To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on levies on employers in other EC countries who do not adapt premises or equipment for employees with disabilities.
We have no information to suggest that any EC country places a levy on employers in this way.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make it his policy to place a levy on employers who do not adapt premises or equipment for employees with disabilities in order to subsidise other employers to carry out such works; and if he will make a statement.
We have no intention of adopting such a policy.Under the aids to premises and equipment—APE—scheme, the Employment Service currently makes grants available to employers towards the cost of adapting premises or equipment for an existing disabled employee or a new recruit who is disabled to enable them to work more effectively and productively.In the summary paper published in 1990 "Evaluation of special schemes for people with disabilities" the large majority of employers interviewed who had benefited from the APE scheme said they would have been prepared to pay more towards the costs of an adaptation. Nevertheless, there was no call either from those employers or from individual beneficiaries for a levy of employers who did not adapt premises or equipment. There is no evidence that such a levy would improve the employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what discussions he has had with his EC counterparts on harmonising duties of employers to provide facilities for employees with disabilities; and if he will make a statement.
We have had no such discussions. EC countries provide for the employment and training needs of people with disabilities in a variety of ways, according to the circumstances which exist in the country concerned. We are in the process of improving the effectiveness of our employment and training services for people with disabilities, following extensive consultations. We take the experience of other countries, including EC countries, into account as appropriate. We also take opportunities to inform representatives from other member states about developments in the United Kingdom.