FOI 17-21: MLA time off for personal appointments

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FoI 17-21

21 May 2021

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) does not hold the information, which you requested on 23 April 2021.  In your request, you asked for the following information:

“I would like to know the process that MLA’s have to follow when;

  • Taking time off for personal appointments i.e medical, dental, or other appointments not attributed in any way to their role as an MLA and how that time off is reconciled with their salary.
  • The reporting process for an MLA who is ill from work and what the process is when a certain level of absence is reached.
  • What the expected working week is in terms of hours for an MLA, and what happens when an MLA is consistently late for work, meetings or commitments attributed to their role?”


The salary payable to a Member is determined by the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2016 as amended by the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) (Amendment) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2020 (‘the Determination’). The Determination does not set any conditions for entitlement to salary that are affected by any of the matters in the request.

A Member does not report illness to the Assembly Commission nor does the Assembly Commission monitor the working hours for a Member.

As such, the Assembly Commission does not hold information on the above request.

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.

Yours sincerely