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Employment Relations Act

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 30 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in her Department have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999. [108338]

Defra has contractual arrangements in place which are generally more generous than those provided for by the Act. Such arrangements apply to all staff irrespective of grade or working pattern and form part of Defra's wider commitment to have arrangements in place which allow staff to create an appropriate work/life balance. The Department does not keep a separate record of the number of staff who have had time off work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999.

Letter from Peter Greig-Smith to Mr. John Bercow, dated April 2003:

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has asked me to reply on behalf of CEFAS to your question concerning how many staff have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999.
The information is not collated centrally within the Agency and could only be collected at disproportionate cost from individual personnel records.
The Secretary of State has also asked me to reply to your question regarding how many staff have used their leave entitlement under the Parental Leave Directive.
There have been no requests for parental leave under the provisions of this Directive.

Letter from Johnston McNeill to Mr. John Bercow, dated 11 April 2003:

I have been asked to respond directly to your two recent Parliamentary Questions concerning the Employment Relations Act 1999 and the Parental Leave Directive.
Question: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff in her Department have taken time off work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999.
Reply: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has policies in place which allow for special leave for staff to attend to domestic incidents. Responsibility for authorising and monitoring such leave is devolved to individual management units and can only be collated at disproportionate cost.
Question: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff in her Department have used their leave entitlement under the Parental Leave Directive.
Reply: The RPA is fully committed to helping employees achieve a better balance between home and work through family friendly policies Accordingly, the RPA has policies in place to allow for Parental leave but the information required is not held centrally and cannot be collected without incurring disproportionate cost.

Letter from Steven Edwards to Mr. John Bercow, dated April 2003:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question on how many staff in her Department have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999.
For the period 1/4/02 to 31/3/03 approval was given in 43 cases for staff to attend to domestic incidents. There were a further 13 cases of paternity leave which is also provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999. (Figures for earlier years are not held.) The VLA has contractual arrangements in place which are generally more generous than those provided for by the Act. Such arrangements apply to all staff irrespective of Pay Band or working pattern and form part of the VLA's wider commitment to have arrangements in place which allow staff to create an appropriate work/life balance.

Letter from Mike Roberts to Mr. John Bercow, dated April 2003.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has asked me to reply, with respect to the Central Science Laboratory, to your question concerning how many staff have taken time off work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999.
CSL offers both paid and unpaid special leave to staff faced with urgent domestic crises. No claims for unpaid leave have been received since the introduction of this entitlement.
A number of applications have been made for paid special leave in these circumstances and the overwhelming majority have been granted. However, the details of these claims for paid leave are not held centrally and the information could only be collected at disproportionate cost.