Previous Section Index Home Page

The Health and Safety Executive's outcome targets consist of the 2008-11 Departmental Strategic Objective3 indicators that reflect direction of travel and the 2000-10 Revitalising Health and Safety numerical targets. The latter are:

Target description2010-11 Target level(7)

Reduce the incidence rates of cases of work-related ill health from a June 2000 baseline

reduce by 22%

Reduce the incidence rate of fatalities and major injury accidents from a June 2000 baseline

reduce by 11%

(1)Shared with the Employment Group who have responsibility for delivery of Employment Programmes.
(2)An average of two elements: conducting 83% of Income Support lone parent work-focused reviews within 3 months of when they are due and 87% of JSA interviews within 6 weeks of when they are due.
(3)Employers placing their vacancies with Jobcentre Plus to have a positive outcome.
(4)Assessed against the Department's Customer Charter service standards of 'Right Treatment', 'Right Result', 'On Time' and 'Easy Access'.
(5)Jobcentre Plus and the Department are jointly responsible for this target. Jobcentre Plus monitors an internal operational target designed to mitigate the risk of fraud and error entering the system.

(6)The Agency will monitor data through the first part of the year and adjust the target level if necessary on the basis of actual volumes processed.

(7)Extrapolated from the respective 20% and 10% target reductions for the original 2000-10 Revitalising Health and Safety (RHS) period.

30 Mar 2010 : Column 121WS

Construction: Fatal Accidents

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Yvette Cooper): I am pleased to announce the publication of the Government's response to Rita Donaghy's report into the underlying causes of fatal construction accidents.

The UK is rightly regarded as having one of the best health and safety records in the world. Since 1997-98 the rate of fatal injuries to workers has fallen by 40 per cent., including in the construction sector, reflecting the significant focus on improving safety by the Health and Safety Executive, local authorities, businesses and trades unions. While this is very welcome, every death is one too many and a tragedy to those involved and their families. The Government believe that more must be done.

The number of deaths in the construction industry has been a particular cause of concern, with the rate of fatal accidents four times that of other industries. While there have been important improvements, 53 construction workers were still killed in 2008-09, for example. We therefore asked Rita Donaghy to carry out a review into the causes of construction fatalities

On the 8 July 2009 I announced the publication of Rita Donaghy's report. The report contained 28 far-reaching recommendations for improving safety in the construction industry, extending across safety representatives, building control, the legal system, training and competence, and public procurement. I would again like to thank Rita Donaghy and her team for their excellent work in undertaking the inquiry.

We are publishing now our response which builds on the issues and analysis within Rita Donaghy's report to provide a framework for delivery of improvements in these areas. Our response reflects widespread consultation across Government and with stakeholders. The Government fully accept 23 of the 28 recommendations including support of common minimum standards throughout publicly funded construction projects; mutual recognition between pre-qualification schemes; and support for greater worker participation. Two further recommendations related to the extension of gangmaster licensing regulations and the introduction of positive duties on directors raise important issues and warrant further consideration. Additional work is required to explore fully the relative options and understand the potential impact of introducing such measures. The reasons for these decisions are detailed within the response.

I hope that the action set out in the response improves further the safety record in the construction sector and provides some comfort to the families of those who have been killed by construction-related accidents.

30 Mar 2010 : Column 122WS

This response is not an end in itself though, and we must continue to work together-Government, business, unions and workers-if we are to ensure that jobs in construction are as safe as any other.

The Government's response (Cm 7828) has been laid before Parliament and will be published later today. Copies of the response will be available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. It is also available on the DWP website at

Social Fund Allocations

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Helen Goodman): I am pleased to announce that the gross discretionary social fund budget for 2010-11 will be £802 million.

With the net funding available, I have been able to allocate a gross national SF loans budget of £660 million and a national community care grants budget of £141 million from 1 April 2010.

The net funding available includes £141.5 million additional loans funding for 2010-11 only.

I will allocate a gross national SF loans budget in line with the provisions in the Welfare Reform Act 2007. The aim is to control and manage the national allocation while providing consistency of outcomes for budgeting loan applicants wherever they live. All loans budget expenditure will be made from the gross national loans budget of £660 million. Concerns have been raised by stakeholders about the current methodology of allocating community care grants and these will be considered as part of the reform process that was announced on 15 March 2010 in the "Social Fund Reform: debt, credit and low-income households" consultation paper Cm 7750.

To provide help to Jobcentre Plus budgets facing unexpected and unplanned expenditure I will retain centrally £1 million as a contingency reserve.

Details of individual community care grant allocations will be placed in the Library.

Background note about the discretionary Social Fund Budget

The discretionary social fund budget is cash limited. Funding for community care grants is allocated to each budget area for management by Jobcentre Plus social fund benefit delivery centres on 1 April each year. The gross discretionary social fund budget allocated for 2010-11 is £802 million. This is made up of:

This is to be allocated as follows:

    Index Home Page