Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Enda Kenny

Question:

507 Mr. E. Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the number of disabled people employed in each Department; the categories and grading of this employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1701/99]

Enda Kenny

Question:

508 Mr. E. Kenny asked the Minister for Finance the percentage achieved in the employment of disabled persons in each Department for each of the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1702/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 507 and 508 together.

As of 1 October 1998, there were 762 people with disabilities employed in the Civil Service, representing 2.8 per cent of the total staff. A tabular statement is attached, showing the percentage of staff, by Department with a disability for each of the past three years.

Information regarding the grades in which people with disabilities are serving is not held centrally. Even if it were, I would be reluctant to publish details by grade, in view of the sensitivity of the data, especially where, in the case of grades with a small number of staff, the information could result in the personal identification of staff with a disability. Likewise the data for Departments are shown in percentage terms rather than numbers.

The Civil Service, as an employer, is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for people with disabilities, which includes ensuring that people with disabilities, who are capable of effective performance in the jobs to which they aspire, are not disadvantaged by reason of having a disability. Since 1994 a code of practice for the employment of people with disabilities in the Civil Service has been in place. The code of practice covers issues such as recruitment, reception and integration into the workplace, career development, accommodation, equipment, safety and evaluation procedures. The implementation of the code of practice is monitored by a committee representative of staff and management. In addition, in the context of the Strategic Management Initiative in the Civil Service, equality issues, including issues relating to the employment of people with disabilities, are being examined by a committee set up specifically for this purpose.

As you are aware, the policy in relation to the employment of people with disabilities in the Civil Service is implemented by from time to time holding competitions confined to candidates with a disability, facilitating candidates with a disability when competing in open competitions, not confined to people with a disability and where possible, retaining staff who become disabled after their recruitment.

As I have already stated, the fact that the number of people with disabilities has dropped below the target of 3 per cent continues to be a cause of concern. Issues arising from the employment of people with disabilities in the Civil Service are being considered in the context of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. The heads of each Government Department and office have been made fully aware of the importance of reaching and maintaining the 3 per cent quota.

Percentage of Staff with disabilities in the Civil Service by Department, 1997-1998f7>1

Department/Office

1 October 1996

1 April 1997

1 April 1998

1 October 1998

1 October 1998Nos. serving

%

%

%

%

Agriculture and Food

2.6

2.5

2.5

2.4

4,209

Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands

3.8

3.6

3.3

3.3

611

Central Statistics Office

4.2

4.4

5.4

5.5

524

Chief State Solicitor's Office

0.6

0.6

0.5

0.5

213

Civil Service Commission

1.9

2.0

1.7

1.5

130

Comptroller and Auditor General's Office

2.4

1.6

2.4

2.5

118

Defence

5.1

5.3

4.6

4.7

465

Education and Science

3.4

3.6

3.5

3.4

982

Enterprise, Trade and Employment

4.3

4.2

4.5

4.3

936

Environment and Local Government

2.8

2.9

2.8

2.8

832

Finance

3.6

3.4

3.6

3.6

530

Foreign Affairs

2.8

3.0

3.0

2.9

755

Health and Children

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.1

452

Houses of the Oireachtas

1.6

1.6

1.9

1.9

260

Justice, Equality and Law Reform Group

2.6

2.7

2.3

2.2

3,414

Marine and Natural Resources

4.7

4.7

5.1

4.8

418

Office of Public Works

3.1

3.0

3.4

3.4

533

Ordnance Survey

1.4

1.5

1.5

1.5

261

Public Enterprise

2.4

2.1

2.2

2.2

633

Revenue Commissioners

2.3

2.2

2.4

2.4

6,278

Social, Community and Family Affairs

3.4

3.4

3.0

3.0

4,348

Taoiseach

5.5

2.2

2.2

2.3

171

Tourism, Sport and Recreation

3.3

2.8

0.8

0.8

127

Valuation Office

3.3

3.4

3.5

3.5

141

Offices with less than 100 staff

1.6

1.8

2.2

2.0

247

Overall Total

2.9

2.9

2.8

2.8

27,588

f7>1For administrative reasons relating to the reorganisation of Government Departments in that year, statistics were not collected for 1 October 1997.