129270 - Northern Ireland Office: Fairtrade Initiative (Answered)

Chris Ruane
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what proportion of his Department's spend on day-to-day goods comprised fair trade products in each of the last eight years.

Mr Shailesh Vara

The Northern Ireland Office is fully committed to ethical procurement; however, we are unable to quantify what proportion of our annual spend relates to fair trade products over the requested period.

130102 - Borders: Northern Ireland (Answered)

Ged Killen
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions the Government has had with the Irish Government on preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland.

Mr Shailesh Vara

Northern Ireland Ministers and Government colleagues have regular conversations with the Irish Government on a range of issues, including our commitment to the avoidance of a hard border.

129755 - Northern Ireland Office: Recruitment (Answered)

Jo Stevens
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which external recruitment agencies are used by her Department's non-departmental public bodies.

Mr Shailesh Vara

129403 - Northern Ireland Office: Flexible Working (Answered)

Chris Ruane
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many and what percentage of employees in her Department worked in (a) departmental accommodation, (b) from home and (c) in any other location in each of the last five years.

Mr Shailesh Vara

In my Department all employees work within departmental accommodation and have done so in each of the last 5 years. Employees are free to work occasionally from home or remotely; my Department does not retain records relating this.

129308 - Northern Ireland Office: Trade Unions (Answered)

Chris Ruane
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what percentage of workers employed directly by her Department belonged to a trade union in each of the last five years for which data is available.

Mr Shailesh Vara

In 2013/14, 31 members of my department belonged to a trade union.

In 2014/15, 29 members of my department belonged to a trade union.

At September 2015, 29 members of my department belonged to a trade union.

129349 - Northern Ireland Office: Zero Hours Contracts (Answered)

Chris Ruane
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many (a) full-time staff, (b) part-time staff, (c) temporary staff and (d) any other staff were employed directly by her Department on zero-hours contracts in each of the last eight years.

Mr Shailesh Vara

None of my Department’s staff have been employed on zero-hours contracts in the last eight years.

128536 - Irish Language: Northern Ireland (Answered)

Conor McGinn
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the St Andrews Agreement of 2006, what her policy is on the introduction of an Irish Language Act.

Mr Shailesh Vara

Since May 2007, Northern Ireland’s devolved institutions have been responsible for the introduction of the Irish language Act. It is disappointing that the Northern Ireland parties have been unable to reach an agreement on how to proceed in this area.

127428 - Bridges: Irish Sea (Answered)

Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

Mr Shailesh Vara

127425 - Warm Home Discount Scheme: Northern Ireland (Answered)

Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on extending the Warm Homes Discount Scheme to Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

Mr Shailesh Vara

127309 - Unexplained Wealth Orders: Northern Ireland (Answered)

Nigel Dodds
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on the non-introduction of unexplained wealth orders in Northern Ireland and the potential effect that will have on tackling criminality.

Mr Shailesh Vara

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