessary to publish all of this material, and the Government does not have plans to publish the NatCen report at this time.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will place in the Library a list of the members of her Department’s Assessments Policy Forum; and whether that the Forum will continue to meet.

We will place in the Library a list of those members of the Assessments Policy Forum who are content to be named. We will continue to engage with a forum to discuss assessments and broader issues going forward.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will amend the severe conditions criteria so that people who have already been diagnosed with a terminal condition do not need to go through a work capability assessment to claim benefits.

The Department provides fast-track access to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit (UC) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for people who are nearing the end of their lives through the Special Rules for Terminal Illness. Claimants who have been diagnosed as being likely to live for 6-months or less, are able to claim under a fast-tracked process, without the requirement for waiting periods or a face-to-face assessment and usually receive the highest rate of benefit. On 8th July 2021, following an extensive evaluation into how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their lives the Department announced its intention to replace the current 6-month rule with a 12-month, end of life definition.

We would like to highlight that as announced in the Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability Green Paper published 20th July 2021 we are testing the possibility of a new Severe Disability Group for those with severe and lifelong conditions to access ESA/UC and PIP. This will simplify the process by removing the need for a long form or a face-to-face assessment for this group and build on existing provision such as Severe Conditions and Special Rules for Terminal Illness. We will consider the test results alongside the responses to the Green Paper when determining whether the policy should be rolled out further

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to extend awards under the special rules for terminal illness in line with changes made for claimants with severe lifelong conditions; and if she will make a statement.

The Department is committed to supporting people nearing the end of their lives. I can confirm that on 8th July 2021 I announced that following a wide-ranging evaluation, the Department intends to replace the current 6-month rule with a 12-month, end of life approach. This will mirror the current definition of end of life used across the NHS and ensure that people receive vital support through the Special Rules six months earlier than they do now. People who claim under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness are able to claim under a fast-tracked process, without the requirement for waiting periods or a face-to-face assessment and usually receive the highest rates of benefit.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will end the practice of Departmental assessors rejecting the clinical judgment of a medical professional that a patient is terminally ill in relation to accessing benefits under the special rules for terminal illness.

A claim made under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness is in most cases supported by a DS1500. DS1500 forms have never been a requirement for a claim under the terminal illness rules but remain the quickest and most appropriate route to gather evidence to support entitlement in these cases. The DS1500 form is completed by the claimant’s healthcare professional and provides information relating to their diagnosis, clinical features and past or current treatment. The Assessment Provider’s healthcare professionals may, on occasion, contact the claimant’s medical practitioner where additional information or clarification is required in order to process the claim under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness.

Where it is not possible to supply a DS1500 in support of a Special Rules for Terminal Illness claim we will consider alternative evidence and work flexibly and quickly with the claimant and/or their clinician(s) to make a determination.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average back payment was to personal independence payment claimants where the claimant has been awarded that benefit at a tribunal for the most recent period for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in 2019-20, how many claimants received between zero and six points in their Work Capability Assessment and then subsequently had that benefit awarded on (a) mandatory assessment or (b) appeal.

The specific information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The available information on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) and appeals in relation to Employment Support Allowance Work Capability Assessments is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the recommendations of the review undertaken in 2019 and the findings of the coroner’s inquest in April 2021 into the murder in May 2017 of Emma Day by her ex-partner, what plans she has to review the management by the Child Maintenance Service of cases in which the parent with care is threatened by an ex-partner with violence; and if she will make a statement.

The Child Maintenance Service takes the safety of all its customers extremely seriously. It has significantly strengthened its processes to ensure customers experiencing domestic abuse are supported and can set up a child maintenance arrangement safely.

The Department has commissioned an independent review of ways in which the Child Maintenance Service supports victims of domestic abuse and the details of this review will be outlined in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of paying childcare costs within universal credit in advance, to support parents who cannot afford to pay upfront charges; and if she will make a statement.

No assessment has been made.

With Universal Credit, working families can claim back up to 85% of their registered childcare costs each month, compared to 70% on the legacy benefits system regardless of the number of hours worked. This can be claimed up to a month before starting a job and for families with two children, this could be worth up to £13,000 a year.

Eligible claimants can get help from the Flexible Support Fund with initial up-front fees and costs as they move into work. Alternatively, help with upfront costs may also be available through Budgeting Advances.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure economically inactive disabled people are supported to find jobs; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is committed to improving the lives of disabled people, and will publish a National Disability Strategy later this year. The Strategy will be informed by insights from the lived experience of disabled people, focusing on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects and phases of life, including employment.

A range of DWP initiatives are supporting disabled people to stay in and enter work. These include the Work and Health Programme, the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services. The Government has also increased the number of specialist Disability Employment Advisors in Jobcentres.

In addition, the DWP will shortly publish a Green Paper on health and disability support which will consider how we can improve our current service, provide extra support to navigate the system and seek to better understand how we can improve the current employment support offer.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will extend eligibility for the Kickstart and Restart schemes to people in receipt of employment support allowance; and if she will make a statement.

There are currently no plans to extend the eligibility criteria of the Kickstart Scheme or the Restart Scheme.

Employment Support Allowance claimants who require more intensive employment support would have access to both the Work and Health Programme (WHP) and Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES) and can volunteer for this support at any time irrespective of benefit claimed or no benefit. The WHP predominantly helps people with a wide range of disabilities and health conditions to enter into and stay in work, and is suited to those who expect to find work within 12 months. IPES is an intensive, highly personalised voluntary support package that is flexible to participants’ needs. It supports disabled people with complex barriers to work who would be more than 12 months from the labour market without the benefit of IPES support.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will include whether a surveyed family has no recourse to public funds in the Family Resources Survey when the sample size is expanded in 2022; and if she will make a statement.

The Department is currently considering the questionnaire for next year’s Family Resources Survey, April 2022 to March 2023.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the £20 uplift in universal credit on levels of child poverty in (a) England and (b) East Ham constituency.

No assessment has been made.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme providing funding to Local Authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed during the coldest months. It will now until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help people move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the level of child poverty in (a) England and (b) East Ham constituency.

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for East Ham is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2020 ,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10.

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

In 2019/20 the absolute levels of child poverty, before housing costs, in East Ham was 22%. The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in East Ham and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department plans to take to support people with No Recourse to Public Funds when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme have been extended to the end of September 2021 to recognise some industries will return no earlier than 21 June.

Immigration status holders who do not return to work because they have lost their employment will need to check the conditions attached to their leave. Where their immigration status is linked to a particular job, they may need to find alternative employment or another basis of stay, and make a further application if they wish to remain in the UK.

Non-UK nationals and family members who are issued with a residence permit with a NRPF condition are not eligible to access taxpayer-funded benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Benefit or housing assistance for the duration of their leave. DWP has no powers to award taxpayer-funded benefits to an individual whose Home Office immigration status specifies no recourse to public funds.

People with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, or if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income. NRPF ‘change of conditions’ applications are prioritised and dealt with compassionately.

Other support is available to people with an NRPF condition once the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme comes to an end. Contribution-based benefits, such as New Style JSA, will continue to be available for those who meet the eligibility criteria.

27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 24 March 2021 from the Minister for Disabled People to the Work and Pensions Committee, how many claimants her Department has identified as being ineligible for a remote Work Capability Assessment in each month since the suspension of face-to-face assessments on 16 March 2020 in response to the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those claimants so identified her Department has now assessed.

We have interpreted your question to mean how many claimants have been identified as not suitable for a telephone Work Capability Assessment (WCA) in each month since the 16 March 2020; and how many of those claimants have now been assessed.

The information requested is not available.

Initial guidance for those identified as not suitable for telephone assessments has evolved since WCA telephone assessments were introduced in May 2020. In addition, further case reviews, changes of circumstance or further medical information for example, may lead to a change in advice over whether a telephone assessment is appropriate.

DWP continues to work with Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA), to minimise the number of people identified as not suitable for a telephone assessment and we are currently exploring alternative ways of conducting health assessments. For example, we continue to complete paper based assessments and make recommendations based on the written evidence available where possible and have introduced some video assessments where appropriate. We are planning to resume face to face WCAs next month for those who we are unable to fully assess by other channels.

27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to improve employment rates of young people from (a) Black and (b) Asian backgrounds and if she will make a statement.

The Government is committed to levelling up and uniting the country, including by improving the employment outcomes of people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The Department has implemented the DWP Youth Offer for all 18 to 24 year olds making a claim for Universal Credit and who are in the intensive work search group. The Youth Offer includes Youth Hubs which are co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners and Youth Employability Coaches who are flexibly supporting young people with significant complex needs and barriers to help them move into employment, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds as needed. We also have a range of support through our Plan for Jobs Programme, which includes the Kickstart Scheme that is providing funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

We have a national programme of mentoring circles, involving employers offering specialised support to unemployed, young ethnic minority jobseekers.

The Government is also considering the recommendations on how to increase opportunity and ensure fairness for all made in the recent independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to oral evidence given by the Minister for Welfare Delivery on 9 March 2021 to the Work and Pensions Committee and the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, how her Department concluded that introducing non-repayable grants in universal credit would take two years or longer; and what assessment she has made of the barriers to introducing those grants more quickly.

This estimate was derived from the Spring 2020 forecasts, which are based on the Department’s inflow forecasts, with an assumed take-up rate of 100%. There are no plans to introduce a non-repayable grant.

New Claims Advances are the claimant’s benefit paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit (UC) payment upfront. With a UC Advance, claimants receive an additional UC payment, resulting in 13 payments in a year rather than 12. From 12 April 2021, claimants have the option to spread twenty-five UC payments over twenty-four months, giving them more flexibility over the payments of their UC award. This will also allow claimants to retain more of their award, giving additional financial security.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Since October 2019, UC deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. We also recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions over the 30% cap can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The main aim of the deductions policy in Universal Credit is to safeguard the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt in a cost effective and efficient way. It provides protection for claimants from the consequences of homelessness, imprisonment or having vital utilities disconnected. Regulations protect claimants from excessive deductions and there are no plans to suspend them.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to oral evidence given by the Minister for Welfare Delivery on 9 March 2021 to the Work and Pensions Committee and the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, how her Department reached the conclusion that introducing a non-repayable grant for new universal credit claimants would cost about £2 billion to £2.5 billion per annum; and if she will publish the details of those costings.

This estimate was derived from the Spring 2020 forecasts, which are based on the Department’s inflow forecasts, with an assumed take-up rate of 100%. There are no plans to introduce a non-repayable grant.

New Claims Advances are the claimant’s benefit paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit (UC) payment upfront. With a UC Advance, claimants receive an additional UC payment, resulting in 13 payments in a year rather than 12. From 12 April 2021, claimants have the option to spread twenty-five UC payments over twenty-four months, giving them more flexibility over the payments of their UC award. This will also allow claimants to retain more of their award, giving additional financial security.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Since October 2019, UC deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. We also recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions over the 30% cap can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The main aim of the deductions policy in Universal Credit is to safeguard the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt in a cost effective and efficient way. It provides protection for claimants from the consequences of homelessness, imprisonment or having vital utilities disconnected. Regulations protect claimants from excessive deductions and there are no plans to suspend them.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many regulatory interventions recorded by the Health and Safety Executive in relation to the covid-19 outbreak there were by each class of reason in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many regulatory interventions in relation to the covid-19 outbreak have been conducted (a) as a result of a site visit and (b) without a site visit in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many amber /red covid-19 concerns dealt with by Health and Safety Executive regulatory staff have resulted in (a) formal written advice and (b) enforcement in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many amber /red covid-19 concerns dealt with by Health and Safety Executive regulatory staff have been handled by (a) visiting officers, (b) regulatory contact officers and (c) inspectors in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Written Statement HCWS824 made on 4 March 2021 by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, how much her Department has paid in backpayments as a result of the correction exercise to date.

Parliament was updated on this issue through a written statement laid on 4 March and a topical statement by the Secretary of State during DWP oral questions on 8 March.

I have committed to updating Parliament as the correction exercise progresses.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Written Statement HCWS824 made on 4 March 2021 by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, how many underpayments her Department’s correction exercise has identified to date.

Parliament was updated on this issue through a written statement laid on 4 March and a topical statement by the Secretary of State during DWP oral questions on 8 March.

I have committed to updating Parliament as the correction exercise progresses.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many site-based Health and Safety Executive spot checks have been carried out by (a) covid-19 support officers, (b) visiting officers/regulatory contact officers and (c) inspectors in each month since March 2020.

Spot checks are one part of HSE’s blended approach in tackling Covid-19 risk in the workplace. With additional Government funding to support Covid-19 work, HSE engaged third party suppliers to deliver spot check calls and visits by spot check support officers to a protocol and script set out by HSE. Where these checks reveal cause for concern the case is passed to an inspector for a visit and enforcement action taken if necessary, to ensure the workplace is Covid-19 secure. The additional capacity provided by the spot check support officers has broadened HSE’s reach to many more workplaces than would have been possible and supported inspectors focus on planned key work.

In addition to spot checks, HSE inspectors have visited workplaces to support public health bodies in responding to outbreaks and to investigate Covid-19 concerns raised by workers and others. Also, in any site intervention with dutyholders, for example investigating a serious incident, carrying out targeted proactive inspection work where the focus is non Covid-19 activity or similar regulatory activity, HSE inspectors check compliance with Covid-19 standards.

Since March 2020, HSE has carried out 149,248 spot checks, 65,152 of these were physical site visits to check controls were in place which met the Government’s workplace Covid-19 secure guidelines.

The breakdown of visits is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Spot Check Support Officer

HSE Visiting Officer / Regulatory Contact Officer

HSE Inspector

March 2020

2

April 2020

6

May 2020

15

June 2020

91

July 2020

20

1475

August 2020

18

1448

September 2020

38

1989

October 2020

2,263

26

2804

November 2020

7,395

41

1714

December 2020

8,948

20

974

January 2021

12,737

7

721

February 2021

14,805

11

723

March 2021

6,765

2

94

Totals

52,913

183

12,056

Note: Figures were obtained from HSE’s live operational database on 9th March 2020 and may be subject to change, e.g. as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before data is uploaded onto the system.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March to Question 156242 on Carer's Allowance: Overpayments, what information her Department holds on the starting date and durations of the overpayments of Carer’s Allowance first identified in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Government recognises and appreciates the vital role unpaid carers play in supporting loved ones who are ill, frail or disabled.

The Carer’s Allowance debts referred to Debt Management in each of the last 3 years, reflect individual overpayments; the starting dates and durations will therefore vary accordingly.

However, the average lengths of the recoverable Carer’s Allowance overpayments referred to Debt Management in each of the requested years was as follows:

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021 YTD

Average Length (Days)

164

213

135

I can also confirm that the median start dates for those overpayments were:

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021 YTD

Median Start Date

06/11/2017

17/12/2018

09/12/2019

These overpayments have arisen in the main because changes have not been reported on time. DWP takes every care to explain a claimant’s responsibilities when they apply for Carer’s Allowance; this includes the need to report changes on time. The Department has improved Carer’s Allowance communications to make this even clearer.

New technology and additional staffing have now made it easier to identify and prevent overpayments.

Notes:

  • The Department has a duty to recover overpaid benefits as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • Overpayment recovery is subject to various legislative limitations and safeguards so customers do not experience financial hardship.

  • There are rules covering the amount of money we can take from a person’s benefit and customers are informed in advance before benefit deductions start.

  • Where a person claims they cannot afford the proposed rate of recovery, they are asked to provide details of their income and expenditure. When this information is provided, their financial circumstances can be taken into account and a reduction in their rate of repayment may be agreed. In these circumstances, the situation would be reviewed at regular periods. In exceptional circumstances, a temporary suspension of recovery may be agreed.
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the Health and Safety Executive's response is to representations made to it by the Road Haulage Association on tightening guidance on the provision of toilet facilities to visiting truck drivers; and if she will make a statement.

Early in the pandemic, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produced guidance for drivers which can be found at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/drivers-transport-delivery.htm. In addition, HSE published a joint letter with the Department for Transport on gov.uk in May 2020, reminding businesses of their legal obligation to provide toilet and handwashing facilities to drivers visiting their premises to deliver or collect goods as part of their work. The joint letter is available to download and print, via the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887867/dft-hse-letter-drivers-facilities.pdf.

This guidance continues to be reinforced with messages (for example that HSE is checking businesses in the transport sector are COVID-secure – https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/11/23/hse-is-checking-businesses-in-the-transport-sector-are-covid-secure/ to explain expectations on businesses).

In mid-July 2020 HSE clarified that visiting workers must be allowed access to toilets in both their cleaning and hygiene guidance (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/cleaning/bathrooms-toilets-washbasins.htm) and social distancing guidance (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/social-distancing/common-areas.htm)

HSE has engaged extensively with industry associations and trade unions to set out the legal requirements. They used their communications channels including social media and newsletters to engage with stakeholders directly, and last year worked with other agencies such as Highways England and police forces to amplify our messaging on access to welfare facilities via their social media channels.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been asked to repay overpayments of carer's allowance in each of the last five years.

The number of people asked to repay new overpayments of Carer’s Allowance, as referred to Debt Management between April 2016 and January 2021, is set out in the table below:

Financial Year

Volume

2016/2017

17.5k

2017/2018

13.0k

2018/2019

37.6k

2019/2020

51.9k

2020/2021 YTD

11.5k

Total

131.5k

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of (a) formal written advice notices and (b) enforcement notices issued by HSE in each month since March 2020 were in relation to (i) employee safety concerns arising from covid-19 and (ii) concerns of inadequate ventilation as a risk of covid-19 transmission.

Since March 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has dealt with 18337 COVID-19 workplace concerns and has carried out a total of 103011 COVID-19 spot checks.

Table 1 below shows the numbers of COVID-19 workplace concerns and spot checks resulting in written correspondence and enforcement notices.

HSE’s systems do not record the level of detail which would be required to establish how many concerns related to inadequate ventilation, therefore it is not possible to determine what proportion of the cases identified related specifically to ventilation concerns.

Table 1

COVID concerns with an outcome of 'Written correspondence'

COVID concerns with an outcome of Notice

COVID spot checks with an outcome of ‘Written correspondence’

COVID spot checks with an outcome of Notice

Mar-20

0

0

0

0

Apr-20

45

1

0

0

May-20

42

8

3

1

Jun-20

38

10

18

8

Jul-20

41

4

128

25

Aug-20

22

3

134

23

Sep-20

39

5

160

30

Oct-20

32

0

251

30

Nov-20

36

1

127

22

Dec-20

16

0

104

14

Jan-21

15

1

63

7

February 2021 (to 02.02.21)

0

0

2

0

Totals

326

33

990

160

Note: This data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 3rd February 2021 and is subject to change e.g. as there can be a delay of up to 10 working days before actions are updated on the database.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of implementing the automated process under the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020.

No such estimate has been made.

We expect to automate identification of affected claimants early in 2021. This will allow us to proactively correct awards before they are paid, without the need for the claimant to raise the issue.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the automated process to deliver the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 will be in place.

No such estimate has been made.

We expect to automate identification of affected claimants early in 2021. This will allow us to proactively correct awards before they are paid, without the need for the claimant to raise the issue.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) Stage 1 phone calls, (b) Stage 2 follow-up calls, (c) Stage 3 site visits and (d) covid support officer site visits have been undertaken by HSE in each month since March 2020 in relation to (i) all employee safety concerns arising from covid-19 and (ii) concerns of inadequate ventilation causing an increased risk of covid-19 transmission.

The stage 1, 2 & 3 approach you refer to relates specifically to proactive spot check calls and visits to business premises and not to those triggered by workplace concerns.

So far, HSE has proactively carried out a total of 92,566 spot checks, since March 2020, which includes both those passing through the staged process and those carried out separately from this process i.e. as a result of visits carried out by our inspectors. 83,718 went through the staged-process, of which 17,895 were referred to stage 2 and 3,311 of which were then referred to stage 3 for a visit.

With regard specifically to employee safety concerns arising from Covid-19, HSE categorises workplace COVID concerns into green, amber or red. Green concerns are those that can easily be resolved or where HSE is not the enforcing body. Amber and red COVID concerns have, to date, been dealt with by HSE regulatory operational staff.

Of these, HSE’s systems do not record the level of detail which would be required to establish how many concerns related to inadequate ventilation.

The table below provides by month the number of completed COVID concerns dealt with, the number of these that were investigated and completed by operational staff and the number that required a site visit. These numbers are additional to those listed in paragraph 2.

Month/Year

Completed COVID Concerns

COVID concerns investigated by regulatory staff.

Requiring a visit to site

03-2020

336

-

04-2020

3749

1715

37

05-2020

2006

982

119

06-2020

1238

548

103

07-2020

1272

393

127

08-2020

1008

295

93

09-2020

1132

399

125

10-2020

1437

473

203

11-2020

2228

462

157

12-2020

1132

195

38

01-2021

2177

178

41

Total

17715

5640

1043

NB the data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 27th January 2021. The number for completed COVID concerns is reported on a weekly basis and this is as of 24th January 2021.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 15 January 2021 from the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee, how her Department defines the acceptable service level for its telephone lines for (a) attendance allowance, (b) the Child Maintenance Service, (c) personal independence payment and (d) state pension; and in each month from August 2020 to December 2020 what service level was provided on each of those lines.

An acceptable level of service for all of the department’s telephony lines is defined as 80% of calls answered (a common industry standard). This service level indicates that customers are being quickly connected to team members and getting their problems resolved in a timely manner.

A reduced service may be necessary for a period where the balancing of resource (as experienced during this Pandemic) are of high priority within a particular business area.

Table below shows performance for Attendance Allowance (AA), Child Maintenance Service (CMS), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and State Pension (SP) telephony lines for the period August 2020 to December 2020.

% Calls Answered (PCA)

Aug-20

Sep-20

Oct-20

Nov-20

Dec-20

AA

61.10%

60.20%

64.40%

62.00%

64.00%

CMS

78.90%

75.60%

74.80%

74.30%

68.40%

PIP

70.60%

70.60%

63.30%

69.60%

69.20%

SP

60.60%

57.90%

52.10%

55.20%

60.30%

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's policy is on automatically extending personal independence payment awards.

In normal circumstances, PIP awards are time-limited with regular review dates to ensure the benefit best meets
claimants’ needs and there are no automatic extensions to PIP awards. However, on the limited occasions when it is not possible to review claimants in a timely manner, we may extend a claimant’s award until the point that we can
complete the review.

As part of its response to the Covid-19 situation, in Spring 2020 the Department extended award dates for existing
PIP claims. We restarted the PIP award review process in July. New decisions made since then will not have had their awards extended – reflecting these claims will on average not be subject to review until 2022 and beyond.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 15 January 2021 from the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee, in each month from August 2020 to December 2020 how many call attempts to her Department’s debt management service (a) were made, (b) were blocked and (c) were not blocked but were not answered.

The table below illustrates the extent of the telephony traffic in Debt Management since August 2020.

Call attempts

Calls answered

Calls blocked

Calls not answered

August

153,800

102,400

22,200

29,300

September

282,100

127,900

101,600

52,600

October

221,800

147,500

41,800

32,500

November

605,300

149,600

413,700

42,000

December

278,900

122,600

129,400

26,900

January (to 11/01/21)

46,500

42,700

100

3,700

*Figures are rounded to the nearest 100

In November 2020, there was a temporary spike in the number of calls received due to the recommencement of debt recovery, following a pause due to the outbreak of Covid-19. It should be noted that the number of blocked calls does not represent individual customers and that the volume will be substantially distorted by repeat attempts.

We have since updated our telephone messaging and guidance for call handlers as well as redeploying trained staff from clearing work to answering calls.

In addition, DWP expects to deploy approximately 450 new staff to the network in the next three months.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the timetable for the National Disability Strategy, and whether that Strategy will be consulted on as a command paper.

The Government is committed to transforming the lives of disabled people, and will publish the National Strategy for Disabled People this year.

It will be informed by insights from the lived experience of disabled people, and will focus on the issues that disabled people say are most important across all aspects of life, from transport to education, and housing to employment. On Friday 15th January, we launched the online UK Disability Survey, which complements a range of engagement already undertaken and ongoing, including lived experience research with disabled people, discussions with the Disabled Charities Consortium, the Regional Stakeholder Networks and others. Contributions to the survey will feed not only into the development of the Strategy but also its delivery.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of modifications to Access to Work during the covid-19 outbreak on support for people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Recognising the challenges Covid-19 has for employers and disabled people, Access to Work introduced a new more flexible offer to support disabled people to move into and retain employment. The new flexible offer complements support provided by employers and contains a combination of support that can be tailored to meet the needs of new Covid-19 working arrangements. The offer includes:

  • support to work from more than one location,
  • a package of home working support which can be blended with workplace support,
  • mental health wellbeing support for people returning to work after a period of furlough or shielding,
  • travel-to-work support for those who may no longer be able to safely travel by public transport due to the nature of their disability, and
  • prioritising Access to Work applications from disabled people in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Group.

Recognising the benefits equipment/support within the workplace provides, Access to Work can contribute towards the costs of transferring that equipment or where working from both the office and home occurs Access to Work can consider providing funding for additional equipment/support to enable the disabled person to retain their job.

Background

Access to Work (ATW) is a demand-led, discretionary grant to de-risk the recruitment and retention of disabled people for employers. The grant contributes to the disability related extra costs of working faced by disabled people and those with a health condition that are beyond reasonable adjustment, but it does not replace an employer’s duty under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments. The grant provides personalised support and can provide workplace assessments, travel to/in work, support workers, specialist aids and equipment to enable disabled people and those with a health condition to move into or retain employment. And can fund up to £60,700 worth of flexible, personalised support per person per year.

We have not carried out a formal assessment of the new offer, but following its immediate introduction telephone call to Access to Work increased by approximately 40%.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2020 to Question 123507, how much funding was allocated to promote the Access to Work scheme in the last financial year; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of that promotion in relation to the uptake of that scheme.

In the context of the current lockdown restrictions we are currently reviewing our messaging on Access to Work and the most appropriate time to launch paid advertising to ensure optimum value for money. We will continue the already extensive no cost and stakeholder promotion of Access to Work and look to supplement with paid advertising at the most appropriate point. Within this context, we are unable to provide a final spend estimate for the 20/21 financial year.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of calls to her Department’s Debt Management team were answered in (a) August (b) September (c) October and (d) November 2020.

It is important to note, since March the caseload on UC has increased from around 3 million people on UC to 5.8 million.

The proportion of calls presented to agents answered by Debt Management for the months requested are shown in the table below:

August

September

October

November

Proportion of calls presented to agents that are answered

77%

71%

80%

78%

The Debt Management queueing system allows only so many calls into the telephony system, matching volumes to the number of telephony agents available. The Percentage of Calls Answered therefore underestimates the number of attempted calls.

There were, however, large numbers of callers who could not make it into the system and are therefore not included in the proportion of calls answered.

November saw a large increase in the volume of notifications issued, largely due to the automated nature of the system used by Debt Management to manage customer accounts. This caused a significant increase in the number of customers attempting to contact the service as a result, starting on 20th November.

Debt Management have put steps in place to address this issue. A limit to the number of notifications issued has been set to ensure the resulting contact is manageable. Improvements have been made to the messages customers hear when they call; this will ensure they are made aware of any high call volumes and are also directed to the right place, to help reduce the time spent waiting. This includes directing customers to GOV.UK if they want to make a payment by bank transfer. Debt Management are also recruiting more telephony agents - 90 additional agents have now joined Debt Management and are being trained, and a further 100 will join early in the New Year.

Debt Management continues to monitor the number of notifications issued and their call handling data. At the height of this issue, an average of over 51,000 calls were blocked each day. For the last 5 days for which we have data, from 7th–11th December, this had fallen to less than 6,000 each day.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of written complaints to her Department’s Debt Management team were answered within 15 working days in (a) August (b) September (c) October and (d) November 2020.

The proportion of written complaints answered by Debt Management within 15 working days for the months requested are set out in the table below:

August

September

October

November

Proportion of complaints answered by Debt Management within 15 working days

93%

88%

88%

49%

It is important to note the caseload of people on UC has increased since March from around 3 million to 5.8 million. Deductions were paused at the height of the pandemic and staff from the Debt Management team were redeployed to process claims. Staff have now returned to their roles, and deductions restarted in a phased way from July 2020.

Therefore the number of complaints received by Debt Management increased during this period. This was due to the increased caseload leading to some customers experiencing difficulties when trying to contact Debt Management by telephone.

Debt Management have put steps in place to address this issue. Firstly, a limit to the number of notifications issued has been set to ensure any resulting contact is manageable. Improvements have been made to the messages customers hear when they call; this will ensure they are made aware of any high call volumes and are also directed to the right place, to help reduce the time spent waiting. This includes directing customers to GOV.UK if they want to make a payment by bank transfer. Debt Management are also recruiting more telephony agents. 90 additional agents have now joined Debt Management and are being trained, and a further 100 will join early in the New Year.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her letter of 20 July 2020 to the Work and Pensions Committee, how many cases of universal credit identity hijack her Department (a) has investigated since October 2018 and (b) is currently investigating.

In terms of UC Advances cases where an individual’s identity has been hijacked, we have investigated a significant number of potential or alleged UC Advances frauds and to date have found 36 cases where the person had been a genuine victim of hijacked id. Other cases are still in the process of being investigated. We cannot provide details of any potential identity frauds as the outcomes (of each case) cannot be pre-determined.

In addition, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cyber Resilience Centre within the Department for Work and Pensions thwarted attempts made to defraud the Government of an estimated £1.7bn through organised criminal attacks on the Universal Credit system.

The Department was able to intervene on around 133,000 linked fraudulent claims and prevent the vast majority from being paid. Some claims received an advance or progressed to payment, but were subsequently detected and payments stopped immediately, with less than £50 million paid out in total.

These claims used hijacked identities, but the identities were not stolen from the Department. Of the attempted fraudulent claims only a very small minority used the identities of existing benefit claimants. Where existing claims have been affected, the Department has reinstated the original claim.

All figures used in this response are correct as of 20 November 2020.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 21 November 2020 from the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee, how many cases of universal credit identity hijack have been referred to the Stolen Identity Team since 24 June 2020.

As at 8 December 2020, the total number of suspected cases of Universal Credit identity hijack referred to the Stolen Identity Team since 24 June 2020 was 5,894.

The vast majority of benefit expenditure is paid correctly, with front line staff working hard to prevent incorrect and fraudulent payments. We are constantly improving our processes and continue to use data to identify fraud and better target our investigations.

The Department continues to take fraud seriously, and will continue to challenge people who seek to abuse the system, employing the full range of penalties at its disposal.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much has been spent on promoting the Access to Work scheme in the 2020-21 financial year.

The Department delivers regular communications about Access to Work support using a variety of high reach channels including social media, proactive press releases explaining the support available and how to apply via Gov.uk. Activity also includes working with a variety of organisations to increase awareness of Access to Work support among disabled employees, including the Disability Confident network of more than 19.000 employers, and regular stakeholder communications to encourage them to promote Access to Work to their clients. Remploy and Ingeus deliver Access to Work Mental Health Support Service (MHSS) on the Department’s behalf. The Department works with those providers to support activity to promote their Access to Work Mental Health Support Services externally using their communications channels to reach customers experiencing mental health issues or conditions within the workplace. All promotional activity delivered by Access to Work MHSS providers has to be approved by the Department.

The Department also targets information about Access to Work at the point of need where it can have maximum impact, for example when someone is offered a job, or develops a health condition that impacts their work. This means using key touch points with disabled people, including employers, Jobcentre work coaches, Disability Employment Advisers and partners who engage directly with disabled people.

This approach has been highly effective as Access to Work is supporting thousands more people with disabilities and health conditions than ever before. In the most recent official statistics published in September 2020, Access to Work funded tailored and flexible support for 43,000 people in 2019/20, a 20% increase on the previous year, demonstrating the Department’s approach to promoting Access to Work continues to be highly effective. Access to Work support has also led to increased take up among underrepresented groups including those with Mental Health conditions, with 8,710 successful applications in 2019/20, almost double the number compared to the previous year and the highest ever.

The increased consumption and reach of digital channels, in particular social media, and the Department’s extensive reach with employers and stakeholder organisations means that key audiences can be reached in a much more cost-effective way than previously. However, to ensure that Access to Work information reaches as many people as possible, the Department is planning to supplement this already extensive promotion with paid advertising from January 2021. Final proposals are currently being worked on for the paid advertising campaign and detailed media planning will determine final spend, therefore at this stage we are unable to confirm the final spend estimate.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the amount her Department will have spent on promoting the Access to Work scheme in the current financial year, 2020-21, by the end of the financial year.

The Department delivers regular communications about Access to Work support using a variety of high reach channels including social media, proactive press releases explaining the support available and how to apply via Gov.uk. Activity also includes working with a variety of organisations to increase awareness of Access to Work support among disabled employees, including the Disability Confident network of more than 19.000 employers, and regular stakeholder communications to encourage them to promote Access to Work to their clients. Remploy and Ingeus deliver Access to Work Mental Health Support Service (MHSS) on the Department’s behalf. The Department works with those providers to support activity to promote their Access to Work Mental Health Support Services externally using their communications channels to reach customers experiencing mental health issues or conditions within the workplace. All promotional activity delivered by Access to Work MHSS providers has to be approved by the Department.

The Department also targets information about Access to Work at the point of need where it can have maximum impact, for example when someone is offered a job, or develops a health condition that impacts their work. This means using key touch points with disabled people, including employers, Jobcentre work coaches, Disability Employment Advisers and partners who engage directly with disabled people.

This approach has been highly effective as Access to Work is supporting thousands more people with disabilities and health conditions than ever before. In the most recent official statistics published in September 2020, Access to Work funded tailored and flexible support for 43,000 people in 2019/20, a 20% increase on the previous year, demonstrating the Department’s approach to promoting Access to Work continues to be highly effective. Access to Work support has also led to increased take up among underrepresented groups including those with Mental Health conditions, with 8,710 successful applications in 2019/20, almost double the number compared to the previous year and the highest ever.

The increased consumption and reach of digital channels, in particular social media, and the Department’s extensive reach with employers and stakeholder organisations means that key audiences can be reached in a much more cost-effective way than previously. However, to ensure that Access to Work information reaches as many people as possible, the Department is planning to supplement this already extensive promotion with paid advertising from January 2021. Final proposals are currently being worked on for the paid advertising campaign and detailed media planning will determine final spend, therefore at this stage we are unable to confirm the final spend estimate.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of her Department's promotion of Access to Work in the current financial year on the number of applications to that scheme.

The Department delivers regular communications about Access to Work support using a variety of high reach channels including social media, proactive press releases explaining the support available and how to apply via Gov.uk. Activity also includes working with a variety of organisations to increase awareness of Access to Work support among disabled employees, including the Disability Confident network of more than 19.000 employers, and regular stakeholder communications to encourage them to promote Access to Work to their clients. Remploy and Ingeus deliver Access to Work Mental Health Support Service (MHSS) on the Department’s behalf. The Department works with those providers to support activity to promote their Access to Work Mental Health Support Services externally using their communications channels to reach customers experiencing mental health issues or conditions within the workplace. All promotional activity delivered by Access to Work MHSS providers has to be approved by the Department.

The Department also targets information about Access to Work at the point of need where it can have maximum impact, for example when someone is offered a job, or develops a health condition that impacts their work. This means using key touch points with disabled people, including employers, Jobcentre work coaches, Disability Employment Advisers and partners who engage directly with disabled people.

This approach has been highly effective as Access to Work is supporting thousands more people with disabilities and health conditions than ever before. In the most recent official statistics published in September 2020, Access to Work funded tailored and flexible support for 43,000 people in 2019/20, a 20% increase on the previous year, demonstrating the Department’s approach to promoting Access to Work continues to be highly effective. Access to Work support has also led to increased take up among underrepresented groups including those with Mental Health conditions, with 8,710 successful applications in 2019/20, almost double the number compared to the previous year and the highest ever.

The increased consumption and reach of digital channels, in particular social media, and the Department’s extensive reach with employers and stakeholder organisations means that key audiences can be reached in a much more cost-effective way than previously. However, to ensure that Access to Work information reaches as many people as possible, the Department is planning to supplement this already extensive promotion with paid advertising from January 2021. Final proposals are currently being worked on for the paid advertising campaign and detailed media planning will determine final spend, therefore at this stage we are unable to confirm the final spend estimate.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions her Department is having with representatives of (a) Equity and (b) other similar organisations on social security support for self-employed workers in the creative industries during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

The department has met with representatives for the self-employed, such as the Federation of Small businesses (FSB) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to discuss the impact of covid-19 on independent businesses and self-employed people and the support available. We have also met with representatives from organisations including Pinewood Studios and ScreenSkills to discuss employment opportunities in the arts sector.

For those who can’t work or suffer a loss of earnings due to the pandemic the government announced an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes, including the temporary relaxation of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed UC claimants affected by covid-19, for the duration of the outbreak.

This means a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation or as a result of the economic impact of the outbreak is reflected in claimants’ awards. It ensures that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance she has given to jobcentre staff on relaxing normal work search requirements for benefit claimants who are self-employed and highly experienced but temporarily unable to find work in their usual field during the covid-19 outbreak.

The frequency of interventions that Universal Credit Work Coaches undertake with claimants is determined by the individual circumstances of the claimant, the duration of their claim, and the level of support required at that particular time. Work Coaches are not routinely undertaking Work Search Reviews with claimants who have declared themselves as Self-Employed; but are instead available to support them in seeking alternative work/careers if they require it.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 114047 on Immigrants: Coronavirus, if she will issue guidance to local authorities to clarify that families with No Recourse to Public Funds are eligible for help from Government funds provided for supporting disadvantaged families.

Our £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme will enable local authorities to support children and vulnerable households this winter with food and key utilities.

We are in regular discussion with Local Authorities about how the Covid Winter Support Grant should be delivered. Detailed guidance, including on support for those with No Recourse to Public Funds, was published on gov.uk on 24 November:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-winter-grant-scheme

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with representatives (a) among the self-employed and (b) workers in the creative arts sector on the operation of the social security system during the covid-19 outbreak.

The department has met with representatives for the self-employed, such as the Federation of Small businesses (FSB) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to discuss the impact of covid-19 on independent businesses and self-employed people and the support available. We have also met with representatives from organisations including Pinewood Studios and ScreenSkills to discuss employment opportunities in the arts sector.

For those who can’t work or suffer a loss of earnings due to the pandemic the government announced an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes, including the temporary relaxation of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed UC claimants affected by covid-19, for the duration of the outbreak.

This means a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation or as a result of the economic impact of the outbreak is reflected in claimants’ awards. It ensures that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to her oral statement of 9 November 2020, Official Report, column 637 on supporting disadvantaged families, whether children in families whose immigration status has the No Recourse to Public Funds condition will be eligible for help if they are (a) born in the UK and (b) born outside the UK.

The eligibility rules relating to immigration status have not changed. Local authorities can and do use their judgement in assessing what support they may lawfully give those who are ineligible for public funds or housing support, on an individual basis taking into account their specific needs and circumstances. This includes providing basic safety net support if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution; for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems, or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to increase the rate of (a) jobseekers' allowance and (b) employment and support allowance in line with the increase in universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

The Government introduced a package of temporary welfare measures worth around £9.3 billion this year to help with the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the £20 weekly increase to the Universal Credit Standard Allowance rates as a temporary measure for the 20/21 tax year. There are no plans to extend this to legacy benefits.

The Government will update Parliament accordingly on any future decisions on benefit spending.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what method her Department has used to conduct personal independence payment medical assessments since face-to-face assessments were paused in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

As previously advised to the Rt Hon Stephen Timms on the 10 September 2020, during the Covid-19 period, all assessments are currently being progressed on the basis of the paper based evidence alone or that evidence together with a telephone assessment to ensure decisions on Personal Independence Payment can be made without delay.

The health and safety of our claimants and our staff are our key priority. Face to face assessments for health and disability benefits remain suspended at present; this is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 106889 on State Retirement Pensions, how many people were having deductions and adjustments made to their State Pension payments by her Department to repay claimant debts owed to Government on the most recent date for which that data is available.

17,215 claimants are currently having deductions made from their State Pension in respect of benefit overpayments or repayment of outstanding Social Fund loans. The figure excludes accounts managed by the Department for Communities.

Regulations allow a number of deductions and adjustments to be made from State Pension. There are also limits on the amount that can be taken. Deductions taken to repay claimant debts owed to Government include those in respect of benefit overpayments and civil and administrative penalties.

All such debts are first notified to the customer in writing; notifications also include information on what action can be taken by the customer if they wish to dispute the amount stated as owing. A further notification is issued before any deductions from State Pension commence.

Anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP so an affordable rate of repayment can be negotiated.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on a joined-up approach by Government and regulators to implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures; and if she will make a statement.

As a result of action by this Government, the UK is the first major economy to put TCFD into statute for pension schemes - leading the way on this issue, having already legislated for net zero by 2050 and introduced ESG legislation through 2018 amendments to the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations.

As part of the Green Finance Strategy, the Government has established a working group of Government Departments and regulators that meets monthly to take forward implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force on TCFD. This board is important in fostering co-ordination and consultation given the overlaps and interdependencies within the UK financial services sector.

For DWP, the Financial Conduct Authority is particularly relevant to DWP’s recent proposals on TCFD for occupational pension schemes, given the relationship between trustees and their asset managers.

On 2 October, we published a letter exchange with the FCA’s Interim Chief Executive Chris Woolard on this topic in which he committed to work closely with the Department when developing proposals.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-conduct-authoritys-plans-for-climate-related-financial-disclosures

This demonstrates the importance of ongoing bilateral engagement in supporting the co-ordination of any proposals for TCFD requirements.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy for the Money and Pensions Service to reintroduce the Pension Wise usage data reports, showing monthly Pension Wise take up by channel, which were published by her Department up to January 2019.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) publishes Pension Wise usage data as part of their annual evaluation report which details not only volumes but satisfaction with the service.

Figures can fluctuate monthly, for example due to seasonality and the numbers of people reaching aged 50, who are eligible for the Pension Wise service. The annual reporting allows for wider analysis and commentary against the figures rather than that previously published month by month.

MaPS continually reviews its reporting processes across its customer facing brands and we work very closely with MaPS to analyse their services, along with seeking any opportunities to improve.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to promote diversity in pension schemes governance; and if she will make a statement.

In 2018, Government made amendments to the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations 2005 which required trustees to state their policy on environmental, social and governance considerations in their investment strategy, typically including consideration of the diversity of the firms in which they invest. It also supports greater diversity in trustee board representation.

The primary focus on pensions schemes is ensuring that trustees in all occupational pension schemes meet standards of honesty, integrity and knowledge appropriate to their role.

The Pensions Regulator is already looking at the issue of trustee board diversity across all schemes and began work on this in Spring 2020. The proposed industry working group will bring together the wealth of material and experience that is available to help pension schemes improve the diversity of their boards.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants are having deductions made from their State Pension as a result of debts owed to the Government.

Regulations allow a number of deductions and adjustments to be made from State Pension. There are also limits on the amount that can be taken. Deductions taken to repay claimant debts owed to Government include those in respect of benefit overpayments and civil and administrative penalties.

All such debts are first notified to the customer in writing; notifications also include information on what action can be taken by the customer if they wish to dispute the amount stated as owing. A further notification is issued before any deductions from State Pension commence.

Anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP so an affordable rate of repayment can be negotiated.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what circumstances her Department makes deductions from State Pension payments to repay claimant debts owed to the Government.

Regulations allow a number of deductions and adjustments to be made from State Pension. There are also limits on the amount that can be taken. Deductions taken to repay claimant debts owed to Government include those in respect of benefit overpayments and civil and administrative penalties.

All such debts are first notified to the customer in writing; notifications also include information on what action can be taken by the customer if they wish to dispute the amount stated as owing. A further notification is issued before any deductions from State Pension commence.

Anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP so an affordable rate of repayment can be negotiated.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants will be subject to the minimum income floor when its suspension ends on 12 November 2020.

The Information requested on the minimum income floor is not available.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit claimants were self-employed in the last period for which data is available.

In August 2020, the number of self-employed people claiming Universal Credit and required to report self-employed income, stood at 746,000.

This represented 13.4% of all people claiming Universal Credit.

Notes:

Volumes are rounded to the nearest thousand

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy for pensions dashboards to highlight information on responsible investment; and if she will make a statement.

The Pensions Dashboards Programme consulted on what additional information dashboards could initially show in its summer Call for Input on data. This included the potential to signpost users to schemes’ Statement of Investment Principles and Implementation documents, which include information on schemes’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and work.

A summary of the responses to the Call for Input will shortly be published alongside the Programme’s next Progress Update Report, on its website – www.pensionsdashboardsprogramme.org.uk.

The Government will work with the Pensions Dashboard Programme to assess and review their recommendations as to the extent of content on the dashboard. The initial dashboard will be simple in design bit it is intended that it will have much more information as it develops.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Universal Credit claimants rented from a private landlord and had (a) dependent children and (b) no dependent children in (i) the most recent month for which data is available and (ii) the same month in 2019.

The available information on the number of households on Universal Credit with Housing Entitlement, by Tenure and Family Type is published and the latest statistics to May 2020 can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/.

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people of state pension age received Housing Benefit for a private rented home in (a) the most recent month for which data is available and (b) the same month in 2019.

The available information on the number of households of state pension age receiving Housing Benefit is published and the latest statistics to May 2020 can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/.

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October 2020 to Question 96745 on Universal Credit, what the timetable is for her Department to bring forward legislative proposals to address the issues raised by the Court of Appeal.

I can confirm the Department’s timetable for laying legislation in response to the Court of Appeal judgment made on 22 June in the case of Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart, which concerned claimants who receive two calendar monthly payments of earnings in one Universal Credit assessment period.

I am intending to make today and lay tomorrow, secondary legislation that will allow us to reallocate a payment of earnings reported via the Real Time Information service to a different Universal Credit assessment period, either because it was reported in the wrong assessment period or (in the case of calendar monthly paid employees) it is necessary to maintain a regular payment cycle. This will mean that claimants who are paid calendar monthly will therefore have one salary payment taken into account in each assessment period. It also means that certain claimants will also benefit from any applicable work allowance.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October 2020 to Question 96745, whether the proposed legislation will be applied retrospectively to households whose Universal Credit was previously reduced by the unlawful approach to calculating their earned income.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the way the Department calculated Universal Credit awards involving earnings in an assessment period was a correct application of the regulations, but that not considering the impact on the specific cases of those paid calendar monthly who are affected a ‘a non-banking day salary shift’ was irrational. The legislation we are making today and laying tomorrow, revises those arrangements and provides a remedy that satisfies the Court of Appeal Judgment in the case of Johnson and Others. It will mean that in future for cases affected by this issue, monthly earnings will be reallocated to another assessment period, which means that only one set of earnings will be taken into account rather than two, and certain claimants will be able to benefit from any applicable work allowance.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Welfare Delivery on 25 June 2020 Official Report, column 1455, what progress she has made on implementing the Court of Appeal judgment of 22 June 2020 in the case of Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart v. the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

In its deliberations, the Court of Appeal recognised the complexity of the issue which the Department is working to resolve for claimants as soon as possible.

We intend to bring forward legislation to address the issues raised by the Court of Appeal, so that in future for cases affected by this issue monthly earnings can be reallocated to another assessment period, which means that only one set of earnings should be taken into account rather than two.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit limited capability for work assessments were successful at the initial assessment in each month in the last 12 months.

The Department publishes Universal Credit statistics on the total number of households in receipt of limited capability work entitlement – either the limited capability for work element, or the limited capability for work and work related activity element. This information is available via Stat-Xplore and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on for users can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Statistics on outcomes of Work Capability Assessments for Universal Credit are intended for publication in the near future as Official Statistics.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who applied for (a) employment and support allowance and (b) personal independence payments needed reasonable adjustments in order to make their claim in the last 12 months.

In relation to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

In relation to PIP, it is important that all of our claimants are able to access our services and that they do not face obstacles in applying and communicating with the Department and its providers. We have a variety of reasonable adjustments to make the claims process and communications easier for some of our most vulnerable customers and we offer a range of services to help claimants who have accessibility needs.

In relation to ESA, we offer a number of different ways for customers to make the claims that would negate the need of a customer needing a reasonable adjustment. They can make a claim online, by telephone or on a paper based form. The Alternative Format team can arrange for reasonable adjustments to be applied such as correspondence in braille.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether updated assessment guidance stating that new-style employment and support allowance claimants who are unable to do a telephone assessment will receive the assessment rate until they have a face-to-face assessment also applies to universal credit limited capability for work claimants.

Universal Credit (UC) claimants who are unable to participate in a work capability assessment (WCA) by telephone will continue to receive their appropriate UC Standard Allowance, plus any additions, for example, housing costs and children, during the period they are waiting for the outcome decision of a face-to-face WCA.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) universal credit and (b) employment and support allowance claimants were found fit for work but were awarded (i) limited capability for work and (ii) limited capability for work related activity after appeal in each month in the last 12 months.

Statistics on Employment and Support Allowance Work Capability Assessment (WCA) outcomes are published quarterly. The latest figures covering the outcome of completed initial and repeat WCAs including appeals decisions and mandatory reconsiderations, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

Additional breakdowns of the ESA WCA figures can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The information requested for Universal Credit is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit limited capability for work and limited capability for work related activity mandatory reconsiderations resulted in a change of award since the beginning of May 2020.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to continue (a) paper and (b) telephone assessments for (i) personal independence payment and (ii) disability living allowance after the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

Paper based assessments of entitlement to Disability Living Allowance have always been offered in preference to other forms of assessment and will continue as normal.

Paper based assessments have also always been a feature of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Face-to-face assessment are currently suspended and are being kept under review. We will be considering the next steps for PIP assessments and how we could re-introduce face-to-face assessments when it is safe and operationally feasible to do so, our key priority being the health and safety of our claimants and our staff.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to develop (a) paper and (b) telephone versions of work capability assessments; and if she will make a statement.

Paper based reviews have always been a feature of Work Capability Assessments. Wherever possible, if there is sufficient evidence available, our Assessment Provider will make a recommendation based on a paper-based review. If this is not possible, our provider will currently look to offer a telephone assessment, where appropriate.

We remain fully committed to making continuous improvements to the support we provide to people with health conditions and disabilities, and are evaluating the changes temporarily introduced to inform the approach taken to conducting assessments in the future.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Written Statement of 9 July 2020, WS 353, whether she plans to permit disability benefit claimants to choose a face-to-face, telephone or paper assessment; and if she will make a statement.

We are considering the next steps for assessments when public health advice allows face to face assessments to be re-introduced. We are using a range of information to inform these decisions, including research with PIP and ESA/UC claimants about their experiences of telephone assessments, which will take place over the Summer. Further discussions with stakeholders will also be welcomed to ensure we take a range of views into consideration.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for financial redress have been made to her Department by people who claimed universal credit after lockdown restrictions came into effect and are worse off than on their previous benefits.

The information requested can only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many payments of financial redress her Department has made since March 2019 to claimants who moved from legacy benefits to universal credit on her Department's advice and became worse off.

The information requested can only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much of the £14 million additional funding for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been (a) allocated by HSE and (b) allocated by HSE for additional inspection capacity.

The government has made available up to an extra £14.2 million for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to support the provision of advice and regulatory activities. HSE has, to date, applied for and received £4m of this to establish an inbound COVID-19 enquiry service and to undertake proactive compliance spot checks in relation to business compliance with COVID-19 requirements.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the preparedness of the Chemical Regulation Division of the Health and Safety Executive in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Work and Pensions makes regular assessments on the readiness of projects under its EU Transition Programme. Regardless of the circumstances, the Health and Safety Executive will be ready with an independent regulatory regime for the approval and use of chemicals for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal protective equipment specialists were made redundant in the science division of the Health and Safety Executive in 2019; and if she will make statement.

Health and Safety Executive did not make any redundancies to personal protective equipment specialists within their Science Division in 2019.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent Band 3 Regulatory inspectors are employed by the Health and Safety Executive in each region and nation of the UK.

The table below shows the number of full-time equivalent Band 3 regulatory inspectors employed by the Health and Safety Executive by region as at 30th June 2020:

Civil Service Region

30/06/2020

East Midlands

14

East of England

44

London

30

North East

29

North West

64

Scotland

48

South East

30

South West

24

Wales

31

West Midlands

26

Yorkshire and Humber

50

Total

390

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of enforcing social distancing in workplaces on (a) limiting the spread of covid-19 and (b) ensuring workplace safety.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uses a range of strategies, including regulatory activities, policy and research; which contribute to and maintain Great Britain’s world class safety record. This blend of approaches has been used in dealing with Covid-19 risks (including social distancing) in the workplace through, for example; inspections, investigations of workplace concerns, provision of advice (with over 3 million Covid-19 webpage views), influencing duty holders through third parties such as the Construction Leadership Council and trade bodies and supply chain work. In addition, HSE has utilised its research work and proactive communications. A measure of the success that HSE’s contribution has made can be seen in the very high levels of compliance with Covid-19 guidance that HSE is seeing in the workplace. HSE has continually reviewed its approach, during the Covid-19 outbreak, to ensure it can respond quickly and efficiently as needed.

26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to implement the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change report, Reducing UK emissions Progress Report to Parliament, published in June 2020 by making all her (a) Department's buildings and (b) vehicle fleets zero-carbon in the long-term; and if she will make a statement.

DWP has performed well in reducing its carbon emissions to date. DWP recently submitted its annual Greening Government Commitments (GGC) return for 2019/20. Whilst we await final confirmation from DEFRA, our analysis shows that we have exceeded our carbon targets for 2019/20.

COVID-19 has delayed confirmation by DEFRA of the 2025 GGC targets. When these targets are received our view forward will be clearer, however in the meantime we are developing the Estates Carbon Management Plan, which makes reference to the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, as well as the UK’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Framework. The plan includes recommendations to:

- Improve the operational performance of our estate;

- Invest in our estate to improve energy efficiency;

- Ensure we lease highly energy efficient buildings;

- Ensure that energy efficiency standards are adhered to when we refurbish or fit out buildings.

The Department is committed to supporting the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) targets of 25% of its fleet to be electric vehicles (EV) by 2022 and 100% by 2030. Prior to COVID-19, plans were in place to start implementation this year. We are now reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on our plans.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available for people who do not qualify for sick pay and who are required to self-isolate.

We have made changes so that Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance are payable to people who are self-isolating, including those who are shielding, and who satisfy the conditions of entitlement. We have removed the waiting days so these are paid from day one. Households may also be eligible for Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available for people who do not qualify for sick pay or universal credit and who are required to self-isolate.

We have made changes so that Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance are payable to people who are self-isolating, including those who are shielding, and who satisfy the conditions of entitlement. We have removed the waiting days so these are paid from day one. Households may also be eligible for Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to support people who earn less than the Lower Earnings Limit who are required to stop work to self-isolate under the covid-19 test and trace system.

Those who are not already in receipt of benefits may be able to claim Universal Credit and/or new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances, to support them when they are unable to work.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether a UK citizen who is married to a person with leave to remain in the UK but has no recourse to public funds is permitted to claim universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

Where only one member of a couple is eligible for UC (for example the other adult in the couple is subject to immigration control) then that ineligible person’s circumstances will not be brought to bear in calculating how much the maximum amount of UC payable is. Their capital, income and earnings will, however, be taken into account in adjusting the actual UC award. The term ‘assessment unit’ is used to capture both members of a couple where one adult is not eligible for UC.

Non-UK nationals and family members who are issued with a residence permit with a NRPF condition are not eligible to access taxpayer-funded benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Benefit or housing assistance for the duration of their leave. Contributions-based benefits and the State Pension are not classed as public funds. DWP has no powers to award taxpayer-funded benefits to an individual whose Home Office immigration status specifies no recourse to public funds.

DWP decision makers undertake rigorous training and are expected to offer a high standard of support to help people identify the evidence they need to provide as part of their application for income-based benefits.

5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June to Question 51540, on Social Security Benefits, if she will publish the equality impact assessment on the potential effect of the benefit cap in relation to the recent increase to (a) the standard allowance of universal credit and (b) local housing allowance.

The Secretary of State has complied with her duties under the Equality Act 2010 in respect of the recent policy changes and the potential impacts of the interaction with other policies. There is no requirement to record this in the form of an equality impact assessment and therefore, we do not intend to publish the analysis.

5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has in place to ensure that benefit claimants who (a) are shielding due to the covid- 19 outbreak and (b) have caring responsibilities are not sanctioned if they are unable to take up employment when conditionality easements for (i) universal credit and (ii) jobseeker's allowance come to an end on 30 June 2020.

We made the decision to temporarily suspend the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), old-style JSA and ESA, and Income Support.

Arrangements after the 30th June will be communicated in due course.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has carried out a recent equality impact assessment into the effect of the benefit cap in relation to the recent increase to (a) the standard allowance of universal credit and (b) local housing allowance.

The Secretary of State has complied with her duties under the Equality Act 2010 in respect of the recent policy changes.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether housing benefit claimants unable to return to the UK after an overseas visit as a result of travel restrictions imposed in response to the covid-19 pandemic will continue to be able to receive that benefit for longer than the normal permitted period of absence; and if she will make a statement.

Easements are in place for claimants who are unable to return to Great Britain as a result of travel restrictions. Guidance has been issued to Local Authority staff advising them to keep Housing Benefit claims open where the claimant has informed them that they were temporarily unable to return home due to Covid-19 travel related restrictions.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much money from the public purse her Department spent on the housing cost element of universal credit in each of the last twelve months.

The requested information is not readily available and the cost of undertaking such analysis would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of a parliamentary question.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the appropriateness of the savings thresholds for means tested benefits during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

A key principle is that Universal Credit (UC) should only go to people who do not have assets available to meet their basic needs. While it is important to protect the incentive to save for claimants on low earnings, people with substantial capital must take responsibility for their own support. This is to ensure that we can maintain our focus on getting money to citizens who need it and safeguarding the most vulnerable.

If capital exceeds £16,000 there will be no entitlement to UC, unless the capital can be disregarded, for example personal injury compensation payments. Capital above £6,000 will reduce the amount of UC paid by £4.35 per month for every £250 of capital or part thereof.

If someone has money in their account that is to be used for business purposes, for example for paying tax, it will not be counted towards their capital, but they may be asked to prove that the money is for business purposes. People should make clear in their application the savings that are business assets, and note it in their online journal.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases related to covid-19 have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive; and how many of those cases have led to enforcement action.

Between 9 March 2020 and 4 May 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received reports of 50 dangerous occurrences, 1859 cases of occupational disease and 56 deaths to workers resulting from suspected COVID-19, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. HSE is processing these reports and progressing investigations as appropriate. No investigation has yet reached the stage of identifying the need for enforcement action.

HSE has received 6780 calls and on-line enquiries between 9 March 2020 and 4 May 2020 on covid-19 matters, including some specifically raising concerns about a workplace. HSE handles these concerns through a triaging process with the most serious cases being dealt with by an inspector. In 280 cases an inspector provided advice and checked the employer had acted on the advice. In 25 cases HSE has written formally to the business requiring improvements.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Health and Safety Executive has ordered any businesses to close in response to covid-19-related concerns; and if she will make a statement.

The Health and Safety Executive has not ordered any businesses to close in response to covid-19 concerns.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Health and Safety Executive has taken to promote online and telephone reporting of covid-19-related concerns.

I refer the Rt. Hon. member to my recent answer to question 37708.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has a documented formal change management process for IT changes to deliver any alterations to universal credit's scope or policy decided by Ministers.

Yes

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish a response to her Department’s consultation on statutory sick pay.

We plan to publish the response to the consultation ‘Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss’ later this year. The consultation set out proposals to encourage all employers to take positive action to support employees who are managing health conditions in work, and to manage sickness absence more effectively.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people started receiving (a) statutory maternity pay and (b) maternity allowance in each quarter since April 2016.

DWP does not hold information on the number of people who started receiving Statutory Maternity Pay in each quarter. The latest annual estimate is that around 360,000 women commenced Statutory Maternity Payments in 2018/2019.

Information on the number of Maternity Allowance claims commencing in each quarter is published and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/maternity-allowance-quarterly-statistics

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 17 March 2020, Official Report column 953, that self-employed people who self-isolate can apply for employment and support allowance (ESA), whether ESA will be available to people who are not themselves ill.

Everyone infected with Covid-19 or required to self-isolate will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA and UC without the requirement for fit notes or undergoing a Work Capability Assessment. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2020 to Question 23566 on Local Housing Allowance, if she will publish her Department's equality impact assessment on its decision to uplift local housing allowance by 1.7 per cent.

The Department completed an equality analysis on its decision to uplift local housing allowance by 1.7 per cent which will be published on gov.uk in due course.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Independent Serious Case panel; and if she will make a statement.

The panel was developed to take themes and systemic issues that come out of various case reviews and make recommendations for improvements. The Department understands the importance of the work of the Serious Case Panel and is committed to getting this right. We need to do so carefully and therefore we are iterating where necessary to ensure it is effective. The Secretary of State will update the House in due course.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has carried out an equality impact assessment on its decision to uplift local housing allowance by 1.7 per cent.

The Secretary of State has considered the impact on her decision to uplift Local Housing Allowance rates by 1.7% on persons with protected characteristics.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what improvements have been identified in the Internal Process Reviews undertaken in the last 12 months.

The Department is committed to improving the way it learns lessons from customers’ experiences.

We are improving our internal guidance and communication to all staff and we are strengthening how we analyse reports and recommendations to identify systemic themes and issues so that effective improvements can be put in place.

And, a centralised team has been established to coordinate improvement activity, including monitoring where issues have occurred and the implementation of improvements.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what percentile of local rents the maximum local housing allowance rate is for each (a) home size and (b) broad rental market area.

In response to COVID-19, this Department has increased Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents from April for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants, giving additional financial support for private renters.

This means that 30% of properties in each broad rental market area (BRMA) in England, Scotland and Wales are within the LHA rate with the exception of 15 rates in central and inner London where the national maximum caps continue to apply. The national caps have also been increased and are now based on the Outer London LHA rate plus 20%.

The proportion of properties in central and inner London that are within the LHA rate are set out below:

BRMA

Room

1 Bed

2 Bed

3 Bed

4 Bed

Central London

30%

less than 5%

less than 5%

less than 5%

less than 5%

Inner East London

30%

15%-20%

25%-30%

15%-20%

30%

Inner North London

30%

15%-20%

20%-25%

15%-20%

20%-25%

Inner South East London

30%

30%

30%

30%

30%

Inner South West London

30%

25%-30%

30%

25%-30%

20%-25%

Inner West London

30%

30%

30%

25%-30%

30%

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of care leavers aged between 22 and 25 who are living in one bedroomed accommodation and are entitled to the shared accommodation rate of local housing allowance.

We do not collect data on the number of care leavers aged 22 to 25 in receipt of housing support and therefore this information is not available.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an estimate of the cost of extending the exemption from the local housing allowance shared accommodation rate to care leavers up to the age of 25.

The cost of extending the exemption from the local housing allowance shared accommodation rate to care leavers up to the age of 25 would be £5m in 2021/22 rounded to nearest £5m.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the outcome of her Department’s review of the Special Rules for Terminal Illness and Severe Conditions.

The Department is taking forward as a priority its evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with severe conditions. We have made progress on all areas of this work and will be continuing to engage with clinicians and claimants to ensure their views are heard.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Independent Serious Case Panel established in 2019; and if she will make a statement.

We are absolutely committed to improving our services, especially to the most vulnerable, which is why we have set up the Serious Case Panel. The panel was developed to take themes and systemic issues that come out of various case reviews and make recommendations for improvements.

More information about the Serious Case Panel will be published in due course.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2020 to Question 9581 on Universal Credit, to which legislative provisions that Answer refers.

The rate of Universal Credit deductions for court fines is detailed in the Fines (Deduction from Income Support) Regulations 1992, Regulation 4(1B). This piece of legislation was amended to include Universal Credit and can be viewed at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2182/regulation/4

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit claimants with deductions due to court fines have had the maximum deduction taken from their allowance in each of the last five years.

We are unable to provide figures for court fine deductions over the last five years as improvements to third party data reporting commenced in November 2018. Information which is available can be found in the table below.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. It maintains our policy to enforce social obligations such as the payment of court fines, ensure Government debt is recovered and vitally to safeguard claimants from the potential impacts of not repaying priority debts, such as homelessness or loss of utilities. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. The Budget 2020 also set out that the maximum level will be further reduced, so that standard deductions will not exceed 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance from October 2021.

Payment Month

Number of claimants with deduction for court fines

% of claimants with deductions for court fines

Number of claimants with the maximum deduction for court fines (£108.35)

Percentage of those with deductions for court fines who have the maximum deduction (£108.35)

November 2018

7,000

0.62%

Less than 500

6%

December 2018

7,000

0.59%

Less than 500

6%

January 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

February 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

March 2019

13,000

0.84%

1,000

5%

April 2019

37,000

2.23%

2,000

7%

May 2019

61,000

3.49%

4,000

7%

June 2019

83,000

4.51%

5,000

7%

July 2019

102,000

5.28%

7,000

7%

August 2019

112,000

5.57%

9,000

8%

September 2019

117,000

5.59%

13,000

11%

October 2019

114,000

5.22%

9,000

8%

November 2019

109,000

4.82%

2,000

2%

Notes:

1. Figures rounded to the nearest 1,000

2. The increase in the proportion of claimants with deductions for fines is due to an improved manual process phased in between February and the end of March for courts to send through their court deductions.

3. Figures are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available

4. Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences.

5. Court fines are first taken at a 5% fixed rate, then again at the end of the priority order up to the maximum deductions limit, up to a maximum deduction of £108.35. Figures show the number of people having court fine deductions at £108.35 per month.

6. The decrease in proportion of claimants with deductions for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance.

7. The decrease in proportion of claimants with the maximum deduction for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have had their payments reduced as a result of deductions for court fines in each of the last five years.

We are unable to provide figures for court fine deductions over the last five years as improvements to third party data reporting commenced in November 2018. Information which is available can be found in the table below.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. It maintains our policy to enforce social obligations such as the payment of court fines, ensure Government debt is recovered and vitally to safeguard claimants from the potential impacts of not repaying priority debts, such as homelessness or loss of utilities. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. The Budget 2020 also set out that the maximum level will be further reduced, so that standard deductions will not exceed 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance from October 2021.

Payment Month

Number of claimants with deduction for court fines

% of claimants with deductions for court fines

Number of claimants with the maximum deduction for court fines (£108.35)

Percentage of those with deductions for court fines who have the maximum deduction (£108.35)

November 2018

7,000

0.62%

Less than 500

6%

December 2018

7,000

0.59%

Less than 500

6%

January 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

February 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

March 2019

13,000

0.84%

1,000

5%

April 2019

37,000

2.23%

2,000

7%

May 2019

61,000

3.49%

4,000

7%

June 2019

83,000

4.51%

5,000

7%

July 2019

102,000

5.28%

7,000

7%

August 2019

112,000

5.57%

9,000

8%

September 2019

117,000

5.59%

13,000

11%

October 2019

114,000

5.22%

9,000

8%

November 2019

109,000

4.82%

2,000

2%

Notes:

1. Figures rounded to the nearest 1,000

2. The increase in the proportion of claimants with deductions for fines is due to an improved manual process phased in between February and the end of March for courts to send through their court deductions.

3. Figures are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available

4. Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences.

5. Court fines are first taken at a 5% fixed rate, then again at the end of the priority order up to the maximum deductions limit, up to a maximum deduction of £108.35. Figures show the number of people having court fine deductions at £108.35 per month.

6. The decrease in proportion of claimants with deductions for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance.

7. The decrease in proportion of claimants with the maximum deduction for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of universal credit deductions on the (a) cost of living and (b) health and well-being of former rough sleepers.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The Department engages a range of stakeholders, including welfare rights organisations, to ensure we understand the effect Universal Credit has, which helps us to design improvements. In addition, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Justice, on a range of economic and social issues.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the rate of universal credit deductions for claimants with court fines.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The Department engages a range of stakeholders, including welfare rights organisations, to ensure we understand the effect Universal Credit has, which helps us to design improvements. In addition, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Justice, on a range of economic and social issues.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to reduce the level of universal credit deductions for claimants with court fines.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The Department engages a range of stakeholders, including welfare rights organisations, to ensure we understand the effect Universal Credit has, which helps us to design improvements. In addition, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Justice, on a range of economic and social issues.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether claimants in receipt of transitional protection following their migration to universal credit will continue to receive that protection after an involuntary change in their employer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

Claimants in receipt of transitional protection following managed migration to Universal Credit, who change employers, will continue to be eligible for transitional protection provided that they remain in work and continue to earn above the Administrative Earnings Threshold.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many mobility payments were awarded following an initial personal independence payment assessment scoring between zero and four points and subsequent (a) mandatory assessment and (b) appeal in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which work capability assessments received between zero and six points on initial assessment had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory re-assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

The specific information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The available information on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) and appeals in relation to Employment Support Allowance Work Capability Assessments is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which work capability assessments received zero points on initial assessment had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

The specific information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The available information on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) and appeals in relation to Employment Support Allowance Work Capability Assessments is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which personal independence payment assessments received zero points on initial assessment for the mobility allowance had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which personal independence payment assessments received between zero and four points on initial assessment for the daily living allowance had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which personal independence payment assessments received zero points on initial assessment for the daily living allowance had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of job centres operate a universal credit full digital service.

Rollout of the Universal Credit Full Service was completed on 12 December 2018 and is available in every Jobcentre Plus.

Universal Credit is a 24 hour, seven days a week, digital service that allows every claimant to manage their own data and account online at a time which is convenient for them. Claimants can check their Universal Credit benefit payments through their account, notify us of changes and record notes on the online journal facility.

Universal Credit has been designed to be as quick and easy as possible for the user, ensuring that claimants receive money at the earliest opportunity. It is designed to be a ‘digital-first’ service, ensuring we make best use of technology to deliver a modern and effective working-age welfare system.

Our Universal Credit Claimant Survey, found that 98 per cent of claimants have internet access and did claim online, and the majority of those said they found the claim process overall to be straightforward and this can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-full-service-claimant-survey

All Jobcentre Plus offices across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available for claimants to access the internet. For those that are still unable to access or use digital services, or are not able to travel, assistance to make and maintain their claim is available via the Freephone Universal Credit helpline – which is clearly displayed on GOV.UK.

Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland have been delivering the ‘Help to Claim’ service on a pilot basis since April 2019. The Citizens Advice ‘Help to Claim’ service offers tailored, practical support to help people make a Universal Credit claim up to receiving their first full correct payment on time, and is available online, on the phone and face-to-face through local Citizen’s Advice services.

Although the Department offers comprehensive support for claimants to use our digital service, there will be occasions when people are unable to make their claim online, so telephone applications can be accepted. In these instances, information normally available through a claimant’s online account will be communicated in an alternative format, which is best suited to an individual’s circumstances.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of universal credit applicants manage their claims primarily (a) online, (b) via telephone, (c) face-to-face, (d) in other ways; and if she will make a statement.

To provide this information would incur a disproportionate cost to the Department.

Universal Credit is designed to be a ‘digital-first’ service, ensuring we make best use of technology to deliver a modern and effective working-age welfare system, allowing our staff to concentrate on those people who require additional support.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of Universal Support in helping people who are not digitally literate to make an online claim for universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

The Department offers comprehensive support for claimants to use our digital service, but we recognise there will be occasions when people are unable to make and/or maintain their Universal Credit claim online, and so telephone and face to face support is available. In these instances, information normally available through a claimant’s online account, will be communicated in an alternative format which is best suited to an individual’s circumstances. The Help to Claim service, which replaced the previous “Universal Support” service was introduced on 1 April 2019 and is delivered by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland.

Help to Claim offers tailored, practical support to help people make their claim to Universal Credit and can work with claimants up to receiving their first full correct payment on time. It is available online, through a Freephone telephone number and face to face channels.

The Department is committed to ensuring that delivery of support services, such as Help to Claim, is carefully monitored and evaluated to provide effective support to our most vulnerable claimants, whilst ensuring value to taxpayers.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of universal credit claimants who have been offered a free of charge call back by her Department have accepted that offer in the latest period for which figures are available.

The Department does not hold the data requested.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she will make it her policy that all universal credit claimants making phone calls to her Department should be informed that staff can phone them back free of charge.

The Department takes seriously the need to support claimants, and wants Universal Credit to be easy to access. It is designed to be a ‘digital-first’ service, ensuring we make best use of technology to deliver a modern and effective working-age welfare system. This allows our staff to concentrate on those people who require additional support through different channels.

Since 29 November 2017 all Universal Credit telephone lines are Freephone ‘0800’ numbers. Once connected to this service, a virtual telephone network will route the call to the most appropriate agent available with required skills to support the caller. Should a claimant call a previous chargeable Universal Credit telephone number, they will be redirected to our current numbers and the call will terminate.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has plans to (a) end the benefits freeze and (b) uprate the value of (i) universal credit and (ii) other social security payments in the next twelve months.

The freeze on working age benefits will end in April 2020.

A table of benefit and pensions rates pending Parliamentary approval were deposited in the House Library on 29 November 2019 -

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/deposited-papers/

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to increase the number of paediatric palliative care consultants in England; and if he will make a statement.

There are currently no nationally planned targeted recruitment campaigns for paediatric palliative care consultants. Individual National Health Service trusts are responsible for the recruitment of local staff, including medical consultants. In 2022, 98.5% of specialty training posts in paediatrics have been filled by Health Education England.

We have increased the number of medical school places in England by 25% from 6,000 to 7,500 per year, to ensure a sustainable supply of paediatric palliative care consultants in future years. In February 2022, there were 9,562 full time equivalent (FTE) doctors in the specialty group of paediatrics in NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England. This is an increase of 33%) since February 2010 and includes 3,957 FTE consultants, an increase of 65.9% since February 2010.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the request from the Woven Network for a transitional arrangement pending implementation in the UK of the EU Novel Food regulations; and if he will make a statement.

The Woven Network promotes the sale of edible insects for human consumption. European Union law provided for a period of transition for insect products to allow time for applications for these novel foods to be submitted and an EU decision on authorisation. No decisions were made before the end of the Transition Period, so no insects are currently authorised in Great Britain. The Food Standards Agency (FSA), as the policy owner for novel foods, is considering options on insects, including those proposed by the Woven Network pending an authorisation under national law. A decision on next steps will be made in due course. In the meantime, the FSA welcomes new applications for edible insects under the novel foods pre-market authorisation process.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason working families without permanent residence in the UK, who pay income tax and National Insurance, are also required to pay NHS surcharges.

The National Health Service is a residency-based healthcare system, meaning that people who do not live here on a lawful, settled basis must contribute to the cost of their care, regardless of individual tax status. All temporary migrants of more than six months are subject to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at the point of visa application. This allows them to access NHS services without further charge while they are here with some exceptions. The IHS ensures that individuals do not face unexpected treatment bills and reduces the administrative burden on frontline staff of identifying chargeable patients and recovering charges.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) contribution to the public purse of tax, National Insurance and NHS surcharges paid by families without permanent residence in the UK and (b) cost to the NHS of care provided by the NHS to those families.

The Department does not collect data on tax or National Insurance payments that migrants and their family members make in the United Kingdom. Since 2015, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) has raised almost £2 billion for the National Health Service. The Department estimates that the average cost to the NHS of care provided to an IHS payer is £646 per year.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect on the number of NHS staff planning to leave the UK to care for their adult dependents living abroad of the change in the level of dependent visa applications granted on the first attempt.

The Department has not made a specific assessment. Information on the number of staff leaving for this reason is not collected centrally.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 187127 on Dementia: Prescription Drugs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) assess the reasons for the recent increase in anti-psychotic prescriptions in dementia care and (b) reduce the number of anti-psychotic prescriptions being administered in dementia care; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the monthly data published by NHS Digital on the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia and have regular conversations with regional clinical network leads and local services to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for trends being seen.

To aid reduction of unwarranted prescribing of antipsychotic medication, NHS England and NHS Improvement are promoting good practice in respect of prescribing anti-psychotic medication in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will amend the current guidance on Visits out of care homes so that the position of people with learning disability in residential care is the same as that of people in supported living with comparable capacity and living situations.

From 17 May we have updated guidance to advise care homes and their residents that visits out of the home should be allowed, subject to appropriate mitigation of the risk of bringing COVID-19 into the care home. We have also published guidance on supported living which reflects the differences between supported living and care homes.

Care homes are one household with numerous residents while individuals in supported living environments have their own accommodation. The size of the household involved and the vulnerability of residents in care homes mean that we cannot regard the two groups as equivalent. Spending time with others outside the care home will increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the resident and other vulnerable residents on their return. It is therefore important that our guidance provides advice on how to mitigate this risk.

In supported living settings, managers and carers should suggest safe ways to enable visiting, risk assessing individual settings and vulnerabilities, and considering the risks to others in shared accommodation. Families wishing to visit their loved ones in supported living or residential care settings should also follow the national guidance on meeting others safely, including guidance on support bubbles.

26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 April 2021 to Questions 180914 and 180915 on Dementia: Prescription Drugs, what information his Department holds on the number and proportion of people on the Dementia Register who have been issued with an anti-psychotic drug prescription since March 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not available in the format requested.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the number of doses of anti-psychotic medication prescribed for people with dementia has increased during the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

NHS Digital publishes monthly data on the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia. The number of people with a diagnosis of dementia that also had a prescription for an anti-psychotic medication was 42,942 in February 2021 or 10% of those on the Dementia Register. The trend has been stable over the last 12 months. The data does not include information on the level of doses of the medication prescribed.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the NHS Digital data and take steps to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for trends being seen.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the changes in the level of anti-psychotic medication prescriptions in dementia care in recent periods of covid-19 lockdown; and if he will make a statement.

NHS Digital publishes monthly data on the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia. The number of people with a diagnosis of dementia that also had a prescription for an anti-psychotic medication was 42,942 in February 2021 or 10% of those on the Dementia Register. The trend has been stable over the last 12 months. The data does not include information on the level of doses of the medication prescribed.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the NHS Digital data and take steps to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for trends being seen.

13th Apr 2021
What assessment he has made of the public health impact of household overcrowding during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has continuously monitored emerging evidence to understand the effect of household overcrowding on public health. The Government has carefully considered robust advice from medical advisers and the scientific community to ensure we are taking the right action at the right time. We have published a range of guidance to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including for those living in overcrowded housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for a multi-disciplinary approach to rehabilitation for people affected by dementia following the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are committed to delivering high quality care and support for every person with dementia and central to this is the provision of personalised care. This person-centred approach is set out in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s resource ‘Dementia wellbeing in the COVID-19 pandemic’ which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/C0747_Dementia-wellbeing-in-the-COVID-19-pandemic.pdf

This resource accompanies the ‘Well Pathway for Dementia’ and sets out the adjustments and amendments needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including specific considerations for rehabilitation. Key priorities and actions for support are included for each step in the pathway. These initiatives will support people living with dementia in care homes and in the community.

23rd Feb 2021
What plans his Department has for the covid-19 vaccination of undocumented migrants.

The main aim for the COVID-19 vaccine programme is to protect all those individuals most at risk from mortality and morbidity, without discrimination.

As a result, all undocumented migrants will be able to access COVID-19 vaccinations free of charge in line with the advice on prioritisation set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether support payments are available to people with no recourse to public funds who are unable to access Test and Trace Support Payments; and if he will make a statement.

Those who do not meet the criteria for Test and Trace Support Payments, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of self-isolating could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment. Local authorities are responsible for the criteria used for discretionary payments in their area. Local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, are employed or self-employed and are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether, once care home residents have received both covid-19 vaccinations, normal visits will be permitted by family members.

While the vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from serious disease, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. This means it is still important to follow the visiting guidance. We will be looking to ensure that a wider range of visiting arrangements are made available when it is safe to do so. We will publish updated guidance as this period of national restrictions ends.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the eligibility criteria are for local authorities' discretionary hardship payments under the NHS Test and Trace support scheme.

From 19 January 2021, an individual can make a claim for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme or a discretionary payment up to 28 days after the first day of their self-isolation period. If they are not eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment but meet the other criteria, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of self-isolating, they could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment. Local authorities are responsible for the criteria used for discretionary payments in their area.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people declined the Test and Trace support payment; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for the rejection of those applications.

We are working closely with all 314 lower tier and unitary local authorities to collate information on how the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is progressing, and will release information on the number of applications, number of successful applications and amounts paid out in due course.

Information on the number of people declined for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is not currently available.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to designate Anna Chaplains for Older People as key workers for the purposes of visiting residential care homes; and if he will make a statement.

We recognise how important visits from chaplains and others who provide religious and spiritual support are for some residents. We have published visiting guidance setting the next step in our cautious opening up of visiting in line with the roadmap, enabling indoor visiting supported by lateral flow device (LFD) testing.

Care home managers are best placed to decide how their care home can deliver the visiting outlined in the guidance in a way that meets the needs of their residents. There is nothing to stop chaplains, ministers of religion or others making visits where residents would like to see them and where the care home manager is content this is in line with the home’s visiting policy based on a dynamic risk assessment.

All visitors must follow infection control measures to keep residents and staff safe. To this end, personal protective equipment is being provided for free until the end of June and care homes have been provided with sufficient LFD tests to ensure that visitors can take a test each time they visit.

On that basis, visits of this type are already enabled.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of reduced visitor access on the levels of (a) loneliness and (b) mental ill health of care home residents since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

New visiting arrangements started on 8 March. Our guidance states that each resident can nominate one named person who can have regular, indoor visits. Those residents with the highest care needs can also nominate an “Essential Care Giver”. These visitors will be able to visit more often in order to provide essential care.

Visiting arrangements that have been available throughout the period of national lockdown should continue i.e. using screens, visiting pods, behind windows or outdoors. Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

We are working with the National Health Service, Public Health England and others to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts of COVID-19 and plan for how to support the public’s mental health and wellbeing throughout the coming weeks and months.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to allow (a) ministers of religion and (b) pastoral chaplains to visit residential care homes during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Our first priority is to prevent infections in care homes and protect staff and residents. As part of the winter plan, we have set out tightened infection prevention and control measures to enable visits to continue safely. This was incorporated in the update we made on 15 October to our care home visiting guidance, first published on 22 July 2020.

These measures build on the published framework that allows local decision making, based on the assessment of the Director of Public Health and the care provider.

Where there is a restriction on visiting, alternative ways of communicating between residents and their families and friends should be discussed and offered. The care home should also provide regular updates to residents’ loved ones on their mental and physical health, how they are coping and identify any additional ways they might be better supported, including any cultural or religious needs.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people with No Recourse to Public Funds are eligible to apply for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must be employed or self-employed, unable to work from home, and currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Where an individual is not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits but meets the other eligibility criteria and may face financial hardship if they have to self-isolate, local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment. Depending on their individual circumstances, people who have no recourse to public funds may be eligible for a discretionary payment.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on the vulnerability of people living with (a) beta-thalassaemia, (b) sickle cell disease and (c) other haemoglobinopathies; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England, as part of its response to COVID-19, has worked closely with the Haemoglobinopathy Coordinating Centres (HCCs) across the country to provide an expert clinical panel to understand, assess and inform on the effect of COVID for patients with beta-thalassemia, sickle cell disease and other haemoglobinopathies. The HCC teams formed an HCC COVID-19 specific group to meet weekly from 20 April.

The HCC COVID-19 group are now able to collect real time COVID-19 specific data which has found that patients with haemoglobinopathies were affected by COVID-19. This was found to be in older patients and with other medical conditions, and was fully explored and published by the group. Further information is available at the following link:

https://haematologica.org/article/view/haematol.2020.259440

In response to the pandemic the clinical services have adapted the delivery of clinical practices to support patients safely. One example of this has been achieved through redesigning outpatient appointments to run through virtual clinics. The teams have been able to stay in touch with patients providing advice and support alongside clinical care throughout this period.

29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the higher mortality rates from covid-19 reported by the Office for National Statistics among disabled people; and if he will make a statement.

We know that many people with long standing, limiting illnesses or health conditions are at higher risk of poorer outcomes from COVID-19.

This provisional analysis suggests that this is the case for some disabled people. We are continuing to review all the available evidence and commissioning new research to better understand the specific impact of COVID-19 on disabled people. This will inform future policy development and what practical measures we can take to better protect disabled people.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to permit family visits to patients with dementia in hospital during the covid-19 lockdown.

On 5 June 2020, NHS England revised its guidance on how National Health Service organisations may choose to facilitate visiting across healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national suspension on visiting was lifted with immediate effect. Visiting is now subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies. The revised guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0524-visiting-healthcare-inpatient-settings-5-June-2020.pdf

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on hospital patients with dementia of the recent bans on family visits as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Visits are not banned for hospital patients with dementia. The guidance on visiting in inpatient settings during the COVID-19 period has consistently been that there should be reasonable adjustments to allow certain groups of people, including people with dementia, to have a family member or friend visit them if not being present would cause the patient to be distressed. This applies to all inpatient settings.

The Government has made no formal assessment of the effect on hospital patients with dementia of hospital visiting policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health, safety and wellbeing of patients, communities and individuals and teams remain an absolute priority. We are working hard to develop guidance to ensure people are able to visit their families and friends safely.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has made for communications through the covid-19 track and trace system with people who are not English speakers.

The Government launched NHS Test and Trace for England on 28 May 2020.

We aim to ensure that NHS Test and Trace is accessible for all groups in society. Equality assessments have been undertaken to inform policy decisions to implement the service and, in line with our legal duties, we continue to assess impact as NHS Test and Trace is rolled out. We will make ongoing improvements to ensure the service is fully inclusive and accessible to all.

Information and guidance about NHS Test and Trace follows the GOV.UK accessibility standards, but we intend to ensure it is also available in other languages. We are seeking to put in place translation services at testing sites, and the NHS 119 call centre uses the Language Line interpreter service and staff are trained to manage language barriers, including through use of this service.

The online contact tracing platform, and the NHS COVID-19 app are currently only available in English, but we have ensured the use of simple, plain English and are working towards making this available in other languages in future. Currently, for non-English speaking cases and contacts if they cannot complete the online tool, they are referred to contact tracers who have access to translation services which should be used if necessary. Further work is ongoing to refine the customer journey for these users as call handlers will not be aware of special requirements ahead of making a call.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 47169, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the resourcing of NHS England to enable it to publish timely standard operating procedures during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s top current priority is responding to COVID-19, and this has been made clear in the Government’s 2020 to 2021 mandate, which was published on 25 March at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-mandate-2020-to-2021

NHS England and NHS Improvement are continuing to progress the Government’s wider goals as much as possible within that context and will increasingly do so as COVID-19 is brought under control. In the meantime, they have published various COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures related to COVID-19, which are available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus?s=standard+operating+procedures

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to reinstate the NHS Injuries Benefit Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The NHS Injury Benefits Scheme was removed after negotiations with the trade unions from April 2013. It was replaced by a contractual Temporary Injury Allowance that tops up sick pay for up to a year when the reason for the absence was a work-related injury.

National Health Service staff receive good quality risk benefits through the NHS Pension Scheme, including ill health pensions and survivor benefits where a member dies in service.

It is also open to NHS staff to seek compensation through the courts for work related injuries.

There are no plans to reinstate the Injury Benefits Scheme.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much revenue accrued to the public purse from payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge in the most recent year for which data is available.

The latest figures available taken from page 137 of the Home Office Annual Reports 2018/19 state “other income” (expressed in £000s) of £251,220 for Core Department and Agencies and £46,707 for Core Department and Agencies (payable to Consolidated Fund) for 2018/19.

Data are available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/807126/6.5571_HO_Annual_Report_201920_WEB.PDF

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the monies that will be accrued to his Department from payments of the Immigration Health Surcharge in financial year 2021-22.

This information is not currently available in the format requested.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for (a) NHS England and (b) NHS Improvement to publish its standard operating procedure for children’s palliative care in (i) children’s hospices and i(ii) the community during the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

Working with key stakeholders, NHS England and NHS improvement have developed a standard operating procedure (SOP), for palliative care for children and young people in community and hospice settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is due to be published shortly.

The SOP is aimed at supporting staff who are providing care or supporting children and young people, and their families, who have palliative and/or end of life care needs in the community, including home and hospice care. Palliative care will include some children and young people who have life-limiting long-term conditions and complex health needs. It encourages all providers of children’s palliative care (statutory and voluntary sector) to work collaboratively and flexibly across health settings to support this group of children and young people and keep them safe during the pandemic.

5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase support for areas identified by the Office for National Statistics as having the largest number of deaths involving covid-19.

The Government has asked Public Health England to review how difference factors, such as ethnicity, age, gender, obesity and geographical location, can impact on people’s health outcomes from COVID-19. Findings from the review will be published by the end of May 2020.

The Government remains committed to levelling up and spreading opportunity around this country, and this will be an important part of the economic and social recovery from COVID-19. We have introduced unprecedented measures to protect jobs and incomes, and we have strengthened the safety net for those who need it.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has on covid-19 testing for NHS mental health staff; and if he will make a statement.

Anyone with symptoms can ask for a test through the National Health Service website, whatever their age. Essential workers, which include NHS mental health staff or anyone with symptoms that live with an essential worker are prioritised for testing in England and can access testing through the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to share understanding and co-ordinate support for people with arthritis across the NHS in England.

Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of their local populations and to deliver high-quality care for patients with arthritis, taking into account best practice guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other relevant organisations.

On 3 April 2020, NICE published ‘Rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders’, that sets out best practice for clinicians and commissioners on managing disorders, including arthritis, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, on 8 April 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a clinical guide for the management of rheumatology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, covering patients with arthritis. Finally, NHS England and NHS Improvement have also supported the development of a self-management resource, that provides a range of advice for patients, including those with arthritis, in managing their condition during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sets of guidance and the self-management resource can be found at the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG167

www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/secondary-care/other-resources/specialty-guides/

www.csp.org.uk/conditions/managing-pain-home

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effect of home working on people's musculoskeletal health.

Improving musculoskeletal health is a key priority for this Government and we made specific commitments to tackle musculoskeletal ill-health last year in the Prevention Green Paper. We recognise that homeworking and other specific working practices may affect physical and mental health and wellbeing. Working with partners, we will continue to monitor available data and shape new data to ensure that the association between work circumstances and a range of health effects can be examined.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to work with the charity and voluntary sector during the covid-19 outbreak pandemic to co-ordinate support for people with (a) arthritis and (b) other health conditions to (i) manage their condition and (ii) get help and advice on medication and treatment.

On 8 April 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a package of £750 million to support the charity and voluntary sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included measures to directly support activity undertaken by organisations as part of the Government’s response to the pandemic, and broader support to enable organisations to continue the important work they undertake every day on behalf of the individuals, communities and sectors they represent.

Many organisations have produced advice for people to manage their conditions during the pandemic, and NHS England and NHS Improvement have supported efforts in this area. For example, NHS England and NHS Improvement worked to develop a self-management resource for patients as part of the musculoskeletal leadership group, which also includes the British Orthopaedic Association, the British Society for Rheumatology, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Versus Arthritis and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance.

Both the resource and details of the Chancellor’s announcement can be found at the following links:

www.csp.org.uk/conditions/managing-pain-home

www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-sets-out-extra-750-million-coronavirus-funding-for-frontline-charities

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of charging for maternity services on the willingness of pregnant women without indefinite leave to remain to access NHS services.

The Department is committed to continually consider evidence it receives in relation to the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015.

The Department’s guidance to National Health Service trusts is that all maternity treatment must be provided to any chargeable woman, regardless of her ability to pay, and that they must not be discouraged from receiving it.


28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to relieve the private finance initiative obligations of Barts Healthcare NHS Trust; and if he will make a statement.

This Government is determined to tackle the worst excesses of previous private finance initiative (PFI) deals, and we are currently considering options on how best to take this forward.

As a minimum, we will be helping all National Health Service trusts with PFI contracts, including Barts, to ensure they are implementing high quality contract management to get the most out of their contracts. The Department’s PFI Centre of Best Practice is assessing PFI contracts and supporting trusts in developing their contract management capabilities. This will help achieve better value for money and deliver efficiencies from existing PFI contracts.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women not entitled to NHS healthcare were charged for the cost of maternity care in 2018-19.

The information is not held in the format requested.

26th Feb 2020
NHS
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to bring forward legislation for a long-term NHS plan.

The Government’s priority is to support the National Health Service to improve patient outcomes by delivering the Long Term Plan.

We are currently considering the NHS’s recommendations thoroughly and will bring forward detailed proposals shortly

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much was (a) invoiced and (b) collected in charges for maternity care in 2018-19.

The information is not held in the format requested.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to help people affected by the abolition of the Pharmacy First scheme.

The Pharmacy First scheme across London was a locally commissioned National Health Service scheme providing people with self-limiting minor conditions with products that could mainly be bought over the counter. The scheme has been replaced by the nationally commissioned NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service which commenced in October 2019 and people can still access self-care advice direct from their community pharmacy. We are recommending people look to their pharmacy first by way of treatment for minor ailments.

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to review the right of patients under the NHS constitution to access services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times.

A clinically-led review of National Health Service performance standards was announced by the Prime Minister in June 2018. The NHS England and NHS Improvement Clinically-led Review of Access Standards is considering the appropriateness of operational standards for physical and mental health relating to planned, unplanned (urgent or emergency care), as well as cancer care.

The existing performance standards remain in place. The testing of potential new approaches is still underway, and the Government will respond to the recommendations of the review once it is concluded

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his Department's policy to maintain the target set out in section 45 of the Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012 for 92 per cent of patients to access elective treatment within a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks.

A clinically-led review of National Health Service performance standards was announced by the Prime Minister in June 2018. The NHS England and NHS Improvement Clinically-led Review of Access Standards is considering the appropriateness of operational standards for physical and mental health relating to planned, unplanned (urgent or emergency care), as well as cancer care.

The existing performance standards remain in place. The testing of potential new approaches is still underway, and the Government will respond to the recommendations of the review once it is concluded

20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Israeli counterpart on that country's decision to revoke the permanent residency in Jerusalem of lawyer and human rights defender Salah Hammouri for breach of allegiance to the State of Israel.

We are aware of this case. Our British Embassy Tel Aviv have a regular dialogue with the Israeli Authorities on these issues. Israel's long-standing commitment to democratic values is one of its great strengths as a fellow democracy, and we continue to make clear that a strong, vibrant civil society is in Israel's own interest. As a friend of Israel, we would be concerned by any developments that may undermine this commitment.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the arrest and denial of bail to the Hong Kong Christian pastor Garry Pang Moon-yuen; and is she will make a statement.

The right to peaceful protest is one of the rights China promised to protect, as guaranteed in both the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. However, the Chinese Government has failed to uphold freedom of speech and assembly, including through Chinese and Hong Kong authorities' continuing use of the National Security Law to target dissenting voices.

As a co-signatory to the Joint Declaration, we will continue to stand up for the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violations of their rights and freedoms, and to urge China to uphold the rights set out in the Joint Declaration and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she plans to provide new and additional funding in the context of high levels of hunger in the Horn of Africa.

The humanitarian situation across the Horn of Africa is extremely concerning. Conflict and drought are the main causes of humanitarian need. The region is experiencing one of its most severe droughts in history with more than 15 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia assessed to be acutely food insecure, according to the UN. A fourth consecutive - and unprecedented - season of failed rains is contributing to growing water scarcity, alarming rates of malnutrition and huge numbers of livestock deaths. Needs are grave in Somalia where an estimated 81,000 people are experiencing famine-like conditions. In Ethiopia 8 million people are affected by drought with 3.5 million people in Kenya.

The UK is a major humanitarian donor to the East Africa region. In 2022 the UK has provided £72 million to support more than one million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan affected by conflict, drought and flooding. Across the region UK-funded humanitarian activities are making a difference and saving lives. In Kenya the UK is providing 26,000 children with life-saving nutritional support. In Ethiopia a further 200,000 children and pregnant and lactating women in southern and eastern regions will receive similar aid.

The UK also played a critical role in convening the recent UN Horn of Africa Drought Roundtable which took place in late April in Geneva. This included working with states in the region and the UN to ensure appropriate levels of participation. It helped to bring much needed focus on the drought and it mobilised roughly US$400 million in new funding.

Our response to the drought builds on long-established resilience building programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya this includes support to the Hunger Safety Programme, which has provided 600,000 people in drought prone areas with regular financial assistance. In Ethiopia, the UK funded Productive Safety Net Programme has benefitted some 8 million people via financial welfare provision and community public works projects. In Somalia the UK has been supporting over 220 rural communities in three large urban cities with durable solutions initiatives for internally displaced persons. These programmes, coupled with additional investments, have enabled the UK to reach nearly 8 million individuals as a part of its emergency humanitarian response.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the current hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa; and if she will make a statement.

The humanitarian situation across the Horn of Africa is extremely concerning. Conflict and drought are the main causes of humanitarian need. The region is experiencing one of its most severe droughts in history with more than 15 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia assessed to be acutely food insecure, according to the UN. A fourth consecutive - and unprecedented - season of failed rains is contributing to growing water scarcity, alarming rates of malnutrition and huge numbers of livestock deaths. Needs are grave in Somalia where an estimated 81,000 people are experiencing famine-like conditions. In Ethiopia 8 million people are affected by drought with 3.5 million people in Kenya.

The UK is a major humanitarian donor to the East Africa region. In 2022 the UK has provided £72 million to support more than one million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan affected by conflict, drought and flooding. Across the region UK-funded humanitarian activities are making a difference and saving lives. In Kenya the UK is providing 26,000 children with life-saving nutritional support. In Ethiopia a further 200,000 children and pregnant and lactating women in southern and eastern regions will receive similar aid.

The UK also played a critical role in convening the recent UN Horn of Africa Drought Roundtable which took place in late April in Geneva. This included working with states in the region and the UN to ensure appropriate levels of participation. It helped to bring much needed focus on the drought and it mobilised roughly US$400 million in new funding.

Our response to the drought builds on long-established resilience building programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya this includes support to the Hunger Safety Programme, which has provided 600,000 people in drought prone areas with regular financial assistance. In Ethiopia, the UK funded Productive Safety Net Programme has benefitted some 8 million people via financial welfare provision and community public works projects. In Somalia the UK has been supporting over 220 rural communities in three large urban cities with durable solutions initiatives for internally displaced persons. These programmes, coupled with additional investments, have enabled the UK to reach nearly 8 million individuals as a part of its emergency humanitarian response.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the new UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UN Humanitarian Response Plan for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) provides a high-level overview of humanitarian needs in DRC. It is one of many assessments that the UK uses to determine where and how to respond in the country. As one of the largest humanitarian donors in DRC, the UK has been providing annual life-saving support to over one million affected people through our funding to UN, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and Red Cross partners.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much her Department spent on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities in each of its top 10 health programmes in the world’s 47 least-developed countries, in each of the last three years.

Annual UK bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend on water and sanitation, can be found in the respective Annual Statistics on International Development publications: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-on-international-development. The results for 2021 will be published in autumn this year.

UK ODA expenditure is recorded in line with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee coding. These codes do not specifically record water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) spend for healthcare facilities. However, we support WASH services in healthcare facilities in our policy work through the "WASH In Healthcare Facilities" international taskforce, through our bilateral programming such as our innovative hand hygiene partnership with Unilever, and through our core multilateral funding including via the World Bank and the World Health Organisation. We also provide funding to the UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Programme to track overall progress on Water and Sanitation, this initiative publishes data on the situation of WASH in Healthcare facilities.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the implementation of the 19 June 2014 judgement by the Pakistani Supreme Court on the protection of religious minorities.

The murder of a Christian priest, and wounding of another, in late January in Peshawar was an indication of the violence faced by Pakistan's minorities - as was the killing in Sialkot of a Christian Sri Lankan national last December. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia, and the British High Commissioner have both publicly condemned these attacks, and the High Commissioner has raised with senior Pakistani Government officials. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Shia Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs continue to suffer violence and discrimination, including from targeted killings, and damage to their places of worship. The UK has made clear to the Government of Pakistan that freedom of religion of belief remains a priority.

The UK welcomed the establishment of Pakistan's National Commission for Minorities in 2020, after the Pakistani Supreme Court mandated that the federal government form a national council for minorities. However we remain concerned that the National Commission for Minorities does not adhere to the UN Paris Principles, specifically on lack of autonomy, resources and investigative powers. We are pressing for passage of a bill to strengthen the minorities' commission so to better align it with the Paris Principles.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the safety of religious minorities in Pakistan following the attacks of 30 January 2022 on Pastor William Siraj and Reverend Naeem Patrick.

The murder of a Christian priest, and wounding of another, in late January in Peshawar was an indication of the violence faced by Pakistan's minorities - as was the killing in Sialkot of a Christian Sri Lankan national last December. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia, and the British High Commissioner have both publicly condemned these attacks, and the High Commissioner has raised with senior Pakistani Government officials. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Shia Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs continue to suffer violence and discrimination, including from targeted killings, and damage to their places of worship. The UK has made clear to the Government of Pakistan that freedom of religion of belief remains a priority.

The UK welcomed the establishment of Pakistan's National Commission for Minorities in 2020, after the Pakistani Supreme Court mandated that the federal government form a national council for minorities. However we remain concerned that the National Commission for Minorities does not adhere to the UN Paris Principles, specifically on lack of autonomy, resources and investigative powers. We are pressing for passage of a bill to strengthen the minorities' commission so to better align it with the Paris Principles.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the political and humanitarian situation in Myanmar, including reports of continued shelling and bombardment of ethnic minorities in Myanmar by the Myanmar military; and if she will make a statement.

The coup has plunged the country into a deep political, economic and humanitarian crisis. Over 14 million people are in humanitarian need, mass displacement is increasing, democratic gains have been reversed, and violence is escalating across the country.

The UK Government condemns any attacks against religious minorities in Myanmar. We also strongly condemn the military coup and the violence against the people of Myanmar. We will continue working with partners to call for an end to violence, unhindered humanitarian access, and the importance of respect for human rights and the protection of civilians. The UK also continues to support ASEAN's leadership on the crisis and calls for the full implementation of the Five Point Consensus.

The UK marked the 1 February one-year anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar by coordinating a private meeting of the UN Security Council, where briefings were provided by ASEAN Special Envoy Sokhonn Prak, UN Special Envoy, Noeleen Heyzer, and OCHA Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ramesh Rajasingham. We secured a Security Council press statement on 3 February which called for a cessation of violence, full and unhindered humanitarian access and the protection of minorities. The UK also coordinated a Foreign Minister level joint statement with like-minded countries, condemning serious human rights violations by the military. I laid a Written Ministerial Statement in this House on 1 February to update on the UK's response to the political and humanitarian situation in Myanmar.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans she has to provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced peoples along Myanmar’s borders.

We strongly condemn the military coup and the violence against the people of Myanmar. The coup has plunged the country into a deep political, economic and humanitarian crisis. Over 14 million people are in humanitarian need, mass displacement is increasing, democratic gains have been reversed, and violence is escalating across the country. Since the coup, the UK has spent over £24m supporting humanitarian assistance on the borders with Bangladesh, China, India and Thailand.

We will continue working with partners to call for an end to violence, unhindered humanitarian access, and the importance of respect for human rights and the protection of civilians. The UK also continues to support ASEAN's leadership on the crisis and calls for the full implementation of the Five Point Consensus.

The UK secured a UN Security Council press statement on 3 February which called for a cessation of violence, full and unhindered humanitarian access and the protection of minorities. I [Minister Milling] laid a Written Ministerial Statement in this House on 1 February to update on the UK's response to the political and humanitarian situation in Myanmar.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her counterparts in Israel on reports of the firing of tear gas and sound bombs into Palestinian schools during class time in the West Bank; and if she will make a statement.

While we recognise Israel's legitimate need to deploy security measures, we encourage them to deploy these in a way that minimises tension and uses appropriate force. We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. It is essential to have a strong and thriving Palestinian education system in order to provide opportunities, economic development and hope for the next generation.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to my letter of 22 December 2021, what discussions her Department has had with its counterparts in the United Arab Emirates on the incarceration of Mr Saad Hasan Bashir at Al Sadr Prison.

Consular staff in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are aware of Mr Saad Hasan Bashir and continue to raise his case with the UAE Authorities. We are also in contact with Mr Saad Hasan Bashir's family. The Rt. Hon Gentleman will receive a reply to his letter shortly.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, as the UN Security Council pen holder on Yemen, what representations the Government has made at the UN in response to (a) the rejection of the resolution to renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen and (b) calls for accountability for all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in that country.

The UK regrets that the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen was not renewed. The Group had a crucial role to play in providing ongoing reporting on the actions of parties. The UK voted in favour of renewal and spoke in support of the resolution during the voting. As we made clear during the Human Rights Council session of 7 October, we are concerned by reports of serious and wide-ranging human rights violations and abuses by parties to the conflict. The UK will continue to urge the parties involved to investigate these allegations and take action to promote and protect human rights. We are working with partners on next steps in promoting human rights accountability in Yemen.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the Israeli High Court's decision on 1 September 2021 relating to the West Bank that Palestinian homes can be entered without a warrant but that settlers' homes cannot.

We are aware of the Israel's High Court's decision on a petition seeking to limit the Israeli military's power to enter and search Palestinian homes in the West Bank. The UK continues to engage with the Israeli government on human rights issues in the context of the occupation. We repeatedly call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinians. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she plans to renew the commitment to improve the nutrition of at least fifty million people for the period 2021-26; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is actively considering its approach to the Nutrition 4 Growth summit, including any new nutrition commitment, and will update the house following the conclusion of the Spending Review.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will seek assurances from the Israeli authorities that a criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of 13 year old Omar Hasan Mousa Abu Al-Nil will be held.

We are aware of the reports surrounding the deaths of Mohammad Munir Mohammad Tamimi and Omar Hasan Mousa Abu Al-Nil. In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we urge the Government of Israel to conduct swift and transparent investigations. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will seek assurances from the Israeli authorities that a criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of 17 year old Mohammad Munir Mohammad Tamimi will be held.

We are aware of the reports surrounding the deaths of Mohammad Munir Mohammad Tamimi and Omar Hasan Mousa Abu Al-Nil. In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we urge the Government of Israel to conduct swift and transparent investigations. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report of the UN Human Rights Office on business activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories published on 28 February 2020, what steps his Department plans to take in response to the identification of three UK firms involved in the demolition of Palestinian structures in breach of international law.

The UK Government neither encourages nor offers support to individuals or companies who operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Ultimately, it will be the decision of an individual or a company whether to operate in occupied territories.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy of reports that British-made military components and hardware were used by Israeli forces carrying out airstrikes on Gaza.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. HM Government publishes quarterly and annual statistics on all our export licensing decisions, including details of export licences granted, refused and revoked. These can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/export-control-organisation.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of UK firms operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The UK's position on settlements is articulated in the Overseas Business Risk Guidance: settlements are illegal under international law. There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity. Ultimately it is the decision of each individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The UK Government is clear that advancement of settlements across the West Bank should be suspended immediately.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what enquiries he has made of the Government of Israel about whether arms purchased under export licences from the UK were used in the recent action against Gaza; and if he will make a statement.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will call on the Government of Israel to cease its airstrikes on Gaza.

The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life. The UK offers our condolences to the families of those civilians killed. The UK worked actively to urge the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire. We fully supported Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts to that end, working closely with the US. Hamas must now end all attacks on Israel. It is also important for Israel to facilitate rapid humanitarian access in and out of Gaza. As the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have made clear, this cycle of violence must stop, and every effort must be made to avoid loss of life.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Bangladeshi counterpart on recent attacks on Hindu communities in that country; and if he will make a statement.

The UK government is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. Promoting the right to FoRB is one of the UK's longstanding human rights priorities.

Bangladesh is a human rights priority country for the FCDO. Ministers and our High Commission in Dhaka regularly raise human rights concerns as part of continued dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh. The UK supports community leaders in Bangladesh to address the causes and effects of inter-religious, ethnic and political conflict. Our development programming supports citizen groups in 31 districts across the country to come together to resolve grievances, mitigate religious violence and advocate for inclusive and peaceful co-existence.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the Government of Israel to provide (a) compensation and (b) restitution for the destruction of UK-funded humanitarian aid structures in the occupied West Bank which led to the displacement of people in the community of Khirbet Humsah al-Foqa in February 2021.

The UK regularly raises the demolition of Palestinian property with the Government of Israel, including over the repeated confiscation and demolition of donor-funded assistance and structures at Humsa al Bqai'a. We continue to monitor the situation in Humsa al Bqai'a closely. Officials from the British Consulate General in Jerusalem most recently visited on 16 February. UK and European UN Security Council members delivered a joint statement on 25 February, calling for unimpeded access for the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to the community. The UK Ambassador alongside European Ambassadors urged an end to demolitions in Humsa Al-Baqai'a in a meeting with Israeli authorities on 25 February. There have been no further demolitions or confiscations in the community since 22 February.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the sexual violence reportedly committed against a Palestinian child in Israeli detention on 13 January 2021.

The UK continues to make representations to the Israeli authorities on reports of ill-treatment of Palestinian minors in Israeli military detention. In instances where there have been accusations of ill-treatment, we advocate swift, transparent investigation.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of Brazilian (a) deforestation and forest burning and (b) mining of indigenous lands on (i) climate and environment and (ii) indigenous peoples in Brazil.

We continue to be concerned by the rising rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. We have a long-established partnership with Brazil, supported by over £200 million of UK Climate Finance which aims to: i) improve the capacity of governments to reduce deforestation; ii) incentivise forest protection through results-based payments that are re-invested to protect forests, and boost livelihoods; iii) enable businesses and communities to grow rural economies sustainably whilst protecting forests. Implementation arrangements for HMG-funded programmes regularly assess deforestation levels as well as their underlying drivers. The UK stands ready to support Brazil's efforts to counter increasing deforestation rates. We welcome the recent reduction of approximately 25% in areas under deforestation alerts in Brazil, driven particularly by state level action.

The Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for International Trade have spoken to Brazilian counterparts about a range of issues, and raised with them the crucial importance of combating illegal deforestation at the UK-Brazil Strategic Dialogue (October 2020), and Joint Economic and Trade Committee (November 2020). We regularly discuss issues affecting indigenous peoples with the Brazilian authorities, and will continue to do so. The UK continues to support work with indigenous communities across Brazil, including in the Amazon region. In Brazil, UK programmes on building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic include a focus on vulnerable groups, and in the Amazon region, work on issues such as solar energy, primary health, and skills development.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed reductions to the UK’s allocation of 2021-22 official development aid on civil society groups in Syria.

The FCDO is in the process of a rigorous internal prioritisation process in response to the announcement on the reduction in Official Development Assistance spend. We are still working through what this means for individual programmes and no decisions have yet been made.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK is taking as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to put pressure on the Syrian regime to disclose the fates of disappeared civilians.

On 15 March we raised the plight of detainees held by the Asad regime, affiliated militias and proscribed terrorist organisations at the UN Security Council. We are also showing leadership at the Human Rights Council, where this month we are hosting a side event to discuss next steps for accountability. We have provided over £1m in funding to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) since 2019 to support Syrian families of the missing to secure their rights to justice, truth and reparations. We wholly support ICMP as the holder of an impartial database of all those who have gone missing, regardless of their origin, role in the conflict, or the circumstances of their disappearance.

We support the UN's request to the Asad regime and Syrian armed groups to allow humanitarian actors and medical teams unhindered access to prisons and expect all parties to the Syrian conflict to respect their obligations and responsibilities towards civilians under the applicable international law regimes that apply, including international humanitarian law. Additionally we continue to pursue sanctions as a policy tool to hold the Syrian regime to account and to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the results of UK Government support for Syrian civil society.

Although the Assad regime continues to impede a UN-led political process for Syria, we assess that our support to civil society has produced positive results. Recent outreach has included support to the NGO Search for Common Ground, contributing £800,000 to capacity-building for civil society actors across Syria, focused on local needs. We supported the International Commission on Missing Persons' work with Syrian civil society, which contributed to data collection on missing persons and provision of assistance to the families of the missing. On gender related issues, since 2018, we have contributed £2 million to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and together we have strengthened women's participation in decision-making, and gender sensitive transitional justice.

The UK government engages widely with Syrian civil society to promote their voices and inform our policy on the Syria crisis. On 15 March I hosted an event at the 46th Human Rights Council to discuss accountability for human rights abuses in Syria. The next day I attended a joint Syria Relief UK and Syrian British Council event, developing policy for alleviating the crisis. We believe civil society, women and minorities must play a role in reaching a lasting settlement in Syria.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the evidential basis to suggest that the Chinese state is committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, and closely monitors the significant volume of credible, open source evidence suggesting serious, systemic violations are occurring in the region. The UK continues to work closely with international partners to hold China to account. On 22 March, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK has imposed, under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime, asset freezes and travel bans against four Chinese government officials, as well the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the organisation responsible for enforcing the repressive security policies across many areas of Xinjiang.

It is the long-standing policy of the UK Government that any judgment as to whether genocide has occurred is a matter for a competent court.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken at the UN Security Council on tackling the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to hold China to account for its gross violations of human rights in Xinjiang, including at the UN. We have regularly raised our concerns about Xinjiang in debates in the UN Security Council. Minister Cleverly, the Minister for Middle East and North Africa, did so most recently on 12 January 2021. We also regularly raise Xinjiang at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Third Committee. Last month, the Foreign Secretary used a personal address at the UN Human Rights Council to reiterate his call for China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, or another independent expert, urgent and unfettered access to Xinjiang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in that country.

We have repeatedly raised our deep concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at senior levels with the Chinese government, including the Foreign Secretary raising directly with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Counsellor Wang Yi on a number of occasions. Through these regular representations we have underlined a wide range of specific concerns, including the extra-judicial detention of Uyghurs and other minorities and the credible reports of forced labour, torture and forced sterilisation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the new US Administration to work towards a political settlement to end the Syrian conflict.

HMG regularly discusses the situation in Syria with the US administration. Most recently the Foreign Secretary, US Secretary of State Blinken, along with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Syrian uprising on 15 March. In the statement we jointly made clear our support for a political solution to end the conflict, as set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We stressed that in order to reach a settlement to bring lasting peace the Assad regime must seriously engage with the peace process and perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed in Syria must be held to account.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to press for international access to monitor the conditions of Syrian detainees held by (a) the Assad regime, (b) ISIS, and (c) the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The latest UN report from the Commission of Inquiry is a shocking reminder of why Syria remains one of the worst human rights crises in the world. The UK has repeatedly condemned the use of illegal detention. We support the UN's request to the Asad regime and Syrian armed groups to allow humanitarian actors and medical teams unhindered access to prisons. We have raised the plight of detainees held by the Asad regime, affiliated militias and proscribed terrorist organisations at the UN Security Council, most recently during our national statement on 15 March and through our leadership at the Human Rights Council, where this month we are hosting a side event to discuss next steps for accountability. We expect all parties to the Syrian conflict to respect their obligations and responsibilities towards civilians under the applicable international law regimes that apply, including international humanitarian law - this includes providing the necessary access for humanitarian organisations to reach those in need.

Justice and accountability for detainees is a central issue for the UN-led political process and we fully support the UN Syria Envoy's efforts to work for the release of detainees, as a vital step towards a political settlement to end the conflict. Additionally we continue to pursue sanctions as a policy tool to hold the Syrian regime to account and to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164342, what assessment he has made of whether the forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem potentially constitutes a war crime.

It is the policy of this government that any judgment on whether serious crimes under international law have occurred is a matter for judicial decision after consideration of all the available evidence, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies. The UK regularly engages with Israel on issues of concern related to its occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including evictions and demolitions. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances forcible transfers and demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department is providing to Palestinian farmers in Area C of the West Bank to help them to remain on their land.

We regularly call on Israel to halt the expropriation of land in the West Bank, and to improve Palestinians' route to securing building permissions for homes and infrastructure, including agriculture and farming, in Area C. The UK continues to support Palestinians to stay on their land, including through the West Bank Protection Consortium which provides essential infrastructure for vulnerable Palestinians in Area C; and funding legal aid which helps Palestinian communities challenge eviction and demolitions decisions in the Israeli legal system. Officials from the British Consulate Jerusalem regularly visit communities in Area C to show UK support for those communities at risk of evictions and demolitions.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the UK’s diplomatic efforts to end demolitions and settlement expansion in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation. We do not hold back from voicing or raising concern about Israel's actions when warranted. We continue to believe that the best way to advance a two state solution is through dialogue, including by urging an end to settlement expansion and the demolition of Palestinian property in the West Bank. As a proud friend of Israel, and one which has stood up for Israel when it faces bias and unreasonable criticism, we will continue to urge Israel to not take steps such as these, which move us away from shared goals of peace and security.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the conformity of the forcible transfer of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem with international criminal and humanitarian law; and if he will make a statement.

We regularly make clear our concerns about the evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem to the Israeli authorities. The UK Ambassador in Tel Aviv raised ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February 2021. On 25 November 2020, the UK Consul General Jerusalem visited families at risk of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, restating UK opposition to evictions of Palestinians from their homes. I raised the issue of evictions of Palestinians from their homes with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 29 October 2020. Our position on demolitions and evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is clear. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education