Vaccination statistics in relation to Influenza and COVID-19 for Staff and Members at the Northern Ireland Assembly

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FoI 40-21

22 September 2021

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I can confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) holds some information relevant to your request of 8 September 2021.  In your request, you asked for the following information: 

“Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I request the following: 

1. The numbers of staff on the payroll, and whether they had an influenza vaccine in 2019 and 2020.” 

For the year 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, the average (whole time equivalent) permanent staff employed during the year was 315 and for the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, it was 295 permanent staff. The Assembly Commission has a Health and Wellbeing Initiative that enables staff to claim financial support to avail of flu vaccination. In 2019, 17 staff availed of this support and in 2020, 21 staff availed of this support. The Assembly Commission does not hold information regarding uptake of the influenza vaccine outside of this Initiative. 

2. The numbers of elected members of the Assembly, and whether they had an influenza vaccine in 2019 and 2020. 

There are 90 elected Members of the Assembly. The Assembly Commission does not hold information regarding whether they had an influenza vaccine in 2019 and 2020. 

3. The information for the same groups in 1. and 2. that have received one and two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Assembly Commission does not hold this information. 

4. If the Assembly requires staff and members to inform the Assembly authorities of covid tests and the details of the policy of requiring staff and elected members to take PCR tests.” 

The Assembly Commission requires staff who are displaying symptoms or receive a positive COVID-19 test to report this information. Additionally, a COVID-19 Staff Reporting Form is also required if they have been in Parliament Buildings within 72 hours of displaying symptoms or a positive test result.  Staff are required to stay at home and arrange a PCR test for COVID-19 if the staff member has: 

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature); or  
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual); or  
  • a loss of or change in sense of smell or taste.  

Members who receive a positive test result for COVID-19 within 72 hours of having been in Parliament Buildings are also required to inform the Assembly Commission.  

 

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. 

The Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and our official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office. 

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

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