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Departmental Foreign Workers

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals are employed by his Department. (256205)

The Ministry of Justice has an obligation under the civil service commissioners recruitment code to ensure its recruitment processes are operating under open and fair principles.

The Ministry of Justice only employs applicants who have the right to work in the UK, and an individual's nationality is verified before an offer of employment is made. Civil service rules enable EEA nationals and certain non-EEA family members to be employed as civil servants. The Ministry of Justice does not hold central data in respect of the number of EU foreign national employed and they could only be collected at disproportionate costs.

There is also a provision that, in exceptional circumstances, foreign nationals, other than EEA nationals and certain non-EEA family members, may be employed by means of an aliens’ certificate under the Aliens’ Employment Act 1955. This Act empowers the employing Department's Minister, with the approval of the Minister for the civil service, to issue a certificate of employment in certain circumstances. Information on the number of staff employed under the Aliens’ Employment Act 1955 is collected. The Prison Service currently employs one person under the Act. This was approved by the then Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Sutcliffe), with the consent of the Minister responsible for the civil service.