Furlough and the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FoI 56-20

9 December 2020

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I can confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) holds information relevant to your request of 06 November 2020.  In your request you asked for the following information:

“I would like to know the assembly’s furlough policy for its staff. I am aware that the assembly has both agency staff and directly employed staff.

I know of agency staff that haven’t been to work at the assembly from April and these staff cannot contribute or work from home. I’m told they are still on 100% pay and have told it will early next year before they are back yet continue to be paid, I would assume the agency contains to get paid?

I’m also aware of direct employees who have been asked to remain at home and work from home on 100% wages, many of these staff are unable to work from home and others that could aren’t allowed access to the systems and others simply haven’t been given any work.

If this is true and government staff are afforded 100% wages without working for it?”


Clarification of the information requested was sought on 10 November 2020 as follows:

“We will be unable to proceed with your request without clarification of the information you wish to receive. To help us to do so, I would like to know if you could be more specific about what information you wish to receive.”


Your response of 16 November 2020 confirmed that you require the following information:

“1. How many stormont staff are on furlough?

2. The staff that are on furlough, what % of salary is being paid?”

No Assembly Commission Staff are on furlough.


“3. Agency staff - how many does stormont retain? What % of salary are they paid and is the agency being paid?

4. Agency staff - those being paid, are they gainfully employed? If so how. Is this measured?”

The Assembly Commission currently has 42 temporary agency workers as at 10 November 2020. All of these workers are engaged on either a full or part time basis and the salary paid reflects the number of hours worked each week.


“5. Stormont staff - we all know they have been sent home on 100% salary, many without access to the systems.... firewalls etc. Please confirm the policy for this?”

In accordance with current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive, Assembly Commission staff continue to work at home if possible. However, some of the work of the Assembly Commission requires the presence of staff in the workplace. Most staff are therefore working in a blended way, with some of their hours worked from home and some in the workplace. The hours worked at home/in the workplace are determined by business need and are managed by the Head of Business.


If you feel that the information we have provided does not meet your request fully, please contact this office as soon as possible.  You have the right to request a formal review by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.

If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,  Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above.

Yours sincerely


Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs


News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more

Useful Contacts

Contact us

Contacts for different parts of the Assembly

Contact Us