31 October 2005: DTI launches anti-bullying initiative

30 September 2005: National Minimum Wage rises on 1 October

The adult rate of the National Minimum Wage will increase from £4.85 to £5.05 per hour, while the youth rate, paid to 18-21 year-olds, will go up from £4.10 per hour to £4.25. The rate for 16 and 17 year old workers, introduced last year, will remain at £3.00 an hour, to enable it to be fully reviewed by the Low Pay Commission in its annual Report to Government in February 2006.

28 September 2005: DH publishes survey on learning difficulties

30 August 2005: Work related stress - new guide for employers

The DTI have published a document providing guidelines for employers and employees on work-related stress. It summarises the legislation around stress at work and offers sources of further information and help. Read the report...

30 August 2005: DWP research into permitted work

28 July 2005: New guide to the Equality Bill published

An easy read guide has been published by the Women and Equality Unit at the DTI. The guide gives a basic overview of the Equality Bill and the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights. Read the guide...

30 June 2005: Jobcentre Plus evaluation published

The Department for Work and Pensions has published a 230 page evaluation of Jobcentre Plus services. The in-house report covers a wide range of programmes and processes involving analysis of administrative data on service delivery,d labour market outcomes and social research. Expect a fairly hefty pat on the back and a "keep up the good work"! Read the report...

The following funding opportunities may be of interest to members. Note that each will have eligibility criteria that you need to check on the website of each funding organisation.

Diana Princess Of Wales Memorial Fund (UK)

AfSE attended a recent DWP seminar on the use of employment advisors within health centres. The seminar was led by Simon Francis of DWP who is leading on the Framework for Vocational Rehabilitation.

The conference programme for the 2005 conference of the European Union of Supported Employment has been finalised and published. The event takes place in Barcelona on 16-17 June and delegate places are still available by visiting the conference website.

Anne McGuire MP has been announced as the new Minister with responsibility for disability issues. Anne is MP for Stirling and is a former teacher and Deputy Director for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Tony Blair has announced changes within Government following the general election. David Blunkett moves to the Department for Work and Pensions as Secretary of State in place of Alan Johnson and Patricia Hewitt takes over as Secretary of State for Health. Ruth Kelly remains at the Department for Education and Skills. Margaret Hodge becomes Minister for Work. There have been a number of changes to junior ministers with Maria Eagle moving to the DfES and Ivan Lewis to the Treasury. The Parliamentary Private Secretaries at DWP are now Lord Hunt OBE, James Plaskitt MP and Liz Blackman MP.