Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, it is the Chief Executive of the Council who is responsible for the staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authority.
Outside of agreed workforce planning numbers, a local authority must apply to my Department for sanction approval for staff. My Department works closely with all local authorities and staffing sanction requests are dealt with on a case-by-case basis with priority given to housing-related posts, as well as those relating to health and safety and economic development. Additional supports are being made available to local authorities to meet staffing costs associated with the delivery of their social housing build programmes.
Direct employment of construction workers is a matter for each Chief Executive to consider giving due regard to the most appropriate model for service delivery.