HC Deb 14 November 1983 vol 48 cc314-5W
Mr. Mason

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the figures for unemployment in the Barnsley travel-to-work area for 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983 to date; what were the figures for the disabled unemployed, youth unemployment and the separate figures for men and women; what changes were made in the method of calculation of unemployed persons; how this has affected Barnsley's figures; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Clark

The following table gives, for the Barnsley travel-to-work area, the numbers registered as unemployed at October each year from 1979 to 1982. It also gives the available information for unemployed claimants at October 1982 and 1983. The claimants based figures from October 1982 do not separately distinguish the numbers of unemployed disabled people.

The changes made in the method of calculation of unemployed persons were described in the September 1982 issue of Employment Gazette (pp. 389–393), a copy of which is in the library. The effect of these changes on the Barnsley travel-to-work area figures at October 1982 can be seen by comparing the registered unemployed figures for that date with those for unemployed claimants.

Mr. Gordon Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) whether he will consider creating a compensation fund for victims of industrial accidents where employees have failed to receive awards from civil actions as a result of the insolvency of the employer;

(2) if he will take steps to protect the rights of workers in situations where an employer fails to take out statutory accident liability insurance.

Mr. Gummer

No. The purpose of the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 is to provide that when an employee succeeds in a claim for compensation, in respect of injury or disease sustained at work, his employer should be insured and able to pay any compensation awarded regardless of the financial health of the company. Very few cases have come to light in recent years where such an employer was not insured and had insufficient assets to meet a claim.

Mr. Gordon Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will list the procedures that are undertaken to establish whether companies fulfil their statutory responsibilities regarding accident liability insurance;

(2) whether he is satisfied with the present procedures to ensure that employers fulfil their responsibilities to take out statutory accident liability insurance; and whether he will consider measures to ensure that legislation in this field is more adequately enforced.

Mr. Gummer

The Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 requires that employers display copies of certificates of insurance in each workplace thus enabling individual employees and trade union representatives to monitor compliance with the Act. Complaints concerning non-compliance are investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, which takes further action including prosecution where appropriate. These enforcement arrangements were discussed with the TUC when the Act was enacted. The Government have no plans to change these arrangements.

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