HC Deb 02 May 2000 vol 349 cc38-9W
Mr. Caton

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security for what purposes his Department requires a birth certificate to be furnished by(a) employees, (b) contractors, (c) those applying for employment and contracts and (d) other persons. [120313]

Mr. Rooker

This Department and its Agencies require new employees to provide proof of identity and their date of birth, and the provision of their birth certificate is one means of doing this. However, a birth certificate is only required in the absence of other documentation, usually a passport. The Department and its executive Agencies do not ask for birth certificates from contractors or from those seeking a contract.

The Benefits Agency does not insist on seeing birth certificates of new claimants of Social Security benefits to verify their identity, except when they are claiming certain benefits such as Retirement Pensions and Child Benefit. For other Social Security benefits, other forms of documentation are also acceptable.

The Child Support Agency will ask for sight of a qualifying child's birth certificate where there is a paternity dispute to establish whether or not the nonresident parent is shown on the birth certificate. It is unlikely for the Agency to request a birth certificate in any other circumstances, as the dates of birth for qualifying children are verified for the purposes of Child Benefit.