§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Social security what is his policy on the suggestion to benefit recipients that they should seek work as nude models; whether this policy applies to women only; how many(a) men and (b) women have received such advice from benefits office staff; and what information on vacancies for such work is held centrally.
§ Mr. Scott
The administration of benefit is a matter for Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Gentleman with such information as is available.
Letter from Tony Laurence to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 13 December 1993:As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency, it is the responsibility of Mr. Michael Bichard to answer questions about relevant operational matters. However, as Mr. Bichard is away on annual leave at the moment, I am replying on his behalf to your Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security, about the suggestion to benefit recipients that they should seek work as nude models.A person in receipt of an incapacity benefit may be considered capable of suitable work following a medical examination. Such decisions are made by Adjudication Officers (AO), who are independent adjudicating authorities.If the AO decides that a person is capable of work, then, as a result of a long standing Commissioner's decision, the AO is required to specify the type of work that person is considered capable of doing.Although a job description of "Artists model", which included that of nude modelling, was contained in a previous publication used by AOs as a source of job example, that source was superseded in February 1993 by the Standard Occupational Classification. This publication, which is in the Library, does not include a description of the variety of work possibly undertaken by an "Artists model".The specific information asked for is, therefore, not available in the format requested.I hope my reply has been helpful.