Stella Creasy Portrait

Stella Creasy

Labour (Co-op) - Walthamstow

1 APPG membership (as of 29 Dec 2021)
Deliberative Democracy
2 Former APPG memberships
Reserve Forces and Cadets, Reserves and Cadets
Science and Technology Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
26th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Public Accounts Commission
26th Jan 2011 - 4th Nov 2015
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
7th Oct 2013 - 18th Sep 2015
Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)
7th Oct 2011 - 7th Oct 2013
Public Accounts Committee
2nd Nov 2010 - 24th Oct 2011


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Monday 17th January 2022
Elections Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 236 Noes - 327
Speeches
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Black Friday: Financial Products
I beg to move,

That this House has considered promotion and regulation of financial products on Black Friday.

It is …
Written Answers
Monday 17th January 2022
Coronavirus: Drugs
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 patients have been treated with (a) …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 20th October 2020
Equal Pay (Information and Claims) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision for a right for employees to obtain information relating to the pay of a comparator; …
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 1st June 2021
1. Employment and earnings
27 May 2021, received £2,000 from GATHER (FORUM) Ltd (event management), 35 Ballards Lane, London N3 1XW, for speaking at …
EDM signed
Tuesday 26th October 2021
The service of Oliver Denton Lieberman
That this House recognises Oliver Denton Lieberman’s dedication and public service as an office manager during many turbulent years in …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 5th March 2019
Gender-based Pricing (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stella Creasy has voted in 347 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stella Creasy Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
John Glen (Conservative)
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
(26 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(19 debate interactions)
Pat McFadden (Labour)
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(101 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(18 debate contributions)
Home Office
(13 debate contributions)
Northern Ireland Office
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Stella Creasy's debates

Walthamstow Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world. A full time place costs, on average, £14,000 per year, making it completely unaffordable for many families. Parents are forced to leave their jobs or work fewer hours, which has a negative impact on the economy and on child poverty.

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy


Latest EDMs signed by Stella Creasy

26th October 2021
Stella Creasy signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 26th October 2021

The service of Oliver Denton Lieberman

Tabled by: Tulip Siddiq (Labour - Hampstead and Kilburn)
That this House recognises Oliver Denton Lieberman’s dedication and public service as an office manager during many turbulent years in politics; appreciates that he has coordinated the campaign within Parliament to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and supported her family; acknowledges the role he has played in running an efficient office and …
17 signatures
(Most recent: 29 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 15
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
14th January 2021
Stella Creasy signed this EDM on Monday 18th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Stella Creasy's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stella Creasy, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Stella Creasy has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Stella Creasy has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Stella Creasy


A Bill to make provision for a right for employees to obtain information relating to the pay of a comparator; to reform remedies and time limits relating to equal pay; to provide a right to equal pay where a single source can rectify unequal pay; to amend the statutory statement of particulars to include equal pay; to provide for requirements on certain employers to publish information about the differences in pay between male and female employees and between employees of different ethnic origins; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 20th October 2020
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to impose certain limits on consumer credit interest rates and charges; to establish a levy on credit and debit card providers to fund the provision of debt advice services; to give powers to local authorities to restrict the provision of premises for licensed consumer credit agencies within a local area; to make provision regarding the availability of certain financial services products at branches of the Post Office; to make other measures relating to the regulation of, and availability of advice on, consumer credit; and for connected purposes;


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 3rd November 2010

243 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the Government consultation Consultation on civil partnerships: the future of conversion rights, when she expects to (a) publish the consultation response and (b) bring forward any legislative proposals in response to that consultation.

The Government Equalities Office ran a consultation on the future of conversion rights in England and Wales in 2019. We are analysing the responses and intend to publish the Government response and bring forward any necessary legislation as soon as possible.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if the Government will reinstate gender pay gap reporting in 2021.

In recognition of the unprecedented uncertainty and pressure facing employers due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission suspended enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for the 2019/20 reporting year.

Although enforcement was suspended, no changes have been made to the legislation. Employers are still able to report their gender pay gaps for the reporting year 2019/20 but face no enforcement action for doing so late or for not doing so at all.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the timeframe is for the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a new electoral sanction of intimidation.

The Government will legislate for a new electoral sanction against intimidation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The new electoral sanction is one part of the Government’s wider programme of work to address intimidation in public life. More details on this programme are set out in Written Ministerial Statement HCWS833 ‘Update on Tackling Intimidation in Public Life’ made on 09 March 2021.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish an Equality Impact Assessment of the Government’s plans for easing the covid-19 lockdown.

The government has assessed the equalities impacts of the social distancing policy on different groups of people, including those with protected characteristics and has engaged individuals, expert groups, charities and other organisations in the policy development process. This is a key part of the decision making process and the government has discharged its obligations under the Equality Act at each stage of its COVID-19 response.

We are aware of the disproportionate impacts of the policy on some groups. For example, we acknowledge that the order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse and we’ve seen a rise in calls to the national abuse helpline. That is why the Home Secretary introduced a package of measures to support such victims, including an additional £2m of funding for domestic abuse helplines and online services as well as the ‘#YouAreNotAlone’ communications campaign to reassure victims that support services remain available.

The Government has also recognised that some individuals with learning disabilities or autism have specific exercise requirements that are important to their health and has clarified that such groups are allowed to continue to exercise outdoors more than once a day. It is recognised that the policy will continue to have a disproportionate impact on many disabled individuals.

There is evidence of a disproportionate impact on many other sectors of society. The Government is keeping this under review and will introduce mitigation measures wherever possible and appropriate. However, the overall assessment concluded that the measures the Government has taken have been proportionate to the risks of the coronavirus outbreak.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, the Government does not routinely publish equality impact assessments.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) implications for his policies of the judgement in the US case of DZ Reserve et al v Facebook and (b) potential need for the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate Facebook in the UK.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 20 March 2018 to Question 132797, what the timetable is for the publication of his Department's response to the 2016 consultation on tips, gratuities, cover and service charges.

On 2 October 2018, the Government announced it would bring forward legislation ensuring tips left for workers go to them in full. We think tips earned by workers should go to the workers they were intended for, and we remain committed to legislating on this.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish details of individual aid awards under the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (c) Bounce Back Loan Scheme as required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module.

Details of individual aid awards under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2020 to Question 85040, what statutory provisions are in place on the calculation of (a) statutory redundancy pay and (b) pay reductions under Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme furlough agreements.

The provisions relating to calculation of redundancy and notice pay under the Employment Rights Act continue to apply when an individual is on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Employees who are dismissed due to redundancy and who satisfy certain qualifying conditions are statutorily entitled to a lump sum from their employer, based on their age, length of service and contractual weekly earnings, subject to a statutory upper limit, payable at, or soon after, the dismissal date.

The Government wants to ensure that employees do not lose out on their employment rights because they have been furloughed. We therefore introduced legislation on 31 July, which ensures that statutory redundancy pay and statutory notice pay and unfair dismissal compensation are based on an employee’s normal pay, rather than their furlough pay (potentially 80% of their normal wage).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2020 to Question 85040 on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, what the piece of legislation is that is referred to in the Answer that will provide statutory protection against the calculation of statutory redundancy pay being based on reduced pay in a furlough agreement under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The legislation that I was referring to in my answer of 9 September 2020 to Question 85040 is The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) Regulations 2020.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what monitoring the Government undertakes to assess whether funding from the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (b) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been provided to firms based outside of the UK.

In order to be eligible for finance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) must have the core of its business operations based in the UK. An SME which is foreign-owned is in principle eligible to apply for CBILS, provided it is trading in the UK (not just selling into the UK) and uses the CBILS facility to support its business activity in the UK. The same is true for an SME which has UK ownership but is registered abroad.

For firms to be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), they must have a UK bank account and UK payroll. However, HMRC will continue to monitor claim data, compare against records and review reports of any fraudulent or misleading claims. HMRC will not hesitate to take action against those found to be abusing or misleading the scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring (a) retailer advertising and (b) influencer marketing on buy now pay later products to include identification of risks to consumers.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) make it a criminal offence for traders to give consumers misleading information. Under the CPRs, traders must provide consumers with the information necessary to make informed decisions and not omit or hide material information which the average consumer needs.

Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced new rules to address harms in the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market, saving consumers around £40-60 million a year.

The new rules aim to reduce the overall cost of credit for consumers by banning firms from charging backdated interest on repaid sums and requiring firms to provide better information to consumers about BNPL offers, including associated risks. Firms must also give prompts to consumers, to remind them when the offer period is about to end, so that consumers are more likely to repay the credit before they incur interest.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 70388 on Companies: Coronavirus, what steps the Government plans to take to monitor whether companies borrowing through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme are (a) engaged in trading activity in the UK at the Initial Drawdown Date and (b) using that finance facility to support their trading activity in the UK.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme (CLBILS) guidance makes it clear that the British Business Bank is not responsible for monitoring or verifying the use of any money advanced by accredited lenders to borrowers.

It is the lenders responsibility to ensure that CLBILS facilities comply with the CLBILS eligibility criteria, which include (amongst others):

  • That the relevant Applicant or Applicant’s Group is or will be engaged in Trading Activity in the United Kingdom at the Initial Drawdown Date
  • That the Proposed Scheme Facility will be used for an Eligible Purpose (which may include the refinancing of an existing Borrowing Facility used for an Eligible Purpose) and to support trading in the United Kingdom.

If the facility was not eligible at the offer date then the lender would not be able to claim against the guarantee. The British Business Bank retains the rights to request information from accredited lenders in order to verify whether a facility was eligible on the offer date.

Lenders undergo a review to test a sample of CLBILS facilities to ensure that processes are being followed in accordance with the agreement.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable during the covid-19 outbreak have continued working in their place of work during the outbreak; and what steps he is taking to support that group of people in the workplace.

The Government made clear that vulnerable people who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) need to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. Members of staff who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, as well as individuals whom they live with, should be supported by their employers as they follow the required social distancing and shielding measures.

It is critical that employers offer safe workplaces. The Government has published guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These guides cover a range of working environments and are available at www.gov.uk/workingsafely.

This guidance does not replace health and safety or equalities legislation, it provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

Employees have a legal duty to make sure the workplace is safe for their employees; this includes reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities and those who are clinically vulnerable.

The safer workplaces guidance provides some suggestions to help employers make their workplaces COVID-19 secure for their employees, visitors and customers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether car washes are permitted to operate during the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance on working safely during COVID-19 is aimed at working environments, not whether a specific business can reopen.

The guidance is designed to help employers, workers and the self-employed understand how to work safely, including what employers need to think about to adapt a workplace to manage risk in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

We know that every organisation is different. Whether hand or automatic car washes, employers can use the guidance to create specific plans for their business in consultation with those who are affected by their operations, including workers and contractors. Plans will depend on the nature of your business, such as the sector, and the details of your workforce and operations.

Whether a business must remain closed varies according to which part of the UK you are operating in. For England the rules are set out on the gov.uk website. The website also includes links to information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what process has been undertaken to consult civil society, including women and equality rights organisations in relation to the effect of covid-19 outbreak on the operation of the Equality Act.

All the legislative protections against discrimination provided by the Equality Act 2010, including those relating to sex and to pregnancy and maternity as protected characteristics, continue to apply during the covid-19 outbreak period, and the scope of the Act remains unchanged.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), the helpline for anyone who believes that they have been discriminated against in the provision of goods, services and public functions, remains open and can provide free bespoke advice and in-depth support, as can Acas (0800 464 0979) in relation to employment discrimination issues.

The EASS can be contacted via its website - www.equalityadvisoryservice.com, by telephone on 0808 800 0082, or by text phone on 0808 800 0084. The EASS may contact a service provider on a customer’s behalf to discuss the scope for meeting the customer’s concern; it also liaises with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which has powers to enforce the provisions of the Act.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many pieces of correspondence he has received from MPs on behalf of constituents on matters relating to covid-19 on each date since the outbreak began; and how many responses he has provided to that correspondence in each category of response.

Between 23 March and 18 May 2020, the Department received 3,261 pieces of COVID-19 related correspondence from MPs on behalf of constituents. Of these 3,261, we have responded to 1,827, closed 125 for which a response was not required, and transferred an additional 244 to other Government Departments.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the average loan issued under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has been introduced to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2000 and £50,000.

As of 10 May, over 268,000 loans have been issued with a total value of over £8.3 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th May 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what plans she has to support women (a) returning to work and (b) accessing childcare after the covid-19 lockdown.

The Government recognises that many women face barriers to returning to work due to caring responsibilities. We have delivered, and continue to deliver, return to work programmes which provide training, support and employment opportunities across a variety of levels, sectors, and regions.

For example, we have awarded around £1.5 million to sixteen organisations supporting returners in the private sector. This fund provides parents and carers with a training and skills package to enable them to return to the labour market.

We have also launched returner programmes that target key workforces in the public sector, including social workers, health professionals and police investigators. The Return to Practice programme has supported over 300 health professionals to update their skills and knowledge and gain professional registration, so that they can secure employment. The Return to Social Work programme is recruiting up to 200 previously certified social workers into critical roles within local councils to support the Covid-19 pandemic response, providing them with training and placements.

The Government also recognises the importance of childcare to working parents. The closure of schools, nurseries, childminders and other childcare settings were from Friday 20 March, except for children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response was an important step to reducing the number of social interactions and thus flatten the upward curve of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to monitor redundancies by protected characteristics after the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government does not routinely monitor redundancy statistics by protected characteristics. However, when employers select employees for redundancy, they must comply with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and ensure that they do not unlawfully discriminate. There are also additional considerations that employers must take into account when redundancies affect women who are pregnant or on maternity leave.

The Government continues to gather data, including through interactions with stakeholders, to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on all citizens, including groups with protected characteristics.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2020
Pay
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, further to the Answer of 16 January 2020 to Question 2530, on Pay, if he will publish data on the minimum wage (a) arrears and (b) penalties issued in each constituency in each of the last six financial years.

The Government is committed to cracking down on employers who fail to pay the NMW. HMRC follows up on every worker complaint it receives, even those which are anonymous. The Government publishes a regional breakdown of National Minimum Wage enforcement activity, including arrears and penalties, as part of the annual Enforcement and Compliance Report. The most recent report can be found here.

Caution is required when analysing Minimum Wage enforcement by geography. Enforcement data is reported based on employers’ details, not workers’. This means HMRC may identify arrears for workers who live outside of the immediate area where their employer is based. Similarly, for large employers, arrears and penalties may be attributed to a specific head office location.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jan 2020
Pay
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which employers underpaid the National (a) Living and (b) Minimum Wage in 2018-19.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone entitled to the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) receives it. This is why we have more than doubled the compliance and enforcement budget for the NMW and NLW to £27.4 million for 2019/20, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16.

In 2018/19, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) identified a record £24.4 million in minimum wage arrears for over 220,000 workers and issued over £17 million in penalties to non-compliant employers.

The Naming Scheme is the appropriate mechanism to state which employers have underpaid National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is reviewing the Naming Scheme; the outcome of that review will be published in due course.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the importance of advertising planning notices in local newspapers to (a) the elderly and vulnerable, (b) other local residents and (b) local media organisations.

Local planning authorities are required to publicise certain types of planning applications in local newspapers as set out in Article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

We are mindful of the potential impact that any changes to the requirements might have on transparency and local democracy, as well as the potential effect on local newspaper revenue. Indeed the independent Cairncross Review into the future of journalism found that statutory notices, including planning notices, provide an important strand of revenue for many local publishers and that their withdrawal would do serious damage to parts of the sector. We also recognise the importance of local newspapers to communities and the continued need to reach out to people who cannot digitally access information.

Proposals to reform publicity requirements are being considered through the “Planning for the Future” White Paper which aims to make it simpler, quicker and more accessible for local people to engage with the planning system using digital tools. MHCLG is considering consultation responses and will publish a response in due course, and the impact on transparency and local democracy, as well as on local newspaper revenue will be considered before any decisions are taken.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans her Departments has to issue guidance to (a) singers, (b) wind and brass players and (c) other musicians on (i) rehearsals and performances as the covid-19 restrictions are eased and (ii) minimising risks of asymptomatic transmission of covid-19.

DCMS has worked closely with the Entertainment and Events Working Group to develop guidance which will enable performing artists to train, rehearse and perform safely. The guidance will be published in due course and will include guidance on minimising risk of transmission and supporting singers, wind and brass players and other musicians to return to work in COVID-secure ways.

DCMS is also holding targeted talks with leaders in the orchestra, choral and theatre sectors to better understand how the higher risk of activities like singing and playing of wind/brass instruments can practically be mitigated.

3rd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Sutton Trust report entitled A fair start: Equalising access to early education, published 19 August 2021, what assessment he has made of the effect of not being able to access 30 hours of Government funded childcare on the development of children from low-income families.

All 3 and 4 year olds, as well as some disadvantaged 2 year olds, in England are eligible for 15 hours free childcare. This provides them with high-quality early education and helps to prepare them for school.

Working parents of 3 and 4 year olds can access an additional 15 hours (‘30 hours’) free childcare, helping them with the cost of childcare and supporting parents back into work, or to work more hours if they wish to. To be eligible, parents must earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours a week at national minimum/living wage (for parents aged over 23, this is equivalent to just over £7,400 per year), and under £100,000 per year. The government currently has no plans to extend this scheme.

There is no analysis available that compares children who access 30 hours free childcare with those who do not. However, findings from the department’s longitudinal Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) suggests that by age 5, greater use of formal group childcare (average hours per week) between age 2 and the start of school was associated with some negative effects on socio-emotional well-being and development in school year 1. SEED is our best evidence source for early years education.

A range of factors affect a child's development, including their wider learning environment. This could include, for example, their home learning environment.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much was (a) budgeted for and (b) spent on government-funded childcare provision for 2 year olds in each of the last 5 financial years.

The government allocates funding for the early years entitlements in line with the number of places that are taken up.

The expenditure figures are as follows:

Early years dedicated schools grant allocation

2017-18
Final

2018-19
Final

2019-20
Final

2020-21
Initial

2021-22
Indicative

3-4 year old universal hours

£2,302.6 million

£2,286.7 million

£2,278.5 million

£2,310.9 million

£2,338.2 million

3-4 year old additional hours

£404.6 million

£743.7 million

£807.0 million

£840.3 million

£850.4 million

2 year old

£469.7 million

£449.1 million

£433.8 million

£434.5 million

£440.8 million

Please note that final allocations for 2020-21 and 2021-22 are not yet available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much was (a) budgeted for and (b) spent on government-funded childcare provision for 3 and 4 year olds in each of the last 5 financial years.

The government allocates funding for the early years entitlements in line with the number of places that are taken up.

The expenditure figures are as follows:

Early years dedicated schools grant allocation

2017-18
Final

2018-19
Final

2019-20
Final

2020-21
Initial

2021-22
Indicative

3-4 year old universal hours

£2,302.6 million

£2,286.7 million

£2,278.5 million

£2,310.9 million

£2,338.2 million

3-4 year old additional hours

£404.6 million

£743.7 million

£807.0 million

£840.3 million

£850.4 million

2 year old

£469.7 million

£449.1 million

£433.8 million

£434.5 million

£440.8 million

Please note that final allocations for 2020-21 and 2021-22 are not yet available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to implement the findings of the Government consultation into Sharia-compliant financing for education and the November 2015 Government green paper entitled, Fulfilling our potential Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice.

The government took new powers in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 to make a system of alternative payments possible. The government has been considering the Alternative Student Finance (ASF) product carefully alongside its other priorities and has decided to align a decision on implementation with the outcome of the post-18 review of education and funding. The interim report of the review was published on 21 January 2021, and the review is due to conclude alongside the next multi-year Spending Review. We will provide an update on ASF at that time.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to monitor whether (a) sexual harassment and (b) other types of gender-based violence and abuse are being taught in schools as part of Relationship and Sex Education.

Sexual harassment and gender based violence are covered within the statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum. Schools are expected to teach these important subjects as part of the statutory curriculum.

Schools are accountable for what they teach. The 2019 Ofsted education inspection framework includes a ‘personal development’ judgement, and inspections will look at how well a school is following the new statutory RSHE requirements.

The Department is awaiting the outcome of Ofsted’s thematic review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges. The review will look specifically at whether schools need further support in teaching about sex and relationships, which will provide some valuable insight and help us to consider how we can further support schools to deliver RSHE subjects effectively and confidently.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 January 2021 to Question 140063 on Remote Education: Computers, if he will publish weekly data on the number of laptops (a) allocated and (b) delivered to pupils to support remote education by constituency since 1 April 2020.

The Department has allocated and delivered devices to schools, academy trusts and local authorities through our £400 million Get Help with Technology programme. On delivery, devices become the property of the organisation that receives them. Academy trusts and local authorities often have schools in several constituencies and will have passed on devices according to their own assessment of the need of their schools. For this reason, it is not possible to provide the requested data.

As of Monday 1 February 2021, we have delivered over 920,000 laptops to schools, academy trusts and local authorities. We are publishing aggregate data on a weekly basis which shows deliveries at local authority and academy trust level, which can be found at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data/2021-week-5.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the number of laptops (a) allocated and (b) delivered to pupils to support remote education by constituency in each week of the last six months; and if he will publish the number of children in receipt of free school meals by constituency in each of the last six months.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, by securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. As of Monday 18 January, over 800,000 laptops and tablets had been delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities.

The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The number of devices available to each school, academy trust and local authority is determined by the number of children eligible for free school meals. All schools, academy trusts and local authorities have now been given the opportunity to order their full current allocation of devices.

Figures on the number of devices delivered is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data/2021-week-3.

These figures are broken down by local authority and academy trust. Figures on delivery by constituency are not available.

Data related to the number of pupils claiming free school meals is collected in the termly school census. We routinely publish the statistics from the spring (January) school census in the schools, pupils and their characteristics statistical release. The most recent published figures, from the January 2020 school census, are available at the following link, including data for each school and the constituency they are in:

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a summer census did not take place in the 2019/20 academic year. The Department plans to publish the information relating to October 2020 in due course.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 November 2020 to Question 91878 on Students: Loans, what recent assessment he has made of the equity of charging interest on Plan 1 student loans during maternity leave.

There has been no recent assessment made on the equity of charging interest on Plan 1 student loans during maternity leave.

Student loans have much more favourable terms than commercial loans. Repayments are linked to income, not to interest, or the amount borrowed. Borrowers earning less than the annual repayment threshold of £19,390 for Plan 1 loans repay nothing at all. The interest rate on Plan 1 (pre-2012) income-contingent repayment student loans is the Retail Price Index (currently 2.6%), or the Bank Base Rate +1%, whichever is lower. The current interest rate of 1.1% will remain in place until such time as the Bank Base Rate changes.

The current system protects borrowers, including people on maternity and other forms of parental leave, if they see a reduction in their income. Repayments are made based on a borrower’s monthly or weekly income, not the interest rate or amount borrowed, and no repayments are made for earnings below the repayment thresholds.

Loans are written off after a specified time, with no detriment to the borrower. There are no commercial loans that offer this level of borrower protection. Student loans are subsidised by the taxpayer; the government does not make a profit from the loan scheme.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that the interest charged on Plan 1 student loans during maternity leave does not cause unfair financial hardship on women.

The system for setting interest rates on student loans is set out in The Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations (2009), as amended. The interest rate on Plan 1 (pre-2012) income-contingent repayment student loans is the Retail Price Index (currently 2.6%), or the Bank of England base rate + 1%, whichever is lower. The current interest rate of 1.1% will remain in place until such time as the Bank of England base rate changes.

The current system protects borrowers, including people on maternity leave and other forms of parental leave, if they see a reduction in their income. Repayments are made based on a borrower’s monthly or weekly income, not the interest rate or amount borrowed, and no repayments are made for earnings below the repayment thresholds. Repayments are calculated as a fixed percentage of earnings above the relevant repayment threshold. The annual repayment threshold for Plan 1 borrowers is currently £19,390, rising to £19,895 from 6 April 2021. Any outstanding debt is written off at the end of the loan term with no detriment to the borrower.

If, at the end of the year, the borrower’s total income is below the annual threshold, they may reclaim any repayments from the Student Loans Company made during that year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 108223 on Sex and Relationship Education: Religion, whether the materials published on the website, A Fertile Heart are permitted to be used in schools according to the Government guidance, Plan your relationships, sex and health curriculum, published on 24 September 2020.

The Department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver the content of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) subjects.

It is for schools to decide which resources they choose to support the teaching of RSHE. The Department’sPlan your relationships, sex and health curriculum’ implementation guidance, building on the content of the statutory RSHE guidance, includes clear advice on choosing resources: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education.

The implementation guidance also advises schools to exercise caution when working with external agencies, including ensuring they have full confidence in any agency’s approach and the resources it uses. The Department has stated that schools should not work with agencies that take extreme positions, and this should also be reflected in the school’s choice of resources.

23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether materials from religious organisations are permitted in schools under the Plan your relationships, sex and health curriculum guidance published by his Department on 24 September 2020.

The Department is committed to supporting all schools to deliver the content of the new subjects of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). When teaching the new RSHE subjects, schools should take into account the age of pupils and their religious background.

Our support package, published on 24 September, is aimed at helping all schools increase their confidence and quality of their teaching practice. This package includes teacher training modules, non-statutory implementation guidance and training led by Teaching Schools.

The Department has made clear that it is important that schools take full responsibility for ensuring lessons and materials they intend to use are age appropriate, suitable and politically impartial, particularly when using materials produced by external organisations. We are aware that there are many resources in circulation to support schools to deliver these subjects.

The Department’sPlan your relationships, sex and health curriculum’ implementation guidance includes advice on working with external agencies. It builds on the content of the statutory RSHE guidance and it includes clear advice on choosing resources. It states that schools should assess each resource that they propose to use to ensure it is appropriate for the age and maturity of their pupils and sensitive to their needs, where relevant. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plan-your-relationships-sex-and-health-curriculum.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that women do not face unfair financial hardship as a result of the requirement to continue paying student loan repayments during maternity leave.

The repayment of student loans is governed by the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations (2009) (as amended).

The current system protects borrowers, including people on maternity and other forms of parental leave, if they see a reduction in their income. Repayments are made based on a borrower’s monthly or weekly income, not the interest rate or amount borrowed, and no repayments are made for earnings below the repayment threshold. Repayments are calculated as a fixed percentage of earnings above the relevant repayment threshold – if income drops, so do the repayments made. Any outstanding debt is written off at the end of the loan term with no detriment to the borrower.

If at the end of the year, the borrower’s total income is below the relevant annual threshold, they may reclaim any repayments from the Student Loans Company made during that year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) laptops and (b) tablets have been distributed to children in Walthamstow through the Government's scheme to ensure disadvantaged children and young people can remote education during the covid-9 outbreak.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best place to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices. The Department is working to provide these devices in the shortest possible timeframe; deliveries to schools and local authorities began in May and have continued throughout June.

The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers we have delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts as of 14 June, which can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

This includes 785 devices to Waltham Forest for children with a social worker and care leavers.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department (a) has made and (b) plans to make of the effectiveness of the free sanitary products in all primary schools scheme (i) while all pupils are not attending school due to the covid-19 outbreak and (ii) over the summer holidays.

On 20 January 2020, the department launched a new scheme which makes free period products available for state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in England.

This is an important step to ensure that menstruation does not present a barrier to learning and that no-one is held back from reaching their potential.

We are continuing to monitor schools’ engagement with the scheme during the COVID-19 outbreak. All schools and colleges continue to be able to order period products and distribute them to learners according to their own local arrangements.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have opted in to period product provision; and whether his Department has plans to extend the scheme to (a) primary schools, (b) NHS facilities and (c) public spaces.

Through the period product scheme, state-maintained schools and 16 to 19 education organisations in England can access free period products. This includes state-maintained primary and secondary schools, including academies and free schools, state-maintained middle and all through schools, general hospital schools, special schools, academies and free schools, alternative provision organisations, including pupil referral units, and university technical colleges and studio schools. The scheme launched in January 2020 and we continue to monitor uptake closely. We will publish further information in due course.

NHS facilities and other public spaces do not fall within the department’s remit. NHS England announced in March 2019 that it will offer period products to every hospital patient who needs them, including long-term in-patients.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support supply teachers when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is withdrawn.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by Covid-19.

There is comprehensive support available for supply teachers during the Covid-19 outbreak, and the Department has provided detailed guidance to help schools, agencies and staff identify the right support available for each individual, available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#what-should-schools-do-if-they-have-already-ended-contracts-with-contingent-workers-that-they-directly-employ. This will depend on supply teachers’ individual circumstances and, for some, may include access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#agency-workers-including-those-employed-by-umbrella-companies.

On 12 May, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would continue until the end of October. This means that any supply teachers who have been furloughed by their employment agency will continue to receive 80% of their salary.

Schools will continue to receive their budgets, which ensures that they are able to continue to pay for staff that they employ directly and meet their other regular financial commitments, including paying their suppliers, such as employment agencies, as per Cabinet Office guidance, available at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We will continue to keep the situation under review and to keep Parliament updated accordingly.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that supply teachers working for umbrella companies are furloughed at 80 per cent of their average wage during the covid-19 oubreak.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

The duration of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#agency-workers-including-those-employed-by-umbrella-companies - has been extended this week by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, providing financial reassurance to many people in these unprecedented times.

The scheme is not sector-specific and its terms and conditions must be met by all employers, including umbrella companies.

Employers can claim for any regular payments they are obliged to pay their employees. This includes wages, past overtime, fees and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus (including tips) and commission payments and non-cash payments should be excluded.

Full guidance on how to calculate 80% of employee’s wages can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the reasons for which employment businesses on the Crown Commercial Services framework (a) and (b) have not furloughed supply teachers.

The Department does not collect data on the employment practices of private businesses. All businesses, including employment businesses, should make assessments of the work available for their employees before making decisions on using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Businesses supplying services and/or labour to the public sector should also take into consideration the service continuity payments they are receiving and should not furlough staff where payments continue, as per the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note 02/20.

Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19.

Further information for schools on supply teachers is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) schools and (b) employment businesses that have continued paying contingent labour in the public sector during the covid-19 outbreak in line with the Cabinet Office guidance.

The Department has published detailed guidance on the support available for supply teachers and other contingent workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools, agencies, and staff should refer to section 11 of this guidance which sets out the approach we expect schools and agencies to take in paying contingent staff. This guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

Schools report their overall financial spending on an annual basis. We are considering how and when such data should next be collected in the context of COVID-19.

As confirmed in our guidance on financial support for schools, schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations for the coming year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. This will ensure that they are able to continue to pay their staff, and meet their other regular financial commitments, as we move through these extraordinary times.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of long-term contracts for supply teachers as contingent labour that were cancelled in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department does not collect data specifically on the number of supply teachers or teachers employed by agencies.

The Department has published guidance for schools and the school workforce which sets out that schools should continue to pay staff that they directly hire. Where schools had contracts with directly hired staff that have been terminated earlier than the original terms set out due to COVID-19, these contracts should be reinstated on the terms previously agreed.

Guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the costs to schools that wish to access free school meals vouchers from retailers not listed on the Government’s National Voucher Scheme will be reimbursed in full.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education. As of 28 April our supplier, Edenred, reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme and as of Monday 4 May, Edenred has reported that over £47 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme.

Through the national voucher scheme, schools and families could initially access eGift cards for Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S. On Monday 27 April Aldi was added to this list and on Wednesday 29 April McColl’s were also added. We recognise that it may not be convenient or possible for some families to visit one of these supermarkets and we are continuing to work to see if additional supermarkets can be added to this list.

If the national voucher scheme is not suitable for families in their local area, schools can provide alternative vouchers for a local shop or supermarket and can be reimbursed for associated costs.

We are providing additional funding to schools to cover unavoidable additional costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. This includes free school meal costs which are not covered by the national voucher system in situations where there is no access to appropriate local supermarkets

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support the Government is providing to schools that wish to access free school meals vouchers from a retailer not listed on the Government’s National Voucher Scheme.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education. As of 28 April our supplier, Edenred, reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme and as of Monday 4 May, Edenred has reported that over £47 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme.

Through the national voucher scheme, schools and families could initially access eGift cards for Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S. On Monday 27 April Aldi was added to this list and on Wednesday 29 April McColl’s were also added. We recognise that it may not be convenient or possible for some families to visit one of these supermarkets and we are continuing to work to see if additional supermarkets can be added to this list.

If the national voucher scheme is not suitable for families in their local area, schools can provide alternative vouchers for a local shop or supermarket and can be reimbursed for associated costs.

We are providing additional funding to schools to cover unavoidable additional costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. This includes free school meal costs which are not covered by the national voucher system in situations where there is no access to appropriate local supermarkets

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether universities that have closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak will require their students to pay their fees in full.

Fee loans are being paid directly to universities as planned at the start of the third term.

We are working with universities to make sure all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies to the best of their abilities. There are some fantastic and innovative examples of high-quality online learning being delivered by institutions across the UK, and the sector is already working hard to prepare learning materials for the summer and autumn terms.

Students ordinarily should not expect any fee refund if they are receiving adequate online learning and support. However, the government has made it clear that if universities are unable to deliver adequate online teaching then it would be unacceptable for students to be charged for any additional terms of study, which would effectively mean that they were being charged twice.

Whether or not an individual student is entitled to a refund of their fees will depend on specific contractual arrangements between the student and their university.

In the first instance, students should speak to their university. We expect student complaints and appeals processes to be operated flexibly, accessibly and sympathetically by institutions to resolve any concerns. Students who are not satisfied with their institution’s final response can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint if their institution is based in England or Wales.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support supply teachers who are employed through an agency and are not eligible for furlough via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest school workforce guidance on COVID-19, including supply teachers, is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing#supply-teachers-and-other-contingent-workers.

Further guidance on financial support for all education institutions is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing an air bridge between the Netherlands and the UK.

The Government has announced that it has assessed the health measures at the UK border and as a result passengers will be exempted from self-isolation requirements in certain circumstances on arrival in the UK. This will apply to international rail, maritime, and aviation.

The Government will announce further details including a full list of the countries and territories from which arriving passengers will be exempted from self-isolation requirements later this week.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to update health and safety guidance for employers to (a) reflect recent case law and (b) clarify that employers must carry out an individual risk assessment when notified that a woman is (i) pregnant, (ii) has given birth in the last six months or (iii) is breastfeeding.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has noted new case law requiring employers to carry out individual risk assessments when notified a worker is pregnant, has given birth in the last 6 months or is breastfeeding. HSE is in the process of amending its guidance accordingly and will work with stakeholders and interested parties to communicate and promote the amended guidance to support employers in carrying out individual risk assessments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many requests for advice from workers and employers on health and safety for new and expectant mothers were made to the Health and Safety Executive in each of the last five years; and in how many of those cases enforcement action was taken.

The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Concerns and Advice Team respond to questions and concerns from employers and members of the public. Over the last five financial years and current year to date, the number of enquiries related to the terms 'pregnant', 'pregnancy' and 'new mother' are:

Financial Year

Pregnancy/New mother Related

Total Concerns Received

% of total

16/17

167

22,497

0.74%

17/18

156

26,507

0.59%

18/19

146

29,476

0.50%

19/20

173

32,490

0.53%

20/21

282

46,103

0.61%

21/YTD

93

18,226

0.51%

There has been no enforcement action taken over this period related to the same terms.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the authorisation of regulations defining safe accommodation under Part 4 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, what her planned timeframe is for delivering an exemption from the spare room subsidy to victims of domestic abuse with sanctuary scheme properties.

The Domestic Abuse Support (Relevant Accommodation and Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Sanctuary Schemes) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 were laid on 9 September 2021 and the sanctuary scheme exemption from the removal of the spare room subsidy will come in to force on 1 October 2021.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent steps she has taken to implement the ruling of the Supreme Court of 30 August 2018, [2018] UKSC 48, on extending bereavement support payments to unmarried couples.

We intend to take forward a Remedial Order to extend eligibility for Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement Support Payment to cohabitees with children. We are working on the detail of, and implementation plans for, these changes. We intend to lay the Order before the House in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people that are not eligible for bereavement support payment as a result of not being married contacted Tell Us Once service during the covid-19 outbreak.

Tell Us Once (TUO) does not collect this information. TUO is purely a notification service and asks a citizen if they wish to notify a range of partner organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions. There is no distinct correlation between the notification issued and Bereavement Support Payment. In addition, Tell Us Once does not form any part of any claim to benefits.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of temporarily suspending the two-child limit on the child element of universal credit and tax credit in recognition of the economic effect of the covid-19 outbreak on families with children.

There are no plans to suspend the policy to provide support for a maximum of two children.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many individual pieces of correspondence her Department has (a) received from hon. Members on behalf of constituents on matters relating to covid-19 on each date since the outbreak began and (b) provided in response to that correspondence in each category of response.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effect on the backlog of universal credit mandatory reconsideration of staff redeployment to work on new applications for that benefit; and what estimate she has made of the number of universal credit mandatory reconsideration's that have been delayed during the covid-19 outbreak.

DWP is continuing to process Mandatory Reconsiderations during the current Covid-19 pandemic and is aiming to avoid delay where possible.

In relation to the number of Universal Credit Mandatory Reconsiderations that have been delayed during the covid-19 pandemic, the information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish data on new claims for universal credit since the covid-19 social distancing guidelines were introduced, at a constituency level.

The Department publishes Management Information each week on the numbers of declarations to Universal Credit since the 1 March. This information is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-declarations-claims-and-advances-management-information.

Data at Constituency Level is not available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing to non-EEA nationals who (a) are working reduced hours and (b) have lost their jobs due to the covid-19 outbreak and are unable to claim universal credit.

Those unable to access DWP income-related benefits, such as Universal Credit, may be eligible to access DWP contributions-based benefits such as New style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), providing they meet eligibility criteria.

The Chancellor has announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment. Employers can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed.

The Chancellor has also confirmed that, depending on their status, workers on zero hour contracts may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and we would urge people to explore this avenue too.

12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward proposals to amend Regulation B13 of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 to create an exemption for people who live in Sanctuary Schemes after the decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in A v the United Kingdom.

We are carefully considering next steps in response to the European Court of Human Rights decision.

In the meantime, for people in particular circumstances who may require more support, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are available.

Since 2011 we have provided over £1billion in DHP funding, enabling local authorities to protect the most vulnerable claimants and supporting households to adapt to housing support reforms, including the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy policy. In addition, we recently announced an extra £40 million in DHPs for 2020/21.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent steps she has taken to implement the ruling of the Supreme Court of 30 August 2018, [2018] UKSC 48, on extending bereavement support payments to unmarried couples.

We recognise that we currently have incompatible legislation on the statute books relating to Widowed Parent's Allowance. My department is currently working on possible options to remedy this. As previously stated there are complex issues we have needed to actively consider which takes time. We will report back to Parliament as soon as we have agreed approach.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 February 2020 to Question 14677, on Local Housing Allowance, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to support claimants that are at risk of becoming homeless as a result of being unable to afford the difference between the amount they receive in local housing allowance and their rent in (a) Walthamstow constituency, (b) other London boroughs and (c) England.

We recently announced an extra £40 million in Discretionary Housing Payments for 2020/21, helping to tackle the most acute affordability pressures in the private rented sector.

Since 2011 we have provided over £1billion in Discretionary Housing Payment funding, enabling local authorities to protect the most vulnerable claimants.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support is available during the three month wait for eligibility for limited capability for work and work-related activity for a person who was eligible for employment and support allowance but who was in a couple and not the main claimant, in the event of their separation.

Where a person makes a new claim for New Style Employment and Support Allowance (NS ESA) and satisfies the contribution conditions, they receive a basic rate of benefit at £73.10 a week (for a single person over 25) during the 13-week assessment phase while capability for work is established.

Where Universal Credit (UC) is claimed on health grounds, there is a 3-month relevant period which mirrors the 13-week assessment phase in ESA. Entitlement to UC is calculated on various factors including housing, childcare and the child element; however, the standard allowance per assessment period is £317.82 (for a single person over 25).

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people received support for upfront childcare costs under the Flexible Support Fund; and what proportion of the Flexible Support Fund is used to pay for childcare.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support is in place for parents (a) who are in work to cover the cost of childcare costs during school holidays and (b) who have accessed the Flexible Support Fund in the month following that claim and who are not able to recoup the costs of childcare for that period via universal credit.

The Universal Credit childcare policy aligns with the wider government childcare offer, which includes free childcare hours and tax free childcare. Claimants can utilise both the free childcare entitlement and Universal Credit childcare costs in conjunction with each other. This offer means that reasonable childcare costs should not form a barrier to work, even during school holidays. The Government is committed to supporting working parents and, as part of this, Universal Credit pays up to 85% of childcare costs, compared to 70% in legacy benefits.

Universal Credit claimants are able to upload digital copies of their childcare cost receipts or invoices through their online Universal Credit account. In October 2019, the Department introduced changes to give parents longer to report their childcare costs. Childcare costs can be claimed in the same assessment period they were paid, or by the end of the following assessment period.

Beyond the Universal Credit childcare element, claimants can be considered for two additional methods of funding childcare costs: the Flexible Support Fund (FSF) and Budgeting Advances.

The FSF can pay up to 100% of the upfront childcare costs (subject to payment limits) that the claimant incurs before starting work and receiving their first wage. Through FSF, Work Coaches can support claimants with barriers that may prevent them from moving into employment, such as childcare or travel costs. Each case is considered carefully on its own merits with financial help available in advance to eligible claimants.

A budgeting advance is available for one-off urgent financial events for eligible UC claimants, such as upfront childcare, and is repayable over a period of up to 12 monthly instalments.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of universal credit credit claimants whose childcare costs exceed the upper threshold for (a) one child and (b) two or more children.

Childcare costs should not be a barrier to getting into work; this Government is committed to helping parents into work. Universal Credit pays up to 85% of childcare costs, compared to 70% in legacy benefits and can be claimed up to a month before starting a job. In cases where people need to pay for childcare upfront, prior to starting work, Work Coaches can use the Flexible Support Fund to meet these costs until their first wage is received.

For all Universal Credit monthly payments made in 2019, around 520,000 included a childcare element:

a. For childcare costs claimed for one child in childcare, 5% of the time, childcare claims exceeded the maximum award of £646.35 (28,000 times).

b. For childcare costs claimed for two or more children in childcare, 1% of the time, childcare claims exceeded the maximum award of £1108.04 (6,000 times).

Notes:

  • (a) and (b) are exclusive categories and (b) is not a subset of (a)
  • Payment figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.
  • Percentages rounded to the nearest percent.
  • Households are counted each time they have received a childcare element in 2019.
Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the effect of the limits on childcare costs claimable through universal credit on (a) women and (b) maternal employment rates.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost to the Department.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of uprating local housing allowance in line with inflation in areas where private rents have risen above CPI.

From April 2020 Local Housing Allowance rates will be uprated by inflation – an increase of 1.7% in line with wider benefit uprating. This means around 900,000 people across the UK could see their Housing support payments rise from April.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether funding is available to existing universal credit claimants to pay for childcare so that they are not required to pay up front and claim the money back.

The Universal Credit childcare policy aligns with the wider government childcare offer, which includes free childcare hours and tax free childcare. Claimants can utilise both the free childcare entitlement and Universal Credit childcare costs in conjunction with each other. This offer means that reasonable childcare costs should not form a barrier to work. The Government is committed to supporting parents with moving into work and, as part of this, Universal Credit pays up to 85% of childcare costs, compared to 70% in legacy benefits.

The Flexible Support Fund (FSF) can pay up to 100% of the upfront childcare costs (subject to payment limits) that the claimant incurs before starting work and receiving their first wage. Through FSF, work coaches can support claimants with barriers that may prevent them from moving into employment, such as childcare or travel costs. Each case is considered carefully on its own merits with financial help available in advance to eligible claimants.

Universal Credit claimants are able to upload digital copies of their childcare cost receipts or invoices through their online Universal Credit account. In October 2019, the Department introduced changes to give parents longer to report their childcare costs. Childcare costs can be claimed in the same assessment period they were paid, or by the end of the following assessment period.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Work and Pensions Select Committee report on Bereaved Support Payments, published on 22 October 2019, what the expected publication date is of the Government response to that report.

We will submit our response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee report on Bereavement Support Payment once the committee is fully up and running. Any decision on publication will be for the Committee to make.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the details of the ministerial direction he has issued regarding the New Covid Surge Deal With the Independent Health Sector including providing (a) the costs of arrangements including how much the NHS will pay per patient, (b) what budget the money will come from and whether Trust budgets or NHSE and (c) whether the deal specifies if the private sector will be required to prioritise NHS patients over private patients.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 patients have been treated with (a) ronapreve, (b) sotrovimab and (c) molnupiravir each week since 1 December 2021.

The information is not currently available in the format requested. However, Ronapreve is available to treat patients in hospital who have confirmed COVID-19 and have either been hospitalised for the management of symptoms or are at high-risk of progression to severe illness. To 5 January 2022, 78 patients had been treated through the COVID Medicines Delivery Units (CMDUs).

Since the deployment of Sotrovimab on 20 December 2021 to 5 January 2022, 1,961 patients had been treated through CMDUs. Since the deployment of molnupiravir on 16 December 2021 to 5 January 2022, 2,883 patients had been treated through the CMDUs. To 11 January 2022, 3,012 people have enrolled on the PANORAMIC national study which has a molnupiravir treatment ratio of 1:1.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been treated with (a) Ronapreve, (b) Sotrovimab or (c) molnupiravir for covid-19 in each week since the start of December 2021.

Ronapreve is available to treat patients in hospital who have confirmed COVID-19 and have either been hospitalised for the management of symptoms or are at high-risk of progression to severe illness. To 5 January 2022, 78 patients had been treated through the COVID Medicines Delivery Units (CMDUs).

The deployment of Sotrovimab began on 20 December 2021. To 5 January 2022, 1,961 patients had been treated through the CMDUs. The deployment of molnupiravir began on 16 December 2021. To 5 January 2022, 2,883 patients had been treated through the CMDUs. To 10 January 2022, 2,875 people enrolled on the PANORAMIC national study which has a molnupiravir treatment ratio of 1:1.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the proportion of third primary covid-19 vaccine doses administered to immunocompromised and immunosuppressed people in (a) Waltham Forest and (b) England.

The information is not held centrally in the format requested. However, the latest available data as of 20 December 2021 shows that 87.7% of individuals in England identified as severely immunosuppressed have received a third primary dose.

No specific comparative assessment been made.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people have received their (a) second and (b) third primary dose of the covid-19 vaccine in each (a) region of England and (b) local authority as of 13 December 2021.

The information is not held centrally in the format requested. However, the latest available data as of 20 December 2021 shows that 87.7% of individuals in England identified as severely immunosuppressed have received a third primary dose.

No specific comparative assessment been made.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the impact of reducing the number of mass covid-19 vaccination centres on the uptake of the covid-19 vaccines among (a) young people and (b) ethnic minority communities.

No comparative assessment has been made. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement keep the COVID-19 vaccine programme under review to ensure there is sufficient capacity to support the offer.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the geographic variation in covid-19 vaccine uptake among 12-16 year olds.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much each NHS trust spent on the purchase of healthcare from non-NHS bodies in financial year 2020-21.

We are unable to provide the information requested due to the National Audit Office’s ongoing audit process.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) private organisations that have received funding from NHS bodies to provide healthcare services in the financial year 2020-21 and (b) value of those contracts.

We are unable to provide the information requested due to the National Audit Office’s ongoing audit process.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much was spent by (a) NHS providers and (b) NHS England Group on the purchase of healthcare from non-NHS bodies in financial year 2020-21.

We are unable to provide the information requested due to the National Audit Office’s ongoing audit process.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Question 44335, tabled on 7 September 2021, and Question 60402, tabled on 21 October 2021, on Coronavirus: Vaccination, by the hon. Member for Walthamstow, for what reason his Department has not been able to provide a substantive response to those Questions within the required timeframes; and when he plans to provide a substantive response to those Questions.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 44335.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that individuals who have received both doses of an MHRA-approved covid-19 vaccine outside the UK are subject to the same self-isolation requirements following a close contact with a confirmed positive case as those who received vaccines in the UK.

An individual identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case is exempt from self-isolation if they have received both doses of a Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency-approved vaccine administered in the United Kingdom. The current system for validating the vaccination status of close contacts relies on checking against records in the National Immunisation Management System, which does not record vaccinations administered overseas. We are exploring options to extend the existing exemption to contacts who have completed an approved vaccination programme overseas.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 44335 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, tabled by the hon. Member for Walthamstow on 7 September 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 44335.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by what date he estimates (a) 25, (b) 50 and (c) 75 per cent of people eligible for covid-19 booster vaccinations as at 18 October 2021 to have received that vaccination.

No specific estimate has been made. However, over 22 million people in the United Kingdom have now received a COVID-19 booster vaccination or third dose. We have confirmed all eligible adults in England aged 18 years old and over will be offered a booster vaccination by the end of January.

The number of people in the UK who have received a COVID-19 booster vaccination or third dose is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the number of (a) people invited to receive a covid-19 booster vaccination and (b) covid-19 booster vaccinations issued by local authorities on a weekly basis.

Individuals become eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccination 6 six months after their second jab, and therefore the number of people eligible changes on a daily basis.

More than 13 million invites have already been sent to eligible people in England so far asking them to book their booster online through the National Booking Service which can be found at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/book-or-manage-a-booster-dose-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine/.

NHS England will be inviting another 3 million people who will become eligible for their booster from week commencing 15 November 2021.

If an individual has not been contacted by the NHS within a week of reaching six months since their second jab they can call 119 or use the online National Booking Service to book a COVID-19 vaccination booster, or go to various walk-in sites across the country.

Data on the number of COVID-19 boosters issued by local authorities on a weekly basis is not available. But data on the number of boosters administered broken down by NHS Region of Residence is published on a daily basis. Please note that these figures also include some third primary doses. This data is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been invited to receive a booster vaccination for covid-19; and how many booster vaccinations for covid-19 have been administered as at 18 October 2021.

More than 13 million invites have already been sent to eligible people in England so far asking them to book their COVID-19 booster vaccination online through the National Booking Service. NHS England will be inviting another 3 three million people who will become eligible for their booster from week commencing 15 November 2021. Individuals become eligible for a booster 6 six months after their second jab.

If an individual has not been contacted by the NHS within a week of reaching six months since their second jab they can call 119 or use the online National Booking Service to book a COVID-19 vaccination booster, or go to various walk-in sites across the country.

As at 8 November 2021, a cumulative total of 8,838,609 COVID-19 booster vaccines and third doses have been administered in England. This information is available at the following link: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations.

As at 8 November 2021, a cumulative total of 10,580,122 booster vaccines and third doses have been administered in the UK. This information is available at the following link: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to enable individuals who have received covid-19 vaccinations outside the UK to access the NHS vaccine pass; and what his timetable is for the implementation of this change.

Currently, United Kingdom residents vaccinated in the United States of America, the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Australia and Canada with the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen vaccines can be certified using the NHS COVID Pass. A National Immunisation Management Service record is required, which can be obtained by calling 119 and will include attending a regional vaccination centre.

The service currently has seven sites capable of reviewing vaccination evidence with further expansion of the service planned in due course.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for people seeking a diagnosis for (a) Crohn’s disease, (b) colitis and (c) other inflammatory bowel conditions.

We have invested £325 million in National Health Service diagnostic equipment to improve clinical outcomes, while £1 billion is dedicated to tackling wider elective backlogs across the NHS.

Additional diagnostic capacity is also being delivered through the creation of new community diagnostic hubs, which allow for the separation of urgent and elective diagnostic tests. These hubs provide screening and testing more quickly and effectively, supporting healthcare professionals to diagnose diseases and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, colitis and other inflammatory bowel conditions.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide ring-fenced funding for mental health services targeted at care leavers as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The funding and provision of health services, including mental health services, are the responsibility of local clinical commissioning groups as they have the flexibility to allocate funding according to local need. We do not currently have any plans to ringfence funding for mental health services targeted at care leavers.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits to the development of a comprehensive mental health offer for children and young people, including care leavers. We are working to ensure that by 2023-24 an extra 345,000 children and young people will be able to access support via National Health Service-funded mental health services and school or college based mental health support teams.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) steps his Department is taking to support local authorities in signposting care leavers to appropriate mental health support and (b) assessment he has made of the effectiveness of existing signposting.

We are currently working with local authorities and National Health Service trusts to develop and modernise arrangements for care leavers including signposting to appropriate mental health provisions.

In March 2021, we published the Mental Health Recovery Action Plan to ensure approximately 22,500 more children and young people can access community health services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 May 2021 to Question 1312 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, what information has NHS England provided to the local authority Director of Public Health on the number of (a) covid-19 vaccinations that have been administered and (b) people eligible for those vaccinations, by ethnicity, for each of the wards in Waltham Forest where that information is available for the last five months.

From 15 January to 23 April, Public Health England (PHE) facilitated access for Directors of Public Health to local level data provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement via its secure platform. Since 23 April 2021, these data have been provided directly by PHE.

PHE provides daily COVID-19 vaccine data to Directors of Public Health in England, including for Waltham Forest. These data include breakdowns to lower super output area (LSOA) level by age, sex and ethnicity. LSOA data can be aggregated to ward level.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) covid-19 vaccinations have been administered and (b) people are eligible for those vaccinations, by ethnicity, in each of the wards in Waltham Forest where that data is available over the last five months.

Data on vaccinations and population eligibility, including by ethnicity, is not held at ward level. NHS England and Improvement publish weekly vaccination data by ethnicity and region which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

The data published by NHS England is regularly reviewed.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cases relating to racial discrimination by the NHS under the Equality Act 2010 have found in favour of the complainant since 2010.

The information requested is not held.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide the data on the number of (a) covid-19 vaccinations that have been administered and (b) people eligible for those vaccinations, by ethnicity, for each of the wards in Waltham Forest where available over the last five months.

Data on vaccinations and population eligibility, including by ethnicity, is not centrally held at ward level.

NHS England publish weekly data for vaccinations in England, including vaccinations by ethnicity, at constituency and national level. This data can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the new advice on covid-19 vaccination for pregnant women from Public Health England issued on 16 April 2021, what steps he is taking to issue updated guidance for pregnant employees; and when that guidance will be available.

We do not currently have plans to issue updated guidance for pregnant employees. Advice for pregnant employees was published by the Government, in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Midwives and the Health and Safety Executive on 23 December 2020.

The guidance sets out that if a woman is pregnant and has let their employer know in writing, the employer should carry out a risk assessment. Pregnant women of any gestation should not be required to continue working if this is not supported by the risk assessment.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of patients who have been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs who go on to develop Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS); and what information he holds on the number of people whose autotopsy revealed NMS as a cause of death and who had not received a diagnosis for that disorder.

The information requested is not held.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of the written answers he provided to the Hon Member for Walthamstow in the past 12 months were written by consultants as opposed to civil servants; and which Minister approved those answers.

All written answers provided to the hon. Member in the past twelve months were written by civil servants. Answers are approved by the Minister responding.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the provision of the £10, 000 payment incentive intended to support the 2018-19 cohort of pre-registration postgraduate students studying health, learning disability and district nursing announced in May 2018; and what steps he is taking to ensure that students are aware that that funding is available to them.

Health Education England is finalising operational policy requirements. This includes the most appropriate arrangements for making payments to eligible students and the most effective way to communicate the process to students and other stakeholders. Further information will be announced as soon as possible.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many operations have been cancelled or delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, by (a) priority categorisation and (b) Trust.

The data requested is not available. The collection of data on cancelled operations has been paused due the need to release capacity across the National Health Service to support the COVID-19 response.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 26 January 2021 to Question 96883 on Coronavirus: Screening, what comprehensive service descriptions are used in relation to Deloitte's contract for covid-19 testing; and pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 62429 on Deloitte: Coronavirus, what process (a) was used to define and (b) is in place to monitor performance against those descriptions.

The contract, containing the service descriptions, is available at the following link:

https://atamis-1928.cloudforce.com/sfc/p/0O000000rwim/a/4J000000kIGD/m4SEJjmpk3ft_PstlpwG73t_meFmGr0xrGic0e6s7VU

These include increasing our capacity to deliver the programme, supporting the national testing, meeting our end to end supply needs and determining our logistics.

Overall performance is monitored via a robust fortnightly cycle of contract management and performance reporting against agreed milestones. This includes review and approvals for each workstream, with additional governance aligned to Government standards and best practice.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data the Government is collecting which explicitly monitors transmission of covid-19 between (a) children aged 0 to 5 years in education settings and (b) (i) parents, (ii) staff and (iii) other adults who visit those settings; and if he will publish that data in full.

Public Health England (PHE) does not routinely collect data for COVID-19 transmission rates in education settings between school-aged children and/or adults.

PHE does report on COVID-19 infection rates, by educational aged cohorts in the national flu and COVID-19 surveillance graphs that accompany the National flu and COVID-19 weekly surveillance report. This includes reception, nursery and pre-school aged cohorts. The most recent report is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

It should be noted that this data includes all cases regardless of whether or not they attended an educational setting or if the educational setting was open during the reporting period.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Test and Trace Support Payments have been (a) awarded and (b) refused in each (i) geographic region and (ii) employment sector.

We are working closely with all 314 lower tier and unitary local authorities to collate information on how the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is progressing, and will release information on the number of applications, number of successful applications and amounts paid out in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, published on 2 December 2020, whether the capacity of clinically extremely vulnerable patients to shield has been included in the modelling determining the priority level for that group of people to receive the vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reviewed evidence, including from OpenSAFELY, QCOVID, and mathematical modelling from the University of Warwick, when determining the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccine. Current evidence indicates that the single greatest risk for mortality from COVID-19 is increasing age and that the risk increases rapidly with age. The modelling work by Warwick University is available at the following link:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.22.20194183v2

Many of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are in the oldest age groups and will be among the first to receive the vaccine. The JCVI recognises that individuals considered extremely clinically vulnerable have been shielding for much of the pandemic and this meant that available data are likely to underestimate the risk in this group. Considering data from the first wave of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, the overall risk of mortality for clinically extremely vulnerable younger adults was estimated to be roughly the same as the risk to persons aged 70–74 years old. The prioritisation is based on the absolute risk of mortality, which evidence indicates is higher in those over 75 years of age, than in those considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

The capacity of clinically extremely vulnerable patients to shield and the effect on the families of clinically extremely vulnerable patients were not included in the mathematical modelling considered by the JCVI. This was however considered in the decision to prioritise clinically extremely vulnerable individuals alongside those aged 70-74 years of age. Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are in the third priority group for vaccination, as advised by the JCVI.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, published on 2 December 2020, whether the effect on the families of clinically extremely vulnerable patients has been included in the modelling determining the priority level of that group of people to receive the vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reviewed evidence, including from OpenSAFELY, QCOVID, and mathematical modelling from the University of Warwick, when determining the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccine. Current evidence indicates that the single greatest risk for mortality from COVID-19 is increasing age and that the risk increases rapidly with age. The modelling work by Warwick University is available at the following link: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.22.20194183v2 Many of those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are in the oldest age groups and will be among the first to receive the vaccine. The JCVI recognises that individuals considered extremely clinically vulnerable have been shielding for much of the pandemic and this meant that available data are likely to underestimate the risk in this group. Considering data from the first wave of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, the overall risk of mortality for clinically extremely vulnerable younger adults was estimated to be roughly the same as the risk to persons aged 70–74 years old. The prioritisation is based on the absolute risk of mortality, which evidence indicates is higher in those over 75 years of age, than in those considered clinically extremely vulnerable. The capacity of clinically extremely vulnerable patients to shield and the effect on the families of clinically extremely vulnerable patients were not included in the mathematical modelling considered by the JCVI. This was however considered in the decision to prioritise clinically extremely vulnerable individuals alongside those aged 70-74 years of age. Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are in the third priority group for vaccination, as advised by the JCVI.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Questions 100386, 100385 and 100384, tabled on 7 October 2020 and Questions 96885, 96884, 96883, 96882 tabled on 29 September 2020 by the hon. Member for Walthamstow.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s questions will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance is available for pregnant women in their third trimester on attending work during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

The Health and Safety Executive provides specific advice for new and expectant mothers and have recently updated their guidance to protect vulnerable workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their guidance was updated on 5 November.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Questions (a) 100997, (b) 100996, (c) 100995, and (d) 100994 tabled by the hon. Member for Walthamstow on 8 October 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 100997, 100996, 100995 and 100994.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) covid-19 test QR codes have been scanned at covid-19 test centres and (b) test results have been issued per day since August 1 2020.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the amounts paid to each of the private hospital companies under the arrangements announced on 21 March 2020 for the provision of healthcare services and facilities to support the covid-19 response.

A Contract Award Notice in respect of each of the 26 individual contracts entered into by NHS England with independent sector hospital providers has been published on 16 October 2020 by the Official Journal of the European Union. The Notice can be viewed at the following link:

https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:492193-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML

Under the agreement, latest figures show that from 30 March until 30 August 2020 over 967,000 National Health Service patient appointments have taken place within independent facilities. We cannot provide a breakdown of the amounts paid to each independent sector Provider, however, the total for this period is estimated at £1 billion.

As part of preparing for winter, the Government has provided an additional £3 billion to the NHS. This includes additional funding to the NHS to allow them to continue to use additional hospital capacity from the independent sector, and to maintain the Nightingale hospitals, in their current state, until the end of March 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the contracts between NHS England and the private hospital companies which he announced on 21 March 2020 for the provision of healthcare services and facilities to support the covid-19 response.

A Contract Award Notice in respect of each of the 26 individual contracts entered into by NHS England with independent sector hospital providers has been published on 16 October 2020 by the Official Journal of the European Union. The Notice can be viewed at the following link:

https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:492193-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML

Under the agreement, latest figures show that from 30 March until 30 August 2020 over 967,000 National Health Service patient appointments have taken place within independent facilities. We cannot provide a breakdown of the amounts paid to each independent sector Provider, however, the total for this period is estimated at £1 billion.

As part of preparing for winter, the Government has provided an additional £3 billion to the NHS. This includes additional funding to the NHS to allow them to continue to use additional hospital capacity from the independent sector, and to maintain the Nightingale hospitals, in their current state, until the end of March 2021.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the payments to each of the private hospital companies under the arrangements announced on 21 March 2020 were made after the costs had first been verified by external auditors on an open book accountancy basis.

National Health Service patients are benefitting from an unprecedented partnership with private hospitals as we battle the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector to secure all appropriate inpatient capacity and other resource across England.

Information on the number of NHS patients treated by each private hospital under the arrangements announced on 21 March 2020 for the provision of healthcare services and facilities to support the COVID-19 response is not available. However, latest collected information shows that over 215,000 patient contacts nationally had taken place under the contract


Recoverable costs payable to each independent sector hospital provider are paid on account, with reconciliation adjustments made on a monthly basis to reflect actual recoverable costs incurred by the provider as verified by KPMG on NHS England’s behalf on an open book basis and in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards accounting principles.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the number of NHS patients treated by each private hospital under the arrangements announced on 21 March 2020 for the provision of healthcare services and facilities to support the covid-19 response.

National Health Service patients are benefitting from an unprecedented partnership with private hospitals as we battle the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector to secure all appropriate inpatient capacity and other resource across England.

Information on the number of NHS patients treated by each private hospital under the arrangements announced on 21 March 2020 for the provision of healthcare services and facilities to support the COVID-19 response is not available. However, latest collected information shows that over 215,000 patient contacts nationally had taken place under the contract


Recoverable costs payable to each independent sector hospital provider are paid on account, with reconciliation adjustments made on a monthly basis to reflect actual recoverable costs incurred by the provider as verified by KPMG on NHS England’s behalf on an open book basis and in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards accounting principles.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any issues have been identified as a result of the performance meeting on Serco's management of the test and trace service; and whether any remedial plans have been agreed.

No issues have been identified with regard to Serco’s performance as per their contractual standards and therefore no remedial plans have been agreed.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any issues have been identified in respect of Deloitte's contract to manage the provision of a test and trace service at a performance meeting; and whether any remedial plans have been agreed.

To date there have been no issues with regard to Deloitte’s performance as per their contractual standards and therefore no remedial plans have been agreed.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any issues have been identified at a performance meeting in respect of the Government's contract with Randox Labs in its role in providing a test and trace service; and whether any remedial plans have been agreed.

Randox is operating in accordance with its contract. Performance is constantly monitored against set criteria to ensure that the supplier is meeting expectations. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of these agreements the Department cannot provide specific details in accordance with the key performance indicators within their contract.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any issues have been identified at a performance meeting in respect of the Government's contract with Lighthouse Labs and its role in the test and trace service; and whether any remedial plans have been agreed.

Lighthouse Labs are operating in accordance with their contracts. Performance is constantly monitored against set criteria to ensure that the supplier is meeting expectations. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of these agreements the Department cannot provide specific details.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2020 to Question 89687 on Coronavirus: Screening, what the performance standards are that Serco are expected to meet under the terms of its contract relating to its involvement in the provision of covid-19 testing.

Performance and quality assurance standards and processes are included in the Government contracts with Serco. These are commercially sensitive. The contracts have break clauses in them, meaning if the company does not meet required service levels, the contract may be cancelled and money reclaimed.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2020 to Question 89688 on Coronavirus: Screening, what the performance standards are that Deloitte is expected to meet under the terms of its contract relating to its involvement in the provision of covid-19 testing.

All arrangements for Deloitte’s support to Test and Trace are subject to Crown Commercial Services terms. Each workstream has a comprehensive service description and is subject to regular performance monitoring and management to ensure they are delivering in line with the programme’s objectives.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2020 to Question 89690 on Coronavirus: Screening, what the performance standards are that Lighthouse Labs is expected to meet under the terms of its contract relating to its involvement in the provision of covid-19 testing.

All our contracts with Lighthouse Laboratories are constantly monitored against set criteria to ensure that the supplier is meeting expectations. We are unable to provide specific details of these contracts as they are commercially sensitive.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2020 to Question 89689 on Coronavirus: Screening, what the performance standards are that Randox is expected to meet under the terms of its contract for covid-19 testing.

Performance and quality assurance standards and processes are included in the Government contracts with Randox. These are constantly monitored against to ensure that the supplier is meeting expectations. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of these agreements, the Department cannot provide specific details.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by what date he is planning for the full implementation by maternity services of the guidance on visitor restrictions issued on 8 September 2020.

On 5 June 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement revised their guidance on how National Health Service organisations may choose to facilitate visiting across healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national suspension on visiting imposed under previous guidance was lifted with immediate effect.

Visiting is now subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies, and will take into account local prevalence. The number of visitors at the bedside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the patient. However, where it is possible to maintain social distancing throughout the visit, a second additional visitor can be permitted in certain circumstances including those individuals receiving end-of-life care.

The maternity visiting guidance has been published by NHS England and NHS Improvement. It has been designed to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services. It applies to inpatient and outpatient settings.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/09/par001599-framework-for-the-reintroduction-of-visitors-throughout-maternity-services-sep-2020.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the proportion of visiting restrictions that can be lifted in maternity services without services becoming covid-19-insecure.

Risk assessments on the safety of maternity services which would include an assessment of visiting restrictions as part of COVID-19 infection control, are conducted locally by trusts. NHS England and NHS Improvement therefore do not hold this data.

On 8 September, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a Framework to assist all National Health Service trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in maternity services in England, developed in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives and the Society and College of Radiographers.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/09/par001599-framework-for-the-reintroduction-of-visitors-throughout-maternity-services-sep-2020.pdf

NHS England and NHS Improvement expect trusts to use this Framework and consider how access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women can be safely reintroduced to maternity services as a priority. The Framework recommends a stepwise approach for NHS trusts to take, following a meaningful and documented risk assessment, so any necessary changes can be made before relaxing current stringent approaches.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to encourage NHS Trusts to implement as soon as possible the 8 September 2020 guidance on visitor restrictions.

The Department expects trusts to use the Framework to assist National Health Service trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services and consider as a priority how access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women can be reintroduced as soon as possible whilst maintaining the safety of all service users, staff and visitors. This is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/09/par001599-framework-for-the-reintroduction-of-visitors-throughout-maternity-services-sep-2020.pdf

The Chief Midwifery Officer, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (England), and the National Clinical Director for Maternity and Women's Health wrote to all NHS Directors of Nursing and Heads of Midwifery in England on 19 September to thank the majority of services that have quickly implemented this guidance and relaxed visiting restrictions and to inform those that are still working through the guidance that this must happen now so that partners are able to attend maternity units for appointments and births. The letter is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/09/letter-to-directors-of-nursing-and-heads-of-midwifery-19-september-2020.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cap since 13 September 2020 has been on the number of tests that can be done at (a) drive in test centres and (b) walk through test centres; and who is responsible for setting that cap.

The cap for the number of tests available at drive through sites is set on a daily basis and therefore the number of tests available on any given day does vary.

We are expanding capacity continually, having already surpassed our testing capacity target of 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the contract with Serco for managing access to covid-19 testing, what penalties can be imposed under that contract in the event that people cannot secure a test; and who is responsible for monitoring the performance of that contract.

Serco is contracted to operate a proportion of the test locations. It is not responsible for the scheduling of access to COVID-19 tests.

Contractual penalties are generally unenforceable under English law and are therefore not included in this contract.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the contract with Deloitte for managing access to covid-19 testing, what penalties can be imposed under that contract in the event that people cannot secure a test; and who is responsible for monitoring the performance of that contract.

The contract with Deloitte does not include managing access to COVID-19 testing.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the contract with Randox for managing access to covid-19 testing, what penalties can be imposed under that contract in the event that people cannot secure a test; and who is responsible for monitoring the performance of that contract.

The contract with Randox relates to the performance of laboratory testing following receipt of test samples. It does not relate to the public being able to secure a test.

Contractual penalties are generally unenforceable under English law and are therefore not included in this contract.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the contract with Lighthouse Labs for managing access to covid-19 testing, what penalties can be imposed under that contract in the event that people cannot secure a test; and who is responsible for monitoring the performance of that contract.

The contract with the Lighthouse Labs relates to the performance of laboratory testing following receipt of test samples. It does not relate to the public being able to secure a test.

Contractual penalties are generally unenforceable under English law and are therefore not included in this contract.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many tests have been taken at each covid-19 testing centre in London on each day since 31 August 2020.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when wearing face coverings to attend (a) phlebotomy appointments, (b) GP surgeries, (c) outpatient clinics, (d) accident and emergency departments and (e) hospital wards will be made compulsory.

The Government’s advice is to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where people come into contact with people they do not normally meet. On 15 June the Government announced that members of the public should wear a face covering when visiting the hospital.

Each of these healthcare settings will have different risks and mitigations in place, and patients should follow the advice provided by health professionals appropriate to each setting. In addition, the Government is running a major proactive communications campaign on face coverings to alert the public where they are now required to wear face coverings and educate the public on how to correctly wear one.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department's contract with Randox Laboratories requires the notification to Public Health England of positive covid-19 tests in line with the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010; and how many positive covid-19 tests were notified by that company under those regulations in each month in 2020.

COVID-19 is a notifiable disease. As such, under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010, all laboratories are legally required to notify positive incidences to Public Health England.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2020 to Question 48980 on Deloitte, if he will set out the total sum of monies paid by his Department to Deloitte for each month of 2020.

We do not currently hold data in the requested format. However, information on Deloitte's contract with the Department will be published in due course at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he has issued to NHS trusts on enabling partners to attend (a) scans, (b) hospital appointments and (b) the birth of a child during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service is making arrangements to ensure that women are supported and cared for safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards during this pandemic.

Decisions on partners attending scans and appointments is subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies. Local maternity teams will be able to advise women on their policy on partners attending antenatal appointments including scans.

Guidance produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is clear that women should be encouraged to have one birth partner, who has no symptoms of COVID-19, present with them during any type of labour and birth, unless the birth occurs under general anaesthetic.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS trusts are now enabling partners to attend (a) scans, (b) hospital appointments and (c) the birth of a child as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The data requested are not collected centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) home birth services and (b) midwifery units temporarily closed between 1 March 2020 to date due to the covid-19 outbreak; for how long each such service was closed; and how many of those services have since reopened.

This information is not currently held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) guidance and (b) support is for people who have been advised to shield due to being classed as extremely clinically vulnerable during the covid-19 outbreak and missed the 10 June 2020 cut-off for applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Only clinically extremely vulnerable people have been advised to shield. For this cohort, the information requested is not available as the data does not include the date when a person was added to the shielded patient list.

Guidance detailing the support arrangements in place for those who are shielding is set out at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

We have set out an unprecedented package of financial support to help the country through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the clinically extremely vulnerable are able to access these where eligible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been diagnosed as clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable and advised to shield after the 10 June 2020 cut-off date for applying to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Only clinically extremely vulnerable people have been advised to shield. For this cohort, the information requested is not available as the data does not include the date when a person was added to the shielded patient list.

Guidance detailing the support arrangements in place for those who are shielding is set out at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

We have set out an unprecedented package of financial support to help the country through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the clinically extremely vulnerable are able to access these where eligible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 June 2020 to Question 51929 on Coronavirus: Patients, what the process is for the management of the shielding list; whether the list is managed at (a) Government and (b) local authority level; and what criteria is used to remove people from that list.

The shielded patent list for England is a national database managed by NHS Digital. No deductions from the list have been made nationally.

The decision to remove an individual patient from the list is normally made by that patient’s general practitioner or hospital doctor based on their clinical judgement and the criteria set out in the advice to clinically extremely vulnerable people at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Government advice is clear that the patient’s general practictioner or hospital doctor should discuss with the patient the decision to remove them from the list before they are removed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2020 to Question 48980 on Deloitte: Coronavirus, to whom Deloitte is required to report positive cases of covid-19; and within what timeframe those positive cases are required to be so reported.

Deloitte is contracted to provide professional services support to the Department and the National Testing Programme. Deloitte’s role has included setting up testing facilities; coordinating the set-up of home and satellite delivery channels; and designing the digital platform that enables people to book a test and register their kit. Deloitte makes this digital information available to the National Pathology Exchange.

Once results are generated in the labs, the results information also flows to the National Pathology Exchange where the result is matched to the individual’s demographic information. These results are passed to Public Health England every 30 minutes through a data flow. As such, Deloitte does not have a role in the generation of results or the handling of positive case data.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2020 to Question 48980 on Deloitte: Coronavirus, whether his office was involved in the negotiation of the contract with Deloitte to perform covid-19 testing.

The process of contract negotiation is not a process that routinely involves the Secretary of State or his office directly. Officials working on his behalf will act on his authority to negotiate a contract that best meets the needs of the service being proposed.

A summary of Deloitte's contract with the Department will be published in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued on covid-19 testing for people who have relatives in care homes; and when people will be able to visit those homes.

Anyone with suspected COVID-19 symptoms can access testing by using the self-referral portal. More information is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

While we have recommended that care homes limit non-essential visits, we are clear that visits at the end of life are important both for the individual and their loved ones and should continue with appropriate infection control precautions.

We are aware that limiting visits in care homes is difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones.

We are reviewing our policy on visitors and are looking to update our guidance shortly and continuing to explore how we support the sector.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the level of need for period product provision in NHS facilities.

The Department is not aware of any assessment of the level of need for period product provision in National Health Service facilities having been undertaken.

However, NHS England announced in March 2019 that providers of NHS-funded inpatient hospital services will offer period products to every hospital in-patient who needs them (including for long-term inpatients)

This is under the terms of the NHS Standard Contract.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the level debt of each NHS Trust after the NHS debt write-off announced by his Department on 9 April 2020.

The level of National Health Service provider debt from Departmental loans will fall to £3 billion after the announced debt write-off. The remaining debt are loans which were taken out at the option of the providers, were subject to affordability assessment and are being repaid. The loan write-off will be transacted in 2020-21 through converting the loans to equity (Public Dividend Capital).

This figure does not include debt taken from sources external to the Departmental group such as commercial debt and private finance initiatives.

Data on total debt is currently not held by NHS England and NHS Improvement in the requested format.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his announcement on 21 May 2020 that the immigration health surcharge would be removed for NHS staff and care workers, when that surcharge will be removed; whether workers who become exempt from that surcharge will be refunded; and whether the removal of that surcharge for those workers will be permanent.

Department of Health and Social Care and Home Office officials are working to implement the Prime Minister’s announcement of 21 May and further details will be published shortly.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been removed from the covid-19 shielded patients list and notified of that removal by text message.

General practitioners and hospital specialists have been asked to review their shielded patient lists based on clinical judgement and an assessment of everyone’s needs. They have also been provided with guidance to support these decisions, which should be made following discussion with the patient and taking into account their individual clinical circumstances.

Information on the number of patients removed from shielded patient lists is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when residents of care homes in England will be able to receive visitors; and what testing plan for visitors will be put in place to ensure the safety of residents and staff during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the National Health Service have published guidance on the care of residents in care homes. This includes guidance on visiting.

While we have recommended that family and friends should be advised not to visit care homes, we are clear that there may be exceptional situations where visits are appropriate. During these visits, appropriate infection control precautions should be followed.

We know how difficult it is for residents and their families to have their visits restricted and we will continue to review our guidance in line with the latest scientific advice and engage with stakeholders to ensure we address the majority of?their concerns.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the contract with Deloitte for covid-19 testing requires that company to report positive cases to Public Health England and to local authorities.

As an existing professional services provider to the public sector, Deloitte’s expertise is being used to supplement in-house resource to deliver significant programmes of work, which currently includes the national response to COVID-19. The contract with Deloitte does not require the company to report positive cases to Public Health England and local authorities.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many pieces of correspondence he has received from MPs on behalf of constituents on matters relating to covid-19 on each date since the outbreak began; and how many responses he has provided to that correspondence in each category of response.

The information is not held in the format requested and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a 14 day quarantine period will be required for people travelling to the UK for medical procedures.

As the level of infection in the United Kingdom reduces, it will be important to manage the risk of transmissions being reintroduced from abroad. As set out in the COVID-19 recovery strategy, we will introduce a series of measures and restrictions at the UK border, including requiring international arrivals to provide contact information and self-isolate. Further details and guidance for self-isolation measures for incoming travelers will be set out shortly, including the list of exemptions. More information is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy#our-roadmap-to-lift-restrictions-step-by-step

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice his Department has provided for splenectomy patients on shielding in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Splenectomy patients are considered clinically extremely vulnerable and have been included on the shielded patient list. Guidance for patients on shielding can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the progress of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in Sri Lanka.

A very high number of cases relating to Sri Lanka remain under consideration by the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, including at the Working Group's most recent session in September 2021. We note the Working Group's concerns about Sri Lanka raised in its report of 4 August 2021, including the need for the Sri Lankan authorities to stop rolling back the progress made in recent years in ensuring accountability for past crimes and justice for victims.

UN Human Rights Council resolution 46/1, led by the UK along with our partners in the Core Group on Sri Lanka, stresses the importance of the Government of Sri Lanka maintaining support for the Office on Missing Persons and the Office for Reparations, safeguarding their independent and effective functioning, and resolving the many cases of enforced disappearances so that the families of disappeared persons can know their fate and whereabouts. We will continue to engage with the Government of Sri Lanka on this important issue.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to support the Tamil population of Sri Lanka.

The UK Government has long called for the rights of Sri Lankans from all communities to be respected. The Minister for South Asia, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has raised the importance of inclusive engagement with all communities in Sri Lanka in his discussions with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, most recently on 24 September. We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to uphold the rights of all of Sri Lanka's communities.

In March 2021 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a new UK-led resolution, 46/1, on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. The resolution provides a continued framework for international engagement on human rights in Sri Lanka. It calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to make progress on accountability and human rights, and stresses the importance of a comprehensive accountability process for all violations and abuses committed in Sri Lanka. It also calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitments on the devolution of political authority, which is integral to reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all members of its population. It encourages the Government to respect local governance, including through the holding of elections for provincial councils, and to ensure that all provincial councils, including the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils, are able to operate effectively, in accordance with the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. Through UK-funded programmes, we have supported a number of activities to benefit those in the north and east of the country, including demining, resettlement of internally displaced persons and interfaith dialogue.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with his Sri Lankan counterpart on engagement between the Government of that country and Tamil leaders.

The UK Government has long called for the rights of Sri Lankans from all communities to be respected. The Minister for South Asia, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has raised the importance of inclusive engagement with all communities in Sri Lanka in his discussions with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, most recently on 24 September. We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to uphold the rights of all of Sri Lanka's communities.

In March 2021 the UN Human Rights Council adopted a new UK-led resolution, 46/1, on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. The resolution provides a continued framework for international engagement on human rights in Sri Lanka. It calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to make progress on accountability and human rights, and stresses the importance of a comprehensive accountability process for all violations and abuses committed in Sri Lanka. It also calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitments on the devolution of political authority, which is integral to reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all members of its population. It encourages the Government to respect local governance, including through the holding of elections for provincial councils, and to ensure that all provincial councils, including the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils, are able to operate effectively, in accordance with the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. Through UK-funded programmes, we have supported a number of activities to benefit those in the north and east of the country, including demining, resettlement of internally displaced persons and interfaith dialogue.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support people affected by flooding in Jamaica.

The UK works with regional organisations and Governments of the Commonwealth Caribbean, including Jamaica to strengthen disaster preparedness, help with recovery and build resilience. This includes access to rapid funding for disaster surge response through the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency; the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility, an insurance mechanism which makes pay-outs to Caribbean Governments impacted by a disaster; and the UK financed Global Risk Financing Facility which provided £14.85 million to help Jamaica strengthen financial resilience to tropical cyclones, excess rainfall, and earthquake disasters and will enable early action after disasters.

While there has been no request to the UK Government for humanitarian support in Jamaica related to flooding, these funds are available for the Government of Jamaica to draw on if that is required.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Polish counterpart on the restrictions on the reproductive rights of Polish citizens.

We are closely monitoring developments in Poland following a ruling on 22 October by its Constitutional Tribunal, that laws permitting abortion in certain cases are unconstitutional, and the large-scale protests across Poland that this has prompted. It is for each country to establish its own laws on abortion. However, the UK firmly believes that supporting the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, through evidence-based public health interventions, saves lives and supports prosperity. Evidence shows that restricting access to safe abortion does not make abortions less common: it only makes them less safe. The FCDO is a leading voice on gender issues, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, in multilateral fora such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations. The British Embassy in Warsaw is active on this agenda and in September ran a workshop for British and Polish NGOs active on women's rights.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many payments the Government has made under the emergency repatriation loans scheme since that scheme was established.

British nationals and UK residents who are overseas and wish to return to the UK, but cannot afford travel costs and have no other options for getting funds to return home, may apply for an emergency loan from the government as a last resort. Only basic costs can be included in a loan, usually the cheapest one-way ticket to the UK. The FCO usually issues around 250 emergency repatriation loans per year. As of 22 April we estimate that over 750 loans have been issued this year. Some loans are still being processed. Since 7 April 2020, the FCO has been working with Corporate Travel Management (CTM), which is authorised to administer such loans on behalf of the FCO, to extend the FCO's capacity to consider loan requests from British nationals.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much the Government has spent on promoting the tax-free childcare scheme in each of the last four financial years.

The government is committed to supporting families with their childcare costs. 316,000 families used Tax-Free Childcare for 371,000 children and spent £35.0 million on top-up for families in September 2021; compared to 227,000 families who used Tax-Free Childcare for 263,000 children and spent £26.5m in September 2020.

The government has spent the following on marketing and research in the current and three previous financial years.

2018/19 – £1,113,270

2019/20 – £241,580

2020/21 – £197,338

2021/22 – £151,205 (full year forecast and not all costs are committed)

In 2018/19 marketing spend involved a national campaign as part of the phased rollout of the scheme.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many and what proportion of eligible families with children under five (a) have an open Tax Free Childcare account and (b) used their Tax Free Childcare account in 2020-21.

The total eligible population is 1.3m families. This estimate is not broken down by family characteristics. The total number of eligible children in those families is 1.7m for 2020-21.

The table below shows the total number of children with open and used Tax-Free Childcare accounts for 0-4 year olds in 2020-21:

Month/Year

Total Open Accounts (0-4 year olds)

Total Used Accounts (0-4 year olds)

Apr-20

447,725

87,055

May-20

442,905

62,575

Jun-20

446,180

117,490

Jul-20

460,955

157,200

Aug-20

470,145

159,840

Sep-20

465,120

225,020

Oct-20

464,860

232,435

Nov-20

474,150

240,935

Dec-20

477,185

245,065

Jan-21

490,315

230,370

Feb-21

503,135

230,450

Mar-21

525,770

283,095

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the tax-free childcare scheme, how many (a) active accounts and (b) children eligible there were for that scheme on 31 March in each of the last 5 years.

Tax-Free Childcare began to be rolled out from April 2017.

The figures for Open and Used accounts for Tax-Free Childcare are published in Official Statistics (latest release November 2021 for figures up to September 2021).

The estimated figures for eligible children from 2017-18 onwards, as well as the annual Open and Used account figures can be found in the table below.

Number of (000s)

Financial Year

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Children with Open Accounts

314

537

768

901

Children with Used Accounts

72

203

396

462

Eligible Children

1,800

1,900

1,900

1,700

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2021 to Question 72406, how many and what proportion of user accounts for the tax-free childcare scheme that have not had their details reconfirmed in the last three months relate to children under the age of 12.

There were 125,800 accounts that had reached the end of an eligibility period but had not reconfirmed details between 1st August and 31st October 2021. Of these, 125,300 or over 99% relate to children aged under 12 on 31st October.

There can be many reasons why a family might not reconfirm their account in a 3-month period. For example, there may have been changes to their childcare arrangements or their working arrangements which mean they are no longer eligible for TFC or don’t need it. They may still reactivate and use their TFC account in a future period.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the tax-free childcare scheme, how many user accounts have been closed as a result of inactivity in each of the last five years; and what proportion of those accounts concerned families where the children being claimed for were over the age of 11.

No Tax Free Childcare accounts have been closed due to inactivity over the past 5 years.

Accounts are only closed when a customer requests it or where remediation has occurred, for example to remove duplicate accounts.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the total level of debt owed to buy now pay later firms at the end of (a) February 2021 and (b) August 2021.

HM Treasury does not hold information on the number of people accessing financial products through Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms, the number of people referred to debt collection agencies by Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms, or the total level of debt owed to Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms.

On 2 February, the Government announced its intention to regulate Buy-Now-Pay-Later products. On 17 March, the Government tabled an amendment to the Financial Services Bill (now Act) to allow the Government to bring Buy-Now-Pay-Later products into the scope of FCA regulation in a proportionate way. Treasury and FCA are now working closely to publish a consultation document soon.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of people referred to debt collection agencies by buy now pay later firms in each of the last 12 months.

HM Treasury does not hold information on the number of people accessing financial products through Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms, the number of people referred to debt collection agencies by Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms, or the total level of debt owed to Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms.

On 2 February, the Government announced its intention to regulate Buy-Now-Pay-Later products. On 17 March, the Government tabled an amendment to the Financial Services Bill (now Act) to allow the Government to bring Buy-Now-Pay-Later products into the scope of FCA regulation in a proportionate way. Treasury and FCA are now working closely to publish a consultation document soon.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of people accessing financial products through buy now pay later firms in each of the last 12 months.

HM Treasury does not hold information on the number of people accessing financial products through Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms, the number of people referred to debt collection agencies by Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms, or the total level of debt owed to Buy-Now-Pay-Later firms.

On 2 February, the Government announced its intention to regulate Buy-Now-Pay-Later products. On 17 March, the Government tabled an amendment to the Financial Services Bill (now Act) to allow the Government to bring Buy-Now-Pay-Later products into the scope of FCA regulation in a proportionate way. Treasury and FCA are now working closely to publish a consultation document soon.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Competition and Markets Authority on the regulation of buy now pay later companies.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: HMT ministers' meetings, hospitality, gifts and overseas travel - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to protect consumers that purchase pre-paid funeral plans.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer that I gave on 20 May to the Hon Member for South Holland and The Deepings to PQs UIN: 2183, 2184 and 2185.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish a list of the meetings (a) in-person, (b) online and (c) by phone and other correspondence that (i) Ministers and (ii) in his Department officials have had with buy now, pay later companies in 2021 to date; and what the names were of those companies.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-giftsand-overseas-travel

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people who made student loan repayments were receiving maternity pay in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

15th Sep 2020
What steps his Department is taking to help ensure that buy now pay later lenders comply with guidance set out by the (a) Financial Conduct Authority and (b) Advertising Standards Agency.

Where a buy now pay later lender is offering a regulated credit agreement, it must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Where an authorised firm breaches FCA rules and guidance, the FCA is able to take action against them.

Where a firm breaks the UK Advertising Codes, the Advertising Standards Authority is able to ban those advertisements.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of furlough agreements that purport to oblige employees (a) to pay back the contributions that the employer makes to their furlough and (b) who choose not to return to work to be liable to their employers for those contributions.

The scheme rules make it clear that employers must pass on 100 per cent of the grant to their furloughed employees and employees must receive at least 80 per cent of their reference pay. HMRC have powers to check and recover any amounts claimed where the employee has not been paid accordingly. If workers are concerned they are not receiving their entitlement, they should report their employer to HMRC via the online fraud reporting tool, or call HMRC’s fraud hotline. The Government will retain the right to retrospectively audit all aspects of the scheme with scope to claw back fraudulent or erroneous claims.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2020 to Question 76681, how many (a) high cost credit, (b) log book loan, (c) BNPL, (d) credit card, (d) personal loan, and (e) credit companies have been prosecuted under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

This question has been passed on to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA will reply to directly to the honourable Member by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on what dates (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department held discussions with representatives from (i) childcare, (ii) afterschool clubs and (iii) childminding providers on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on their industry.

The department regularly meets a range of stakeholders, which includes discussion of the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses, including the childcare sector.

Since 1 June, early years settings have been able to welcome back children of all ages. All providers of wraparound childcare, and other out-of-school settings, are able to operate for both indoor and outdoor provision, provided they have safety measures in place.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for businesses, including the early years sector, to protect against the current economic emergency. For childcare providers, this includes business rates relief for nurseries, a range of loans and grants, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and continued early years entitlement funding.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the VAT reduction for the hospitality and leisure sectors to yoga and fitness studios and gyms.

In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Chancellor has introduced a range of measures to help individuals and businesses through the crisis, including grants, loans and relief from business rates at a cost of more than £300 billion.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT will support the tourism and hospitality sectors and will help over 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs. Expanding the scope of the temporary VAT reduction would come at a considerable cost to the Exchequer. However, the Government keeps all taxes under review.
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Financial Conduct Authority issuing guidance on communicating the (a) potential effect on credit score, (b) potential sale of debts to collection agencies and (c) other risks of buy now pay later products to people considering using those products.

On 12 November 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced new rules for the buy now pay later market following its high-cost credit review. The rules prevent firms from charging backdated interest on the amount repaid by the customer during the offer period, requires that promotions contain balanced and appropriate information, and means that firms must give customers prompts to remind them when offers are due to end.

The FCA continues to monitor the buy now pay later market to identify areas that may cause consumers harm and will issue further guidance whenever it deems it necessary.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many companies incorporated outside the UK have received assistance through the (a) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, (b) ability to defer VAT, (c) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme and (d) Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility.

The Government has published aggregate application and approval figures on the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) since 10 May but does not hold specific information relating to individual companies who have accessed these schemes. HMRC publishes weekly management information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and monthly management information on VAT deferrals. On 11 June HMRC published the Official Statistics for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which included a breakdown of recipients by sector, but not individual organisations or companies. The Bank of England is responsible for publishing data on the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), including a list of organisations or companies who have made applications.

The Government does not collect data on how many companies incorporated outside of the UK have received assistance through CJRS, VAT deferral, CLBILS or CCFF. However, as laid out in the guarantee agreement, all firms borrowing through CLBILS must be engaged in trading activity in the UK at the Initial Drawdown Date and the finance facility must be used to support their trading activity in the UK. Compensation from the CJRS goes directly to the pockets of UK based workers and any VAT deferred must be repaid to HMRC by the end of the financial year.

All firms applying to the CCFF must meet a test applied by the Bank of England to show that they make a material contribution to the UK economy, including when incorporated overseas. Since 4 June the Bank of England have been publishing the names of companies with commercial paper currently outstanding through the CCFF. This is a unique level of transparency, equivalent schemes in the Eurozone and United States do not publish the names of scheme users.

Government support is aimed at businesses in genuine need. Our current measures are well-targeted at such businesses, bearing in mind the need to act very quickly to deliver this unprecedented package. We expect everyone to act responsibly and in the spirit of the package, and only claim and use support as intended.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications for assistance under the (a) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, (b) ability to defer VAT, (c) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme and (d) Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility have been rejected as a result of the applicant having been found not to meet the criteria for being based in the UK.

The Government has published aggregate application and approval figures on the loan schemes, including the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), and on VAT deferral, since 12 May, but does not hold specific information relating to applications of individual organisations or companies which have been rejected as a result of the applicants having been found not to meet the criteria for being based in the UK. These can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics#history. The Government is actively considering what further data can be made available in the future.

The Bank of England is responsible for publishing data on the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), including a list of organisations or companies who have made applications. This can be accessed here: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/bank-of-england-market-operations-guide/results-and-usage-data.

HMRC published Official Statistics for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 11 June, including a breakdown of sectoral recipients but not applications of individual organisations or companies which have been rejected as a result of the applicants having been found not to meet the criteria for being based in the UK. These can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891249/Coronavirus_Job_Retention_Scheme_Statistics_June_2020.pdf

Our current support measures are well-targeted at the businesses and individuals who most need support, bearing in mind the need to act quickly to deliver this unprecedented package. The schemes are designed to support jobs in Britain. Sometimes this will involve foreign companies who employ people in the UK. We shouldn’t deny support to British workers, or to businesses that make a valuable contribution to the UK.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether Stonegate Pub company limited has received support under the (a) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, (b) ability to defer VAT, (c) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme and (d) Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility.

The Government has published aggregate application and approval figures on the loan schemes, including the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), and on VAT deferral, since 12 May, but does not hold specific information relating to individual organisations or companies which have accessed these schemes. These can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrc-coronavirus-covid-19-statistics#history. The Government is actively considering what further data can be made available in the future.

The Bank of England is responsible for publishing data on the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), including a list of organisations or companies who have made applications. This can be accessed here: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/bank-of-england-market-operations-guide/results-and-usage-data.

Finally, HMRC published Official Statistics for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 11 June, including a breakdown of sectoral recipients but not individual organisations or companies. These can be accessed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891249/Coronavirus_Job_Retention_Scheme_Statistics_June_2020.pdf

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how HMRC determines whether a company is based in the UK in terms of eligibility for covid-19-related business support; and whether companies which have UK offices but are incorporated in the Cayman Islands are eligible for that support.

The Government support package is targeted at the businesses and individuals who most need support, while ensuring measures are accessible, certain and introduced in a timely manner to protect livelihoods.

HMRC administer the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (CSSPRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The eligibility criteria vary between the schemes.

To claim under CJRS, the employer must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020, be enrolled for PAYE online and have a UK bank account. They can only claim for furloughed employees where a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC was made on or before 19 March 2020. From 1 July, they can only claim for employees that have been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks any time between 1 March and 30 June.

To claim under the CSSPRS the employer must have fewer than 250 employees before February 2020, be enrolled in a PAYE payroll scheme, and have an employee that was off work due to coronavirus, self-isolating, or shielding.

Self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, are eligible for the SEISS if they have submitted their Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, continued to trade, and have been adversely affected by COVID-19. To qualify, their self-employed trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to their non-trading income.

HMRC are also responsible for VAT and Income Tax Self Assessment, for which certain payments have been deferred. These are general measures which apply to all taxpayers liable to pay the taxes in question.

The schemes are designed to support both British businesses and workers in Britain who pay their taxes and would otherwise lose their jobs.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans the Government has to support workers who are diagnosed with a condition that makes them extremely clinically vulnerable to covid-19 after the 10 June 2020 cut-off date for an employer to decide to furlough staff under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Employees who are unable to work because they are shielding in line with public health guidance can be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). However, such an employee can only continue to be furloughed from 1 July if they have previously been furloughed, for any reason, for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March and 30 June.

The Government has set out an unprecedented package of financial support to help the country through the coronavirus pandemic. Closing the scheme to new entrants is necessary for a gradual closure of the scheme. The focus is now on bringing those currently furloughed back into productive employment. CJRS is only one part of the support offered to shielded people, which also includes help with accessing food, medicines and care, alongside financial support through Statutory Sick Pay and the welfare system. Further details about the future of shielding are due to be announced the week commencing 15 June.

19th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether businesses that operate from a business unit with a rateable value of up to £51,000 are eligible for the (a) Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant and (b) discretionary fund.

Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, businesses can receive:

· A £10,000 cash grant per property, for each property used for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes with a rateable value of £15,000 or below which is not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief;

· A £25,000 cash grant per property, for each property used for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

The Government is aware that some small businesses have found themselves excluded from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and the Small Business Grant Fund because of the way they interact with the business rates system. That is why the Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to Local Authorities to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. The Government’s intention is for Local Authorities to prioritise the following types of business when making discretionary grants:

  • Small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces for example, industrial parks, science parks, incubators etc, which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief

Local Authorities may choose to focus payments on those priority groups which are most relevant to their local areas. Local Authorities may also choose to pay grants to businesses outside of these priority groups, according to local economic need, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government. Grants should also primarily and predominantly be aimed at businesses which occupy property with a rateable value below £51,000.

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which will ensure that small and micro businesses can quickly access loans of up to £50,000 which are 100 per cent guaranteed by the Government;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bills; and
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many individual pieces of correspondence he has (a) received from MPs on behalf of constituents on matters relating to covid-19 on each date since the outbreak began and (b) provided in response to that correspondence in each category of response.

The information is not routinely collected by HM Treasury.

The Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

All Member’s correspondence is currently receiving attention and will be responded to as soon as possible.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal support is available for owner-operated or small limited companies run from home in the event that directors of those companies do not wish to furlough themselves as they want to continue to work to sustain their businesses.

The current grants schemes administered by local authorities have been designed to ensure that payments are made quickly and efficiently to small businesses facing particularly high fixed-property costs. Businesses which are not eligible for these grants – such as those run from home offices – may benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises, which provides loans from £2,000 to £50,000, for which lenders receive a 100 per cent government guarantee, and which the borrower does not have to repay for the first 12 months
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for larger loans
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • A 3-month mortgage holiday

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support. And details of the range of support for individuals affected by COVID-19 is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal support the Government has made available for those newly self-employed in the financial year 2019-20 who are not eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Government has designed measures that can be implemented quickly and effectively, and it continues to work with stakeholders to make sure funding reaches those who need it most. Anyone ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme who requires support should have access to other measures appropriate to their individual circumstances. These include the relaxation of the earnings rules in Universal Credit and the raising of the Local Housing Allowance rate.
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many claims have been made to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in Walthamstow constituency.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme went live on 13 May 2020.

By midnight on 14 May, about 1.1 million claims representing £3.1 billion had been made in total

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

5th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on (a) the gender pay gap and (b) indirect discrimination.

HM Treasury pays due regard to the equality impacts of policy decisions relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, in line with legal requirements and the Government’s commitment to promoting equality. There are internal procedural requirements and support in place to ensure that such considerations inform decisions taken by ministers.

The Treasury’s decision on when and how to close down the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be based on all available evidence, including any equalities impacts.

5th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) removing the £51,000 limit on retail, hospitality and leisure grants and (b) directing local authorities that supply chain businesses are eligible for rate relief and business support.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund has been designed to support small businesses in some of the sectors hit hardest by the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In order to ensure that payments can be made quickly and efficiently to businesses which are facing particularly high fixed costs, the scheme is tied to the business rates system. Under the business rates system, small businesses are defined as those with a rateable value below £51,000. The Government continues to review the economic situation and consider what support businesses need. However, there are currently no plans to extend the grants scheme above the £51,000 limit.

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by Covid-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund is intended to help small businesses in this situation.

On Friday 1 May, the Government announced that it would be making up to £617m of additional funding available to Local Authorities to enable them to make payments of up to £25,000 to businesses which have been excluded from the existing grants schemes because of the way they interact with the business rates system. Local Authorities can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in the supply chains of these sectors if they feel there is a particular local economic need. However, the priority of all the grants schemes continues to be to help the smallest businesses, and small businesses which are facing significant property-related costs and operate in sectors which have been particularly hard hit by the steep decline in customer footfall.

Businesses which are not eligible for the grants schemes should still be able to benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including:

  • A twelve-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, regardless of rateable value;
  • An option to defer VAT payments by up to twelve months;
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, now extended to cover all businesses including those which would be able to access commercial credit;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to support businesses with their wage bills;
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, to provide support to the self-employed.
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether nannies are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

In March, the Government announced the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep millions of people in employment. The scheme is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and for whom HMRC received an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before the 19 March 2020. Full guidance for employers and employees can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority to determine the effect of the persistent credit card debt remedies introduced in February 2018, and what steps his Department is taking to ensure that credit card holders do not pay more than the amount borrowed in interest, fees and other charges.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as the regulator responsible for the consumer credit market, has taken a range of steps to protect consumers in this market. These include the introduction of new rules in February 2018 to help customers in persistent credit card debt. The rules require firms to better identify struggling customers, carry out greater interventions, and exercise forbearance for those struggling most. In its Policy Statement PS18/4, the FCA commits to reviewing the new rules in 2022 or 2023, once they have been fully implemented by firms and in operation long enough to assess consumer outcomes.

On 3 February 2020, the FCA wrote to credit card firms to reiterate their expectations for handling customers in persistent debt. This letter outlined that firms should encourage customers to open a dialogue about potential repayment arrangements, and, where customers cannot afford the options proposed, firms should consider reducing, waiving, or cancelling any interest or charges.

Treasury ministers and officials meet regularly with the FCA, and the Government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure consumers of financial services are treated fairly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations his Department has received from consumer groups on unintended consequences of the Financial Conduct Authority’s persistent credit card debt remedies; and if he will ask the FCA to (i) bring forward its review of those remedies and (ii) include in that review consideration of a cap on charges.

Treasury ministers and officials meet regularly with a range of interest groups to discuss consumer issues in financial services, including persistent debt.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry and has strong powers to protect consumers. Although the Treasury sets the legal framework, the FCA is an independent regulator and Treasury ministers have no general power of direction over the FCA.

The FCA has committed in its Policy Statement PS18/4 to review the persistent credit card debt rules once they have been fully implemented by firms and in operation long enough to assess consumer outcomes. The FCA expect this to be in 2022 or 2023. The Government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure consumers of financial services are treated fairly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme will open for applications; and when initial decisions on applications to that scheme will be made.

Officials are working urgently to stand up the remaining elements of the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, amid the complex and changing picture.

The Home Office will continue to work closely with other government departments, non-governmental organisations, charities, local authorities and other partners and relevant organisations in the development and implementation of the ACRS.

Further information on the eligibility, prioritisation and referral of people for the ACRS is set out in the policy statement published on gov.uk on 13 September, available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support is available to British citizens and residents who were evacuated from Afghanistan and returned to their own homes, which are now overcrowded or otherwise unsuitable due to additional family members and dependents who were evacuated with them.

A significant cross Government effort is underway to ensure the thousands of Afghans and British nationals who were evacuated to the UK receive the support they need to rebuild their lives, find work, pursue education, and integrate into local communities.

We are working at pace to source appropriate accommodation as quickly as possible for those evacuated from Afghanistan. In the interim we have ensured that support is provided to all evacuees, including British nationals, temporarily accommodated in bridging hotels.

British Citizens are provided with bridging accommodation for as long as is needed. We encourage any British Citizens who have left bridging accommodation to return so that support can be provided to them.

In bridging accommodation, we are providing all new arrivals from Afghanistan, including British Citizens with cash cards to give them subsistence support whilst their Universal Credit claim is processed.

In the social rented sector, Local Authorities (LAs) are advised to allocate properties in line with current statutory bedroom standards to avoid overcrowding. By law, LAs must ensure that certain groups receive ‘reasonable preference’ (priority) when allocating social housing, including people who are homeless, in overcrowded housing or who need to move for medical and welfare reasons. They can also give ‘additional preference’ (high priority’) to people in urgent housing need, including people occupying overcrowded housing which poses a serious health hazard.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many reports of fraud to Action Fraud have involved companies operating buy now pay later schemes, in each month since 2018.

The Home Office does not hold this data centrally.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the November 2020 document entitled EU Settlement Scheme – Home Office Looked After Children and Care Leavers Survey 2020, if she will publish the dataset and methodology for that survey; and whether she plans to work with local authorities and other partners to increase the application rate of vulnerable children to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office intends to publish the dataset underpinning the Home Office Looked After Children and Care Leavers Survey 2020 publication in due course. The methodology and data processing steps will be described in notes accompanying this dataset.

The Home Office is providing extensive support to local authorities and Health and Social Care Trusts in light of their statutory responsibilities for this cohort. This is to ensure these children and young people, like other vulnerable groups, get UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme, and the secure evidence of this status which the scheme provides.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the guidance that has been issued to youth offending teams and prison governors on how to assist children to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme guidance published on gov.uk applies to all who may apply under the scheme, including young offenders. The Home Office is working with the Ministry of Justice, HM Prison and Probation Service and the Devolved Administrations to raise awareness of the scheme and the guidance.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many covert human intelligence sources identified as vulnerable have been notified to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner in each of the last five years.

For under 18s, the most recent available data published by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner reported that 17 juvenile covert human intelligence source authorisations were approved across 11 public authorities during the four-year period between January 2015 to the end of 2018. Data for the period beyond the end of 2018 has yet been published. Information is not collated on vulnerable adults.

13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she plans to take to expand the application of the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Act 2020 to EU member states after 21 December 2020; what the timescale is for expanding the application of that legislation; what step she is taking to ensure that UK authorities have the power to arrest based on Interpol Red Notices issued by EU member states after 31 December 2020.

The Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Act 2020 (‘The Act’) provides UK law enforcement agencies with the power of arrest on an international arrest alert (typically in the form of an Interpol Notice) which has been certified by the National Crime Agency. The Act was amended at Third Reading in the House of Commons on 8 September to add EU Member States to the Schedule of countries within scope of this power.

The Act will be commenced at the end of the Transition Period and its provisions were drafted to allow commencement for the EU Member States only should it prove to be necessary and not if there is an agreement which provides for the continuation of a warrant-based system after 31 December.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the current average response time is for written enquiries on immigration queries from hon Members' offices, by region and month first contacted.

UK Visas and Immigration work to a target of responding to 95% of Ministerial correspondence within 20 working days.

Performance has been impacted by an increase in the volume of correspondence received, alongside the need for Ministers and officials to instigate a remote process for drafting and signing correspondence during the period of COVID-19 restrictions. An action plan is currently in place to clear backlogs and drive up performance.

The latest published data on UKVI performance against the service standard is held at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-service-operations-data-august-2020 and this includes data from quarter 2 - 2017 up to and including the end of quarter 2-2020/21. We are proposing the release of data for quarter 3, in due course.

We do not publish average response times for correspondence nor do we record correspondence data by region.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to consult on a new resettlement scheme for unaccompanied minors.

Protecting vulnerable children is a key priority for the Government. In 2019, the UK received more asylum applications from unaccompanied children than any country in the EU and accounted for approximately 20% of all reported UASC claims made in the UK and the 27 EU Member States.

We have had significant numbers of children crossing the Channel on small boats and this is in addition to many other unaccompanied children who are currently being cared for in the UK. The latest Department for Education statistics confirm that there are over 5,000 UASC in English local authorities alone – a 146% increase from 2014. This has placed significant pressure on local authorities and it is important that we focus on ensuring that we can care of those who are already here before we agree to taking more children.

In July the Government announced it had successfully completed the transfer of 480 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Greece, France and Italy under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 – known as the ‘Dubs’ scheme. Parliament was clear this was a one-off scheme which is now complete.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to Answer of 30 June 2020 to Question 63333 on Immigrants: Biometrics, under which statutory authority are finger prints collected; within what radius of the juxtaposed controls are fingerprints collected; and how many people have been finger printed since 15 May 2020.

There are various powers to fingerprint illegal migrants, but Border Force collect prints under Section 141 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

This legislation is extended to Coquelles within the Channel Tunnel (International Arrangements) Order 1993 (SI 1993/1813).

The legislation is extended to Calais/Dunkerque within the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Juxtaposed Controls) Order 2003.

Location

Applicable articles

Coquelles (Eurotunnel)

Articles 8, 9, 10 and 34 of the Sangatte Protocol

Calais and Dunkerque sea ports

Articles 3, 5 and 15(2) of the Le Touquet Treaty

Fingerprinting is only undertaken within the specified UK control zones at juxtaposed ports.

Border Force does not hold the data requested in an accessible format.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of not including statutory protection for all migrant women in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Following the recommendations of the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill in June 2019, the Government committed to review our overall response on migrant victims.

We are aiming to publish the conclusions of our review on the definition of domestic abuse ahead of Commons Report stage of the Domestic Abuse Bill on 6 July.

Draft statutory guidance was published today, 1 July, and covers the impact of domestic abuse on migrant victims and highlights the barriers they face in seeking support.

We have also announced that we will be pledging a further £1.5 million towards a pilot later this year to cover the cost of support in a refuge or other safe accommodation for migrant victims who are unable to access public funds. We will use the pilot to assess the level of need for migrant victims of domestic abuse and the pilot will be specifically used to inform future decisions on immediate support provision for migrant victims.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2020 to Question 61486 on UK Border Force: Coronavirus, whether the policy to begin fingerprinting migrants trying to enter the UK irregularly at its French border has been implemented.

Border Force re-started collecting fingerprints of illegal migrants detected at juxtaposed controls on the 15th of May 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the level of compliance with social distancing guidance of Border Force officials working at the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles to collect fingerprints from people found trying to enter the UK irregularly.

All operational staff have always had the relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available to them, along with detailed guidance on how to safely deal with individuals who display coronavirus symptoms or where social distancing measures cannot be adhered to.

PPE has been used in line with advice from Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions her Department has had with the Australian Border Force on the UK's border controls with France.

The Home Office continues to monitor and evaluate its approach to border policy and keeps this under review. As part of this we consult with a wide range of partners on their implementation of border controls.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to conduct a pilot project to assess the needs of migrant women with no recourse to public funds; on what basis the decision to carry out that pilot was made; and what the findings are of the internal review conducted by her Department into that matter.

The Government committed to review its overall response to migrant victims of domestic abuse in response to the recommendations of the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill in June 2019.

The evidence gathering phase of the review has been completed and detailed findings will be published by Commons Report stage.

This will provide further information on the rationale behind conducting a pilot project to assess the needs of migrant victims with no recourse to public funds and the basis upon which the decision to carry out the pilot was made.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18815 on Immigration Controls: Equality, if she will place in the Library a copy of the analysis of the equalities impacts of the points-based immigration system in line with the public sector equality duties that her Department referenced in that Answer.

The Home Office continues to keep the policy equality statement under review in line with its public sector equality duty.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department's policy on implementation of European Arrest Warrants (EAW) will be maintained during the transition period; and whether she plans to take steps before the end of that period to (a) process and implement outstanding EAWs, (b) ensure that legal proceedings for pending EAWs are not to required to re-start and (c) reduce the risk of potential legal challenges to EAWs in the event that legal proceedings are required to re-start.

European Arrest Warrants issued during the Transition Period are valid for the whole of that period.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides that at the end of the Transition Period, in the absence of any other arrangements, procedures under the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision will continue to conclusion in circumstances where an arrest has already been made. This is implemented in the UK by the Law Enforcement and Security (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which provide for extradition proceedings which have begun before 31 December 2020 to continue to conclusion.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether European Arrest Warrants issued to British citizens while the UK was a member of the EU will remain valid at the end of the transition period.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides that at the end of the Transition Period, in the absence of any other arrangements, procedures under the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision will continue to conclusion in circumstances where an arrest has already been made.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2020 to Question 3740 on European Arrest Warrants, whether European Arrest Warrants issued after 31 January 2020 in respect of British citizens will continue to be valid during the transition period.

European Arrest Warrants issued during the Transition Period are valid during the Transition Period.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides that at the end of the Transition Period, in the absence of any other arrangements, procedures under the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision will continue to conclusion in circumstances where an arrest has already been made.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that EU citizens who are homeless and living in the UK complete the settled status application process.

The Home Office has put in place measures to ensure the EU Settlement Scheme is accessible to all vulnerable applicants, including those who are homeless.

A user group of external stakeholders who represent the needs of potentially vulnerable individuals, including those who are homeless, has been established to work with the Home Office to ensure the right support and arrangements are in place.

There is provision in policy to allow for a wide range of evidence to be provided by applicants in order to prove their residence including confirmation from a charity or support group. There is also provision for applicants to apply without the standard evidence of identity and nationality where they cannot provide it due to compelling practical or compassionate reasons or circumstances beyond their control which may include being homeless or destitute.

The Home Office has introduced a range of support including up to £9 million grant funding for 57 voluntary and community organisations to ensure those that require the most support to apply to the scheme can access it. This includes funding allocated to charities that support the homeless.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she will take to ensure the Government's proposed immigration policy for EU migration after the transition period does not adversely affect the care sector.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee has been clear immigration is not the solution to addressing staffing levels in the social care sector. Senior care workers who meet the criteria will be able to come to the UK through the points-based system.

We are working alongside employers to ensure the workforce has the right number of people to meet increasing demands and have recently launched a national recruitment campaign.

We are also providing councils with access to an additional £1.5 billion for adults and children’s social care in 2020-21.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to undertake an equality impact assessment of the points-based system announced by her Department on 19 February 2020 in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The Government, in delivering on its manifesto commitments, has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis in finalising this policy, in particular the report of the Migration Advisory Committee, which was published in January. A programme of engagement will begin in March to raise awareness of the new system.

We have considered equalities impacts of the points-based immigration system in line with our public sector equality duties and, as now, we will keep all immigration routes under review.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has undertaken an equality assessment of the points-based system for immigration announced by her Department on 19 February 2020.

The Government, in delivering on its manifesto commitments, has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis in finalising this policy, in particular the report of the Migration Advisory Committee, which was published in January. A programme of engagement will begin in March to raise awareness of the new system.

We have considered equalities impacts of the points-based immigration system in line with our public sector equality duties and, as now, we will keep all immigration routes under review.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to undertake an assessment of the effect of the points-based system for immigration announced by her Department on 19 February 2020 on (a) gender equality, (b) sectors that employ a high level of women, (c) the care sector and (d) the hospitality sector.

The Government, in delivering on its manifesto commitments, has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis in finalising this policy, in particular the report of the Migration Advisory Committee, which was published in January. A programme of engagement will begin in March to raise awareness of the new system.

We have considered equalities impacts of the points-based immigration system in line with our public sector equality duties and, as now, we will keep all immigration routes under review.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for naturalisation have been outstanding for longer than six months.

The latest published data on naturalisation applications can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/in-country-migration-data-august-2019

Naturalisation is not an automatic process and the Home Office has to conduct a number of checks before it can reach a decision on whether to grant citizenship.

The extent and length of time taken to complete the checks on the more complex cases varies according to the particular circumstance of each case.

The progress of these checks is closely monitored and decisions are made when the checks are completed.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the status of European arrest warrants issued prior to the UK leaving the EU will be after the UK's withdrawal.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period during which we continue to use all the EU security and justice tools we used prior to exit. European Arrest Warrants remain valid.

The Withdrawal Agreement further provides that the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision shall continue to apply in respect of European Arrest Warrants where the requested person was arrested before the end of the transition period.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether European Arrest Warrants will continue to be valid after 31 January 2020.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for an implementation period during which we will continue to use all the EU security and justice tools we use now, and European Arrest Warrants will continue to be valid.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
14th Jun 2021
What recent steps he has taken with Cabinet colleagues to ensure the availability of appropriate accommodation for people at risk of youth violence.

The Government is committed to supporting families with children at risk of going into care, at risk of violence or experiencing homelessness.

The legislation is clear that people who are vulnerable due to being at risk of violence to themselves, their family or household should receive priority need for homelessness assistance.

Councils should be offering homelessness assistance to young people or families in this situation and we would advise any young person in this situation to speak to their local council.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 24 July 2020 to Question 74630, what progress his Department has made on property valuation arrangements and the use of EWS1 forms for buildings under 18 metres since the June lender roundtable.

Further to the Ministerial roundtable, Department officials have been meeting with lenders over the parliamentary recess period. Some lenders have said they would be open to other evidence on value-affecting building safety matters. Where building owners are able to offer such equivalent evidence, we would encourage lenders to accept that for valuation purposes. A further roundtable with the Minister for Building Safety is being scheduled.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what protection is available for leaseholders whose freehold management companies request excessive service charges to cover covid-19 related costs.

The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, these must be of a reasonable standard.

Leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges.

Following the lockdown due to COVID-19, freeholder repair and maintenance obligations have not changed and remain as set out in the lease. We are aware of concerns being raised by leaseholders about higher than expected service charges due to the effect of COVID-19. We are working with stakeholders to understand the issues freeholders and management companies are facing with the aim that they continue to deliver essential services in line with Government guidance.

Free initial advice is available to leaseholders via the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE). Further information on service charges and other leasehold matters can be provided through their website, via a telephone appointment with one of LEASE’s advisers or by email.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many pieces of correspondence he has received from MPs on behalf of constituents on matters relating to covid-19 on each date since the outbreak began; and how many responses he has provided to that correspondence in each category of response.

To break these cases down in the manner requested would incur disproportionate cost. However, we are able to provide the following information as an overview of all such cases received:

COVID-19 cases received from MPs on behalf of constituents = 724
Number of cases that await confirmation of transfer to correct department = 127
Number of cases responded to by MHCLG = 428
Number of cases for MHCLG yet to be responded to = 169

10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to extend automatic priority need for housing to survivors of domestic abuse in need of a safe and permanent home.

This Government believes it is vitally important that domestic abuse victims who are homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, are supported to find an accommodation solution that meets their needs and reflects their individual circumstances.

In April 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act came into force, which puts prevention at the heart of the local authorities’ response to homelessness, irrespective of whether they are a family or single person, what has put them at risk, or if they have a local connection to the area. This means that all victims of domestic abuse who are at risk of homelessness should be provided with an offer of support from their local authority to find appropriate accommodation.

Under homelessness legislation a person who is pregnant, has dependent children, or is vulnerable as a result of having to leave accommodation due to domestic abuse already has priority need for accommodation. These duties, alongside new duties under the Domestic Abuse Bill, will ensure that all victims of domestic abuse are supported to find accommodation that meets their needs.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) single-sex members clubs and (b) other barriers to achieving a gender-balanced judiciary.

No known assessment has been undertaken by the department on the potential effect of single sex membership clubs. It is not a requirement to record club membership for judicial officeholders. Judicial appointments are made solely on merit and information is not collected from candidates for judicial office about membership of clubs or networks.

The Lord Chancellor works closely with the Lord Chief Justice, Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and other members of the Judicial Diversity Forum (JDF), including the three relevant legal professional bodies, to assess barriers to achieving greater gender diversity in the judiciary. In September 2020, JDF members published a summary of wide range of actions they are undertaking at different career stages, collectively or individually, to help increase diversity in the judiciary, including for women. The JDF will publish a one year update to the action plan this Autumn.

The proportion of female court judges has increased by 10 percentage points since 2014, to 34% as at 1 April 2021, and for tribunal judges it has increased by 7 percentage points to 50%, over the same period.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities who do not have access to the internet at home in court hearings during the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to the current pandemic, video hearings provide an additional channel for conducting a hearing. However, they may not be suitable for everyone. The decision to hold a hearing by video is for the judge, panel or magistrate, taking into account the needs of the parties, including any disability or difficulties with access.

Participants are asked to tell the court or tribunal if they need support or cannot participate effectively in the video hearing. The judiciary will consider reasonable adjustments or alternative arrangements to ensure disabled users can participate. For a participant without access to the internet they can access a video hearing by telephone, or the judiciary may decide it’s more appropriate to hold a face to face hearing.

The judiciary and HMCTS staff have access to reasonable adjustment guidance and training. All guidance raises awareness of the issues people may face, and the reasonable adjustments which may help them to fully participate in hearings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2020 to Question 84222 on Employment Tribunals Service: Applications, what the (a) median and (b) mean clearance times were for single and multiple Employment Tribunal claims in quarter 1 of 2020-21.

The information requested is a subset of the Tribunal Quarterly Statistics which were due to be published on 10 September 2020, however they have been delayed.

It is intended that full publication will be released as soon as practicably possible and will cover the period up to June 2020.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service publish management information on outstanding workload and average clearance time for single Employment Tribunals. The figures reflect the data held on the case management system and will have some definitional and timing differences from the official statistics. This information can be found here:

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-management-information-july-2020

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 7 September 2020 to Question 84223 on Employment Tribunals Service: Finance, what the outstanding caseload was for Employment Tribunals in quarter 1 of 2020-21.

The information requested is a subset of the Tribunal Quarterly Statistics which were due to be published on 10 September 2020, however they have been delayed.

It is intended that full publication will be released as soon as practicably possible and will cover the period up to June 2020.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service publish management information on outstanding workload and average clearance time for single Employment Tribunals. The figures reflect the data held on the case management system and will have some definitional and timing differences from the official statistics. This information can be found here:

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-management-information-july-2020

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the current longest waiting times are between an application for an employment tribunal and the date of first hearing, for each employment tribunal office.

The latest information on the longest waiting times between an application for an employment tribunal and the date of first hearing, for each employment tribunal office is from March 2020 and is set out in the following table.

Of the cases with a first hearing in March 20, the maximum time (in weeks) from receipt to first hearing

1 March - 31 March 2020

Single Claims1

All Claims2

Aberdeen

76

76

Birmingham

133

133

Bristol

99

99

Cardiff

83

102

Dundee

33

42

Edinburgh

73

73

Glasgow

67

74

Leeds

70

70

London Central

120

120

London South

165

332

Manchester

124

124

Newcastle

64

64

Nottingham

113

113

Stratford

160

160

Watford

136

136

1 Single claims are made by a sole employee/worker, relating to alleged breaches of employment rights.

2 Multiple claims are where two or more people bring proceedings arising out of the same facts, usually against a common employer. In this instance the lead multiple claim would be listed for hearing. This table provides the maximum listing time for both single and lead multiple claim cases.

Average clearance times for claims in January to March 2020 were 38 weeks for single claims and 90 weeks for all claims.

Waiting times are taken from receipt of a claim to the date of the first hearing that can dispose of a case and this data refers to both single and multiple claims.

Timeliness is impacted by the complexity of a case, with each one dealt with on its own merits and, as such, some cases can take longer than others and may have one or more case management preliminary hearings listed, in advance of a full hearing. Single claims, whilst made by a sole employee, may contain more than one complex complaint which will require significant case management prior to any hearing.

95% of multiple claims are stayed awaiting decision from a lead claim, as these are usually complex claims involving jurisdictions such as equal pay, holiday pay and pensions, it can take some time for these claims to be dealt with. This explains why the oldest claims in the table exceed six years in length as they spend the majority of this period as a stayed claim

The data provided has been taken from a central database and, as such, is management information. Although care is taken when processing the data, it is subject to inaccuracies inherent in a large-scale recording system and is the best data that is available.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department is conducting an internal review of domestic abuse policy.

We are determined to drive the fundamental change necessary to keep victims of domestic abuse and their children safe. The Domestic Abuse Bill is the culmination of significant policy work and consultation on how we improve our response to this crime, which we are committed to keeping under review. Most recently, on 25 June 2020, we published our comprehensive report into the family courts system: ‘Assessing risk of harm to children and parents in private law children cases’.

We are taking immediate action to implement the panel’s recommendations, and will be undertaking further work to address the long-standing, systemic issues identified in the report particularly where there are allegations of domestic abuse. This work will include a review into the presumption of ‘parental involvement’ and whether the right balance is being struck between the risk of harm to children and victims, and the right of the child to have a relationship with both parents.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Law Commission will publish its consultation paper on hate crime; and whether the review has been delayed from its original time frame of 18 months.

The Law Commission continues to make good progress on the Hate Crime Consultation Paper, although some delay is inevitable given the impact of Covid-19.

The Law Commissioners are considering when to publish consultations on a case-by-case basis, based on whether they will be able to undertake sufficiently open and transparent consultation during the current circumstances. That is an essential aspect of the way they work. It is particularly important in relation to the Hate Crime project.

The Commissioners are keeping the situation under review and they will announce their decision on publication as soon as they can.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many declarations of incompatibility the Supreme Court has issued, and how many declarations of incompatibility the Government has acted on.

All declarations of incompatibility made under the Human Rights Act 1998 and the actions taken to address them are set out in the Government’s annual report to the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The latest report was laid before Parliament on 30 October 2019 and we have not been notified of any further declarations of incompatibility since then.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what meetings have taken place between Ministers in his Department and the Law Commission on the review of hate crime legislation.

There have been no meetings between current Ministers in the Ministry of Justice and the Law Commission on the review of hate crime legislation.

The Law Commission were invited to independently review the law relating to hate crime and to make recommendations to the Government for its reform. That review began in March 2019.

The Law Commission are considering the current range of offences and aggravating factors in sentencing, and will make recommendations to the Government on the most appropriate models to ensure that the criminal law provides consistent and effective protection from conduct motivated by hatred towards protected groups or characteristics. The review will also take account of the existing range of protected characteristics, identifying any gaps in the scope of protection currently offered under the law and making recommendations to promote a consistent approach.

The Law Commission plan to issue a consultation on this matter in early 2020. Further information on the review can be found on the Law Commission webpage at: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/hate-crime/

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many police cautions were issued for crimes committed on retail premises in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

The Ministry of Justice publishes information on out of court disposals, including cautions, in England and Wales, up to December 2018. This does not identify whether the offence was committed on retail premises.

However, statistics are available for cautions classified by police as “theft from shops” as the principle offence.

This information can be found using the Out of Court Disposals data tool: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/802305/out-of-court-disposal-tool-2018.xlsx

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 46639, what assessment he has made of the effect on the provision of abortion services in Northern Ireland under Section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019 of the cessation of the recently introduced early medical abortion service.

As the honourable Member is aware, the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No.2) Regulations 2020 we made have been in place since 31 March 2020. Since then, we have been dealing with the response to Covid-19 right across the UK. I very much welcome the services that have been operating on the ground in Northern Ireland through existing sexual and reproductive health clinics across the health and social care trusts.

I hope that these services can continue, and those that have ceased can resume, in parallel to longer-term services being commissioned as soon as possible, together with appropriate support and guidance in place so that access is available locally in all cases set out in the regulations, and that both women and clinicians are well supported. The Government and Department are continuing to engage on this issue with the Executive and the Northern Ireland Minister of Health in particular and his department.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the statement of 26 June 2020 from the Minister of Health in Northern Ireland that decisions remain to be taken on the commissioning of abortion services in NI’s health service. Commissioning is a significant process that will require a public consultation. It will clearly be matter for the Executive and Assembly as well as the Department, and pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 66853 on Abortion: Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to fulfil his obligation under section 9 of the Northern Ireland Formation Act 2019 to ensure that the recommendations in paragraphs 85 and 86 of the CEDAW report are implemented.

In accordance with section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019, regulations are now in place to make provision for accessing abortions in Northern Ireland. These regulations implement several of the recommendations in paragraphs 85 and 86 of the CEDAW report.

The Government response to the consultation sets out how the Government is ensuring implementation of all of the recommendations that remain outstanding. We will continue to work closely with the relevant Northern Ireland departments, where relevant, in continuing to progress this work over the coming months.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 1 June 2020 to Question 51932, on Abortion: Northern Ireland, and with reference to the statement of 26 June 2020 from the Minister of Health in Northern Ireland that, Decisions remain to be taken on the commissioning of abortion services in NI’s health service. Commissioning is a significant process that will require a public consultation. It will clearly be matter for the Executive and Assembly as well as the Department, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of exercising his powers under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to direct the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to commission services to comply with section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act 2019.

I refer to my answer to Question 51932. The duty to implement the CEDAW recommendations under section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act is a matter of domestic, not international, law, and as such we have not yet considered making an assessment of exercising powers under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

We hope that longer term services can be commissioned as soon as possible in Northern Ireland, consistent with the Regulations and we will continue to work with the relevant Northern Ireland departments to achieve this.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 46639, on Abortion: Northern Ireland, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of exercising his powers under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to direct the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to commission services to comply with section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act 2019.

In accordance with section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019, regulations are now in place to make provision for accessing abortions in Northern Ireland.

The duty to implement the CEDAW recommendations under section 9 of the NIEF Act is a matter of domestic, not international, law.

Therefore we have not yet considered making an assessment of exercising powers under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

We hope that longer term services can be commissioned as soon as possible in Northern Ireland, consistent with the Regulations and we will continue to work with them to achieve this.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of exercising his powers under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to direct the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to commission services to comply with section 9 of the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act 2019; and if he will make a statement.

In accordance with section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act 2019, regulations are now in place to make provision for accessing abortions in Northern Ireland.

I am pleased that some service provision has commenced on the ground in Northern Ireland through existing sexual and reproductive health services during this uncertain time.

I recognise the strain on the Northern Ireland health system at present. The Government stands ready to provide whatever support we can to the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to commission full abortion services, in line with the new legislative framework, as soon as possible. Consequently, no assessment has been made of exercising powers under section 26 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)