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Written Question
Members: Correspondence
6 Sep 2021

Questioner: John Spellar (LAB - Warley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Warley of 24 May 2021 regarding Mr W Perkin.

Answered by Guy Opperman

A response was issued by email on 15 June 2021. A confirmation, a letter was also issued to the hon Member on 26 July 2021.


Written Question
Employment: Older Workers
6 Sep 2021

Questioner: John Spellar (LAB - Warley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to promote the employment of older workers.

Answered by Mims Davies

The government is committed to supporting older workers to remain in and return to work, where they make an important contribution to the economy as well as achieving improved personal health, wellbeing and financial outcomes.

The Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers spearheads the Government’s work to support and encourage employers in England to retain, hire and re-train older workers by highlighting the benefits of multigenerational workforces and helping employers overcome any practical barriers or concerns.

We also work closely with employer organisations representing Small and Medium Enterprises including Local Enterprise Partnerships and Employers for Carers, to highlight the benefits of employing older workers.

To support those who become unemployed, our 50 Plus Champions (formally Older Claimant Champions) network provides dedicated support to Work Coaches across all 37 Jobcentre Plus districts to raise the profile of over 50s claimants and share best practice, encouraging the full use of suitable Plan for Jobs initiatives.

To help people plan for employment in later life, we launched a Mid-life MOT in 2019, encouraging those in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s to consider aspects of their wealth, work and wellbeing. This helps them to make informed decisions about future income provision and longer-term employment prospects, supporting individuals to stay in work for longer and to achieve the later life that they want.


Written Question
Older Workers
17 May 2021

Questioner: John Spellar (LAB - Warley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect on levels of employment among older people of employers requiring non-job specific qualifications.

Answered by Mims Davies

The vast majority, almost 90% of 50-64 year olds do possess qualifications, It is important that employers look at the experience that people have learnt over their careers, and the true value that they are able to bring to that company.

The Government is working to ensure that all employers understand the value of a workforce of all ages, engaging with them to reap the many benefits of recruiting and employing older workers and the values of a multigenerational workforce via Andy Briggs, the Business Champion for Older Workers, influencing employers both strategically and in terms of practical advice.

Where beneficial, older workers can get help from Jobcentre Plus to convert their current qualifications into more modern certifications if appropriate. Jobcentre Plus is also working alongside DWP’s National Employers Service Team to develop links with employers and challenge perceptions of older claimants

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to upskill, including through the lifetime skills guarantee.


Written Question
Child Maintenance Service
15 Jul 2020

Questioner: John Spellar (LAB - Warley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Child Maintenance Service plans to restart action against people who are avoiding payments.

Answered by Mims Davies

Paying parents are still expected to pay child maintenance throughout the pandemic period. We know the vast majority of parents take their responsibilities extremely seriously and will do whatever is needed to ensure their children are supported.

Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal.

In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, we have started to update cases with notified changes. Where payments have been missed the Service is taking action to re-establish compliance and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued.

No one will get away with giving false information. Those found to be abusing the system can be subjected to the full extent of our enforcement powers and the Child Maintenance Service will pursue these, where appropriate.


Written Question
Electronic Voting: House of Commons
12 May 2020

Questioner: John Spellar (LAB - Warley)

Question

To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, when the contract for running the Commons Remote Voting system was awarded to Civica Election Services; and whether the contract was subject to open competition.

Answered by Pete Wishart

The Commons Remote Voting system is being developed and implemented entirely by existing Parliamentary Digital Service resource. No contract has been awarded for this work. A contract was awarded on 22 April to Civica Election Services to run an online ballot for the Chairs of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee and the Committee on Standards. An open competition was not required as the expected final value is below the £10,000 threshold at which the Parliamentary Procurement Rules require multiple quotes to be sought.


Written Question
Members: Correspondence
4 Jun 2018

Questioner: John Spellar (LAB - Warley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Director of the Child Maintenance Service plans to respond to the letter of 18 April 2018 from the right hon. Member for Warley.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

We have urgently contacted the House of Commons office and we now have a copy of the letter of 18 April 2018 to which we will reply as a matter of urgency.

We are also investigating the circumstances which gave rise to this delay.


Written Question
Department for Work and Pensions: Procurement
4 Jul 2016

Questioner: John Spellar (LAB - Warley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department's purchasing policies support British (a) industry and (b) agriculture.

Answered by Justin Tomlinson

The Department's purchasing policies support the Government’s commitment to do all it can to ensure UK suppliers can compete effectively for public sector contracts, in line with our current international obligations and guidance issued by the Crown Commercial Service.