Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for Communities to outline (i) the roles his Department are currently recruiting for and at what grades; and (ii) whether any of these positions have previously been held by staff that left their roles under the Voluntary Exit Scheme.
Minister for Communities: (i) As of 28 November 2016 the Department is in the process of recruiting:
20 permanent Administrative Officers (16 to Employment Support Allowance, 4 to Belfast Service Centre). All 20 are being filled from the 2013 Northern Ireland Civil Service external AO recruitment competition;
21 fixed-term Administrative Officers (20 to Belfast Service Centre, 1 to Universal Credit); and
12 fixed-term Executive Officer 2s to Universal Credit.
(ii) The Northern Ireland Civil Service Voluntary Exit Scheme operated in the 2015/16 financial year only for the 12 Northern Ireland Civil Service departments in place at that time. The Department for Communities came into existence on 9 May 2016 and comprises elements of 5 different former Departments. Departmental restructuring has given rise to changes in Departmental functions as well as new Programme for Government commitments and the implementation of Welfare Reforms. It is not therefore possible to identify whether roles being filled by recruitment were previously held by staff who left under the Voluntary Exit Scheme.
(iii) Subject to the rules of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland), there is nothing to preclude staff who left under the Voluntary Exit Scheme applying for future employment within the Northern Ireland Civil Service or elsewhere.