§ Mr. Jenkins
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of staff at his Department are locally elected democratic representatives; and if he has a strategy for his Department to encourage members of staff to become locally elected democratic representatives. 
§ Ms Blears
The Department does not record details of civil service staff who are locally elected democratic representatives.909W
Section 50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) requires employers to allow their staff reasonable time off for public duties. The Civil Service Management Code (paragraph 9.2.5) also requires departments to allow time off for attendance required by section 50 of the ERA 1996.
Special leave policy rests with individual departments and agencies who are free to decide on the amounts of special leave, and the circumstances for which it is granted and whether such leave is paid or unpaid.
As part of its commitment to encouraging staff to be active in the community, the Department of Health has a special leave policy that allows staff who are elected members of local authorities an annual limit of 18 days paid leave.