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Results 1-20 of 2,561 for speaker:Lord Freud

Employment — Question (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: The Government’s long-term economic plan is working. A record number of people are in work and the proportion of part-time workers wanting full-time work has fallen for the last 11 months. Under universal credit we are, for the first time, creating clear incentives and supporting claimants to progress in work and increase their earnings.

Employment — Question (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: My Lords, the simple fact is that the number of people working part-time who want to work full-time has had the largest but one drop over the last 12 months that we have ever seen—down 1.7%. Clearly, one needs an economy recovering. We have had a terrible shock to this economy—it went down 6%. We are now pulling people back and, as the Bank of England Governor said, what will get...

Employment — Question (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: We are most concerned that people should be able to work as much as they want to. We are creating a new system to allow that, supporting people as they progress, in universal credit, into full-time work. We have extensive in-work progression trials right round the country, to find ways in which we can most effectively support people to work the amount that they want to and get the earnings...

Employment — Question (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: As the noble Lord knows, that is an extraordinarily complicated economic question. The Chancellor has clarified that the target around full employment is a better employment rate than other countries are seeing. We are currently not far off the full employment rate, at 73%, that we have seen in the past.

Employment — Question (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: My Lords, we now have the real-time information system working, whereby we know what people are paid every month. That gives us a new opportunity with the Work Programme in its next stages to look not just at sustainment in work, which was the key new feature of the original Work Programme, but at progression in work. It will be entirely possible to devise ways to encourage providers to help...

Employment — Question (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: We have one of the most flexible structures of work in Europe. In other countries you see a huge concentration of people working the full number of hours, whereas here there is a much smoother position. We have systems to support people doing partial and full work hours. In fact, in the way in which it is devised, universal credit will make the situation even more flexible in the future.

Employment — Question (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: There are major flows going on in this structure. We have had a very large increase in employment, with 1.7 million more people in the workforce. Clearly, some of those coming in for the first time tend to be at the lower level and then work their way up. In 2012-13 the earnings of those who have stayed in work grew by between 3.7% and 3.9%—far more than the average, which was between...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Access to Work Programme (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: All 128 Access to Work advisers receive training which includes Disability Awareness, Decision Making, Equality & Diversity, Negotiating Skills and Effective Communications. In addition, Access to Work have specialist adviser teams focussing on hearing impaired and visually impaired customers, and also a team to assist customers with mental health conditions. These teams receive...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Access to Work Programme (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: The Department for Work and Pensions has conducted a series of meetings and workshops this year with users, disabled people's organisations, employers and other experts to ensure that Access to Work builds on its success in a way that is sustainable and ensures that we can help as many disabled people to fulfil their potential in the workplace as possible. It is right that larger employers...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Unemployed People: Travel (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: All Jobcentre Plus District Managers have access to the Flexible Support Fund, that they can use to supplement mainstream services and to tailor support to the needs of individuals and the local area. A proportion of this fund will be spent by their Work Services Teams on discretionary awards to individual claimants, which could include helping with travel costs to attend job interviews.

Written Ministerial Statements — House of Lords: Universal Credit (23 October 2014)

Lord Freud: During the passage of the Pensions Act 2014 through the House of Lords earlier this year, concerns were raised on the ability of Universal Credit claimants to undertake work related requirements when they are facing situations where they have a child in considerable distress. We wanted to ensure that we appropriately support parents in these circumstances as we recognise the importance of...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Mesothelioma: Compensation (22 October 2014)

Lord Freud: The Scheme began taking applications in April 2014, and began making payments on 1 July 2014. As of 30 September 2014 the Scheme had received 173 applications. During the first year of operation we had forecasted around 900 applications to the Scheme. The DMPS is funded by a levy on the insurance industry. The levy is intended to cover the cost of the Scheme in any one year, and we are not...

Written Answers — House of Lords: Social Security Benefits: Northern Ireland (22 October 2014)

Lord Freud: Northern Ireland is responsible for its own social security, pensions and child support systems. The Northern Ireland and Great Britain systems have traditionally operated in tandem in what is effectively a United Kingdom wide system. Should Northern Ireland decide not to mirror the welfare reform measures in Great Britain, it would be a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive to determine...

Jobseeker’s Allowance — Question (21 October 2014)

Lord Freud: We welcome the findings of Matthew Oakley’s review and have published our response, in which we accepted all his recommendations. We know that sanctions play an important role in conditionality, and it is crucial that the system is operated effectively and fairly. We are taking forward all recommendations and have already completed a number of improvements.

Jobseeker’s Allowance — Question (21 October 2014)

Lord Freud: I will respond to the noble Baroness in a moment, but first I would like to take this opportunity to repeat briefly the apology that I made last week. I want to make a full and unreserved apology for the comments that I made at the Conservative Party conference. Of course disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage, just like everybody else, and I am profoundly sorry for any...

Jobseeker’s Allowance — Question (21 October 2014)

Lord Freud: As my noble friend said, the issue is that we are doing everything we can to help people into the workplace. It was a very encouraging assessment from the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, which said: “A tightening in the eligibility requirements for some state benefits might also have led to an intensification of job search”. That echoes something that the deputy...

Jobseeker’s Allowance — Question (21 October 2014)

Lord Freud: Matthew Oakley was very concerned about the communications aspects of talking to claimants about sanctions. We have taken that point very seriously. Indeed, we have accepted his recommendations on that and are going further; we are reviewing and improving all our claimant communications on sanctions across every benefit, and we aim to ensure that people understand that they have received a...

Jobseeker’s Allowance — Question (21 October 2014)

Lord Freud: My Lords, it is clearly utterly important that the sanctions regime is fair to people. We have put in layer on layer of protections and safety nets in the machine. People have, to start with, five days to respond to the letter saying that we are looking at a sanction. Then it goes to a decision-maker and then, if claimants do not like that, to a mandatory reconsideration, which is an extra...

Jobseeker’s Allowance — Question (21 October 2014)

Lord Freud: My Lords, we have really transformed the role of the client-facing people in Jobcentre Plus and turned them into work coaches; that is what the claimant commitment does. It is something that has been done very recently. The relationship between claimants and the work coaches has changed very substantially already.

Written Answers — House of Lords: Access to Work Programme (20 October 2014)

Lord Freud: Access to Work does not publish data on Service delivery performance as such data is collated for Management information only and therefore not subject to the assurance required to share with stakeholders. No formal assessment of awareness has taken place but all Jobcentre Plus staff learn about the Access to Work programme as part of their extensive training. In addition, all relevant...

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