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Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Office: Art Works

Question for Northern Ireland Office

UIN HL17174, tabled on 15 July 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any reports that civil servants in Northern Ireland have been offended by portraits of the Royal Family in (1) the Northern Ireland Office, and (2) the Northern Ireland Assembly; and if so, how many civil servants have made such complaints.

Answered on

23 July 2019

The Northern Ireland Office takes its responsibilities under Fair Employment legislation very seriously and seeks to ensure a good and harmonious working environment for all staff; the requirements of which are set out in the 1989 Fair Employment Code of Practice.

In line with the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland’s Guide, Promoting a Good and Harmonious Working Environment, the Northern Ireland Office is sensitive to the display of “posters, pictures, portraits or other displays that are more closely associated with one or other of the communities” and will consider any concerns raised by employees. I can confirm that the department takes steps to ensure no such images are displayed in Stormont House

Information on employees’ personal data is sensitive, in order to comply with DPA requirements, and so I am unable to comment further. In line with the rest of the Civil Service, our staff need to be able to raise concerns in a confidential manner and without fear of repercussions.

In relation to the Northern Ireland Assembly, I would refer the noble Lord to the Clerk/ Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly.