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Job Losses

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job losses have occurred in the UK as a result of the terrorist attacks of 11 September. [9885]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Because normal labour market turnover is so large, it is difficult to assess how much is due to particular changes or events.

Jobcentres (Electronic Services)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many jobcentres have had electronic jobpoints fitted; how many jobs are accessible through this service; and what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the service in placing people in employment; [11260]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Since the first jobpoints were installed, a little over nine months ago, over 650 offices have been equipped with almost 6,200 machines. By February 2002, when all 1,000 jobcentres will have been fitted with a total of 9,000 jobpoints it will be the largest managed network in the world of this sort of terminal.

The Employment Service typically handles around 400,000 vacancies at any one time and these can be searched on jobpoints by job type, location, hours or other factors. In addition, there are usually more than 10,000 vacancies from other public employment services in the European Economic Area and around 1,500 which are being displayed by a small number of private agencies and recruiters as part of an experiment.

Jobpoints are part of an extensive programme of modernisation of the Employment Service, which also includes vacancies taken through a single national telephone number, an internet job bank and new job matching tools for staff. It is not possible to separate the cost of jobpoints from other elements of the modernisation programme because of the interdependencies within it. As we have said before in a press release dated 31 October 2000 the work is being carried out through an eight year contract with Electronic Data Systems. The first phase of this, which included the jobpoints, is at a total of £470 million. However, a substantial part of these costs will be offset through efficiency savings derived from the whole of the programme.

Evidence from an early evaluation of the Jobpoint Pathfinder offices is available in the House of Commons Library. It shows that the use of jobpoints is encouraging jobseekers to look at a larger range of jobs across wider geographical areas. Jobseekers are finding the machines easy to use and that they improve the effectiveness of their job searching. Evidence is emerging that people are applying for more jobs, and this should increase their prospects of moving from benefits to work, and doing so more quickly.

The effectiveness of jobpoints is currently being further assessed as part of a wider evaluation of the Modernising Employment Service (MES) Programme. Results from the first year of the evaluation will be published in 2002 with final results in 2003.

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ONE Service

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the findings of his Department's research report number 149 "The Medium-Term Effects of Voluntary Participation in ONE"; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the findings of the report are acted upon. [11262]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The evidence from this report suggests that ONE has succeeded in providing a more individually tailored and work-focused service to clients. The report is only based on findings from the voluntary stage of ONE and so it is too early to draw definitive conclusions about ONE until evidence is available from the period when participation in work focused interviews became compulsory. However, emerging findings from ONE evaluation reports are being used to inform the development of the new Jobcentre Plus service.

Job Opportunies (Scotland)

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action the Government are taking to help create new job opportunities in East Central Scotland. [9656]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Since 1997, unemployment in the areas of Edinburgh, Fife, Lothian and Dundee has fallen by around a third, and long-term unemployment by around 60 per cent. Our aim is employment opportunity for all throughout the country. We have put in place a framework that delivers:

These policies, alongside continued economic growth, have combined to ensure steady improvement in the labour market.

National Insurance Numbers

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if his Department completed the planned checks on national insurance numbers in 2000; and how many of those checks resulted in anomalies that were passed to fraud investigators. [14128]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

During the 1999–2000 tax year, 626,641 payroll items were checked. Of these 288,924 errors were found and 6,223 cases were referred for potential fraud investigation.

During the 2000–01 tax year, 1,035,796 payroll items were checked of which 770,308 were found to contain errors and 22,777 were referred for potential fraud investigation.

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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate how many national insurance accounts exist where no contributions are being made; and what assessment he has made of the actual or potential fraudulent use of such accounts. [14129]

Dawn Primarolo: I have been asked to reply.

There are approximately 14 million national insurance accounts in existence where contributors have made no contributions or received any credits for over 3 years or more.

An assessment shows that there is no evidence to suggest that there is any higher incidence of actual or potential fraud on these accounts compared to any other.

Departmental Staff (Disability)

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of staff in his Department had a disability in each year since 1992; and what targets are in place to increase the recruitment of people with disabilities. [9809]

Mr. McCartney: The proportion of staff with a disability employed by the Department for Work and Pensions is currently 5 per cent. The proportion of disabled staff employed by the former Department of Social Security and the Employment Service in each year since 1992 (where data are available) is set out in the table.



The figures for previous years omit the relatively small number of staff who have additionally transferred across to DWP from DfEE.

This Department has a range of policies and procedures in place to encourage the employment of people with disabilities covering their recruitment, retention and career development. In addition, this Department participates in the Positive About Disabled People Symbol scheme (known as the "two ticks" symbol) and operates a guaranteed interview scheme for job applicants with disabilities. Equality targets have been put in place to increase the representation of disabled staff at all levels within across the organisation, for achievement by March 2005. Details are set out in the table:

Percentage of disabled staff as at December 1999Target percentage by 2005
Grades 6, 7 and SEO2.23
HEO and EO5.16
AO and AA4.76


SCS: Senior Civil Service.

SEO: Senior Executive Officer.

EO: Executive Officer.

AA: Administrative Assistant.

Grade 6,7: Senior management grades.

HEO: Higher Executive Officer.

AO: Administrative Officer.

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Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) Wales, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland who receive incapacity benefit and have an occupational or personal pension income which does not affect their incapacity benefit; [12937]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 7 November 2001]: The available information is in the tables.

People entitled to Incapacity Benefit (IB) whose benefit is affected by their occupational or personal pensions as at 31 May 2001

IB reduced to nothingIB ReducedPercentage reduced(23)

(23) Figures refer to the percentage of new and repeat claims to Incapacity Benefit made since 6 April 2001 where Incapacity Benefit was reduced or reduced to nothing.

(24) Numbers are taken from a small number of sample cases and are subject to a high degree of sampling error, they should therefore only be used as an indication of the current situation.

(25) Nil or Negligible.


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Figures for Northern Ireland are not included. Social Security matters in Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


Figures are taken from a 5 per cent. sample of the benefit computer system and exclude a small number of cases held clerically.

Estimated number of people with an occupational or personal pension, which does not affect the rate of Incapacity Benefit they receive as at 31 May 2001



1. Figures include recipients with an occupational pension in excess of £85.00 per week, whose Incapacity Benefit is not affected because their claim was made for a period which began before 6 April 2001.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand, although estimates of recipients with occupational and personal pensions cannot be regarded as accurate to this degree.

3. Figures for Northern Ireland are not included. Social Security matters in Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


Estimates derived from a 5 per cent. sample of the benefit computer system, excluding a small number of cases held clerically, and the 1999–2000 Family Resources Survey.

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