HC Deb 21 October 1991 vol 196 cc433-4W
Mr. Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what entitlement to unemployment benefit exists for the self-employed; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jack

Since the introduction of unemployment benefit it has never been available to those in business on their own account, who are free to set their own patterns and conditions of work. This position is reflected in the lower rate of class 2 contributions paid by the self-employed. Entitlement to unemployment benefit is based on class I employed earner's contributions. A formerly self-employed person who does not qualify for unemployment benefit may qualify for other benefits such as income support.

Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will arrange for statistics to be collected on a regular basis concerning the length of periods of disqualification for unemployment benefit imposed by adjudication officers.

Mr. Jack

Studies by the Department and by Social and Community Planning Research have been undertaken and reports were placed in the Library in November 1989. The Chief Adjudication Officer reports on standards of adjudication, as required under section 97 of the Social Security Act 1975. Copies of his published annual reports are also in the Library. We have no plans to change these arrangements.

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