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27 Apr 2004 : Column 904W—continued


Maternity Leave Discrimination

Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister for Women (1) if she will make a statement on the extent of discrimination against women in the workplace who have returned to work after maternity leave; and if she will estimate how many women have been dismissed in each of the last five years on their return from maternity leave; [167848]

(2) what action she plans to take to penalise companies which discriminate against women returning from maternity leave. [167849]

Ms Hewitt: Women are protected under legislation from discrimination, detriment and dismissal for reasons related to pregnancy or maternity leave. Employers who discriminate against women returning from maternity leave are breaking the law and could be liable to pay compensation. They are harming their own businesses by excluding talented women from the workforce.

Unfortunately there are still cases where women are discriminated against. The following table sets out the outcome of applications made to employment tribunals by women who believe they have been unfairly dismissed on grounds of pregnancy maternity or childbirth and women who believe they have been prevented from returning to work following maternity leave.

The Government welcome any new research in this area and looks forward to the results of the Equal Opportunities Commission's Formal Investigation into pregnancy discrimination.
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Outcome of applications to employment tribunals 1998–99 to 2002–03. Unfair dismissal on grounds of pregnancy, maternity or childbirth

Acas conciliated settlementWithdrawn
or private settlement
at tribunal
at hearing (other reasons)
at hearing
(out of scope)
Disposed of otherwiseTotal disposed in period

Failure to allow a return to work following maternity leave

Acas conciliated settlementWithdrawn
or private settlement
at tribunal
at hearing
(other reasons)
at hearing
(out of scope)
Disposed of otherwiseTotal disposed in period

Figures provided by Employment Tribunals Service.


Fair Trade Tea and Coffee

Norman Baker: To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee whether the (a) tea and (b) coffee available from dispensers in food outlets in the House is of a Fair Trade origin. [167787]

Mr. Dennis Turner: The Refreshment Department was one of the first organisations to support the Fairtrade movement and has done so for many years. All fresh coffee served by the Department is made from beans approved by the Fairtrade organisation, and fairly traded "Clipper" teas are stocked. In February 2004 the Refreshment Department installed new triple brew vending machines in various locations throughout the Parliamentary Estate. The fresh coffee dispensed by these new machines is fairly traded.

GM Food

Norman Baker To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee what the Committee's policy is on the purchase of GM food. [167786]

Mr. Dennis Turner: The Refreshment Department remains aware of consumer concern about the presence of GMOs in food and in response to this concern continues to pursue a policy of avoiding, wherever identifiable, the procurement of foods that contain genetically modified organisms. The Refreshment Department will be in contact with its food suppliers once the consultation exercise on the GMO Traceability and Labelling Regulations has been concluded and guidance has been finalised.

Organic Food

Norman Baker: To ask the Chairman of the Catering Committee what steps he is taking to promote the consumption of organic food in House outlets. [167785]

Mr. Dennis Turner: The Refreshment Department is a member of the Soil Association and recognises the   significant demand for organic produce. The
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Department pursues a policy of purchasing organic produce or ingredients wherever consistent availability and quality can be guaranteed by suppliers, and where it is judged that the price to be passed on to the Department's customers is affordable.

The Refreshment Department sells a range of organic foods; the Terrace and 'Debate' cafeterias offer an extensive range of organic yoghurts, sandwiches, muffins, biscuits and drinks. All the coffee served in Portcullis House is organically grown and fairly traded. From time to time, promotions are run to promote organic awareness, sometimes in conjunction with regional promotions.

Parliamentary Passes

Jim Dowd: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if she will list all the classes of pass to the Parliamentary estate, describe each category covered and give the number of each that are currently valid. [164657]

Mrs. Roe: The classes and descriptions of pass categories are set out in the table. This information is already in the public domain. However, for security reasons I am sure the hon. Gentleman will understand, I am not prepared to give the numbers of passes in each category.
MMember of Parliament
MEPMember of European Parliament
XFormer Member of Parliament
XPNon Sitting Hereditary Peer
RORetired Officer (both Houses)
1Officers of Commons
1ASpecialist Adviser
2Speaker's Office
3Clerk of House Department
3A (Temp)Clerk of House Department
4Serjeant at Arms Department
4A (Temp)Serjeant at Arms Department
5Commons Library
5A (Temp)Commons Library
6Commons Hansard
6A (Temp)Commons Hansard
7Finance and Administration
7A (Temp)Finance and Administration
8Commons Refreshment
8A (Temp)Commons Refreshment
9AMembers' Secretary
9BMembers' Research Assistant
9C (Temp)Members' Secretary
9D (Temp)Members' Research Assistant
9E (Temp)Members' Chauffeur
9G (Temp)Overseas Research Assistant
11Overseas Visitors
12Officers of House of Lords
12A (Temp)Specialist Advisers (HoL)
13Lords Staff
13A (Temp)Lords Staff
14Lord Chancellor's Dept
14A (Temp)Lord Chancellor's Dept
15APeers' Secretary
15BPeers' Research Assistant
15C (Temp)Peers' Secretary
15D (Temp)Peers' Research Assistant
15E (Temp)Peers' Chauffeur
16A (Temp)IPU, CPA
17 (Temp)Government Departmental Staff
17A (Temp)Government Despatch Service
17B (Temp)Government Press Officers
17C (Temp)Foreign and Commonwealth Office Escort Officers
18 (Temp)Government Messengers
19Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Specialist Contractors
20Security Force
20A (Temp)Security Force
21Post Office
21A (Temp)Post Office
22Parliamentary Communications Directorate Contractors (Telephonists)
22A (Temp)Parliamentary Communications Directorate Contractors
23Parliamentary Counsel/Agents
23A (Temp)Parliamentary Counsel/Agents
24Various Support Services
24A (Temp)Various Support Services
25 (Temp)Conservative Central Office/PLP etc
26 (Temp)Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Contractor
26A (Temp)Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Contractor
26B (Temp)Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Contractor
26C (Temp)Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Contractor
26D (Temp)Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Contractor
26E (Temp)Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Contractor
27 (Temp)Non Parliamentary Works Services Directorate Contractor
28Commons Press
28ACommons Press Gallery/Lobby
28BCommons Press Gallery
28C (Temp)Commons Press Sound Box
26D (Temp)Commons Overseas Press
28E (Temp)Commons Press Premises
29ALords Press Gallery
29BLords Lobby and Press Gallery
30 (Temp)Specially Authorised Holders
32Whips' Offices (both Houses)
33Stationery Office
33a (Temp)Stationery Office
35Parliamentary Broadcasting
35a (Temp)Parliamentary Broadcasting
36 (Temp)Commons Media Positions
V (Temp)Delivery Drivers
TG (Temp)Tour Guides

The Lord Chancellor's Department passes are being changed to Category 17 on renewal.

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