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Departmental Call Centres

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what telephony equipment intended to protect employees from noise events and acoustic incidents has been procured by his Department's call centres. (102607)

GN Netcom2100 headsets are in use in all DWP business units. The Child Support Agency’s National Helplines and Jobcentre Plus contact centres also use Plantronics Supra mono headsets; and The Pension Service also use GN Netcom2200 duo and mono and GN Netcom cordless headsets. Staff in DCS and Pension Service centres have also been supplied with GN8210 amplifiers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employees in his Department’s call centres have reported (a) headset noise interference and (b) acoustic incidents while at work over the last two years; and how many of those employees have had sickness absence exceeding three days as a consequence. (102609)

As incidents are handled locally only limited information is available centrally and it is not always possible to identify whether reports relate to contact centre staff. The following information is available for the past two years: Jobcentre Plus, ten reports one of which led to sick absence (duration not known); The Pension Service, two reports one of which led to a sick absence of over three days; and the Disability and Carers Service contact centres, ninety six reports one of which led to a sick absence in excess of three days.