HC Deb 03 May 2000 vol 349 c131W
Mr. Caton

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 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. [120312]

Dr. Howells

In the DTI and some of its agencies a birth certificate is one of a variety of documents which applicants for jobs may choose to offer as proof of identity and of age, for pension purposes, prior to or at recruitment. In the event of the death of a departmental employee in service, his or her children's full birth certificates are required in order to verify dates of birth for dependants' benefits under the relevant pensions arrangements. Contractors are responsible for establishing proof of the identity of their employees. Birth certificates are not required routinely for any other departmental purposes, although they can be offered by claimants under the Empty Property Compensation Scheme to help establish the validity of such claims in particular lines of inheritance, and they may, in very limited circumstances, be demanded under a number of statutory powers of investigation, for example under Section 434 of the Companies Act 1985.

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