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The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Clinton-Davis): The Department of Trade and Industry is supporting a wide range of research and development projects specifically designed to encourage the commercial take up of clean coal technologies. The programme is undertaken in collaboration with UK industry and universities. As part of the UK Foresight programme a detailed action plan is being prepared by an industry-led task force to define with costs and timescales, a targeted research, development and demonstration programme for the clean coal power generation sector. Copies of a brochure which outlines details of the work of the industry-led task force have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
How they will ensure that the new TUPE Regulations applying the Acquired Rights Directive will achieve clarity and certainty on the subject of transfers of outsourced contracts.[HL2620]
Lord Clinton-Davis: The UK Presidency achieved a notable success in securing the adoption on 29 June of a revised Acquired Rights Directive. Amongst other improvements, the revised directive includes a new broad definition of a transfer of an undertaking. This draws on the European Court's judgments in Suzen and other leading cases, without relying on any of them exclusively, in order to clarify the directive's scope without in any way diminishing employees' existing rights. As we indicated in our Fairness at Work White Paper, the Government intend to amend the UK's implementing legislation, commonly known as the TUPE Regulations, in order to improve its operation. The revision of the directive gives us a much sounder basis for doing so than would otherwise have been the case.
Lord Clinton-Davis: Member states have three years in which to implement the revised directive, which was formally adopted on 29 June. The Government had already indicated in the Fairness at Work White Paper that we intended to amend the UK's implementing legislation, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981, in order to improve its operation. The revision of the directive gives us a much sounder basis for doing so than would otherwise have been the case.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): As recommended by the Official Group on OPs, the Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT), the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP), the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) and the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) are being asked to consider: a review by the Institute for Environment and Health Organophosphorus esters: An evaluation of chronic neurotoxic effects; and a report, which is soon to be published, by a working party of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists on how clinical studies might be undertaken and how patients who attribute their ill-health to OP compounds might be managed.
A sub-group of the Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) has been set up for this task. It is not possible to estimate how many papers will be considered by the COT sub-group because they will consider other papers as they see fit and will invite evidence from other interested parties. Since the recommendation from the Official Group on OPs was made, another review has been published. This review, Neurological syndromes of organophosphorus
As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary Question regarding the news release on the European Classification of United Kingdom Geographic Areas, published on 29 June 1998.
The aim of the news release was to announce the agreement reached with Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on the new classification. The term "European Union's territory" was used as shorthand for a description of the economic territory of the member states of the European Union, which has been defined in the Commission decision of 26 July 1991 (C(91)1574, Henning Christopherson, Vice President). I have enclosed a copy of the decision, and a copy is also available in the House of Lords Library.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Agreement to EC legislative proposals takes place only after parliamentary scrutiny procedures have been completed. If adopted, the proposed Directive would require Parliament to pass implementing legislation before it could take effect in the UK.
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