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Written Ministerial Statements: Thursday 28 January 2010
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Yvette Cooper):
I am pleased to announce the publication of the Government's response to the consultation exercise proposing the official recognition of Workers Memorial Day.
The Government's response (Cm 7789) has been laid before Parliament and is available on the DWP website.
The consultation exercise attracted a large number of responses, the overwhelming majority of which were strongly supportive of the proposal. I am therefore delighted to announce that the UK will officially recognise Workers Memorial Day, and that this recognition will take formal effect this year on 28 April, the international day of action for safety and health at work. The day is already widely commemorated in the UK and official recognition will reinforce its significance and raise awareness of the workers who are killed, disabled, injured or made unwell each year by their work.
Commemorations will continue to be led by individuals, employers, trade unions and community organisations. In keeping with the outcome of the consultation, the Government will encourage commemorations to be held on the day itself throughout the UK. The Government and Ministers will help support and promote these commemorations.
Official recognition is a tribute to all those who have campaigned long and hard for such recognition, including bereaved families, trade unions, campaign groups, and many other organisations and individuals. It is also recognition of the importance of work to improve health and safety among the working population.
In a letter to us (24-12-09) from Rob Marris MP (W'ton SW) he wrote:
"National Recognition for Workers' Memorial Day
On 17 August 2009, the junior DWP Minister Bill McKenzie wrote to me saying that a summary of responses would be published on the DWP website shortly after the consultation closed on 19 October. That did not happen. So on 26 November 2009 I wrote to him, enquiring about the delay.
In his reply, dated 18 December 2009. I note there were 230 replies to the consultation. 9 of those came via me. He says that the government's report following the consultation should be published "early in the new year". So I am making a note in my diary, for mid February 2010, to chase up the Minister if I have not heard anything before then.
Yours sincerely, Rob Marris MP"