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The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 sets out a duty for all National Health Service organisations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This covers all NHS staff, not only those with direct responsibility for caring for children. Final guidance on this duty will be issued shortly.
Guidance to the NHS, Working Together to Safeguard Children, highlights the importance of effective supervision and support for all staff working with children. We keep these issues under regular review and will shortly be consulting on an updated version.
The National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services includes a standard on safeguarding children with a section which emphasises that "high quality supervision is the cornerstone of effective safeguarding of children and young people and should be seen to operate effectively at all levels within the organisation". Safeguarding features as a recurrent theme throughout and the hospital standard states that hospital trusts' safety policies should be robust and explicitly cover children and young people.
Lord Rooker: A review of the salaries of North/South Implementation Bodies' CEOs and of the salary of the CEO of Tourism Ireland Limited was undertaken in 2003. While there are no plans for any further salary reviews, the 2003 review provided for annual uplifts as in the case of other public bodies. Consequently scales will be adjusted accordingly.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 19 July (WA 213), whether the six implementation bodies established by the United Kingdom and Ireland are required to maintain a religious balance among their employees reflecting the balance in Northern Ireland or Ireland as a whole, or reflecting the balance in the particular area where their offices are located. [HL1499]
Lord Rooker: The Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 requires employers to review, at least once every three years, the composition of their workforces and their employment practices for the purpose of determining whether members of each community are enjoying, and are likely to continue to enjoy, fair participation in their employment. The order applies to the North/South Implementation Bodies in relation to their employees in Northern Ireland.
The order does not impose a requirement on an employer that the composition of its workforce shall reflect the balance of Protestants and Roman Catholics in the population of Northern Ireland as a whole. What is fair participation will depend on all relevant factors relating to an employer, including its location. The noble Lord is referred to the provisions of the Fair Employment in Northern Ireland code of practice in relation to fair participation, copies of which are available in the Library.
Lord Rooker: Appointments to the Northern Ireland Civil Service are made against the statutory backdrop of the Civil Service Commissioners (NI) Order 1999, which requires appointments to be made in accordance with the merit principle. The new commissioners' recruitment code identifies four principles which underpin the concept of recruitment on the basis of merit. These are:
Lord Rooker: Substantive promotion means a permanent promotion to a higher grade as opposed to a temporary promotion or a deputising arrangement, which are used to cover short-term vacancies, for example absences due to sick leave, annual leave etc.
Whether they have decided to fill the vacancy for chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; if so, when they made this decision; when they notified the successful candidate; and when they intend to announce their decision. [HL503]
Lord Rooker: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland gave a Written Statement to the House on Thursday 16 June, announcing the appointment of Professor Monica McWilliams as Chief Commissioner to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
Whether they have decided to fill the commissioner vacancies on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; if so, when they made this decision; when they notified the successful candidates; and when they intend to announce their decision. [HL504]
Lord Rooker: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland gave a Written Statement to the House on Thursday 16 June, announcing the appointment of the following commissioners to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission:
Regarding the posts of chief commissioner and commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, how many candidates applied for the posts; how many were shortlisted for interview; who interviewed them; and how many were appointed as commissioners. [HL505]
Chief Commissioner (first process): Sir Joseph Pilling (Northern Ireland Office); Chris Sidoti (independent human rights expert); Margaret Elliott (independent panellist); John Keanie (independent assessor).
Chief Commissioner (second process): David Watkins (retired civil servant); Chris Maccabe (Northern Ireland Officereplaced Chris Sidoti at short notice for family reasons); Margaret Elliott (independent panellist); John Keanie (independent assessor).
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