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Employment Relations Act

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999. [108345]

The legislation in Northern Ireland corresponding to the Employment Relations Act 1999 is the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999. Special Leave policy rests with individual Departments and Agencies who are free to decide on the amounts of special leave and the circumstances for which it is granted, including whether it is paid or unpaid.Within the Northern Ireland Office, 109 Northern Ireland Civil Service staff were granted absence for domestic incidents (which includes bereavement leave, childcare, domestic emergency, partner care, elderly/relative care, paternity leave) from 16 October 2002 to 11 April 2003. A total of 298.5 days was taken. Statistics on Home Civil Service staff could be collected only at disproportionate cost.

Statistics on those members or staff working in NI Departments who have taken time off from work in order to attend domestic incidents since the introduction of the legislation on 15 December 1999 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Central records have, however, been maintained since 16 October 2002. Between that date and 31 March 2003, 1,104 members of staff working in NI Departments have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department have used their leave entitlement under the Parental Leave Directive since it came into force. [108419]

Within the Northern Ireland Office, since the Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations (NI) 1999 came into operation on 15 December 1999, giving staff the right to Parental Leave, 24 members of staff have made use of this entitlement.Within the Northern Ireland Administration, 12 members of staff have made use of it.