On this page you will find featured government consultations that are currently running.
Consultation on sharing parental rights - Extending Flexibility at Work
The Department for Employment and Learning is seeking your views on working parents’ rights and flexible working arrangements. The consultation proposes a range of measures designed to give parents greater flexibility over their shared childcare arrangements.
The proposals consist of a system of shared parental leave and pay that will enable mothers and adopters to retain a closer connection to the workplace while affording those who share parental responsibility the opportunity to take a more active role with their new baby or adopted child during the crucial first year, following the birth or adoption.
You can download documents and find out more, including how to respond, from the DEL website at the following link.
Deadline for response - 23 August 2013
Consultation on proposed changes to the Blue Badge Scheme
The Department for Regional Development (DRD) is seeking your views on proposed changes to the Blue Badge Scheme.
The Welfare Reform Programme will replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people aged 16 to 64 in Northern Ireland. Currently if you are awarded the Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA you are automatically eligible for a Blue Badge in Northern Ireland. This consultation document outlines how the award of PIP could be linked to automatic eligibility for a Blue Badge and seeks your views on the options available and their potential impact.
This consultation also includes a number of other important changes to the Blue Badge that are being considered by the Department:
- extending the eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge to include children between the ages 2-3 with specific medical conditions.
- changing the application process for obtaining a Blue Badge.
- moving to the same central database and Blue Badge design and issue as the rest of the UK.
- increasing the fee (possibly gradually) for a Blue Badge and replacement badges.
- the Department is also seeking views on whether there is a need for Blue Badge holders to park for free in its car parks.
You can download documents and find out more, including how to respond, from the DRD website at the following link.
Deadline for response - 30 July 2013
Consultation on Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland Consumers
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) is seeking your views on a Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland Consumers.
Financial Capability is about having the skills and confidence to manage money effectively, and being able to access support and advice on money management issues when required.
You can download documents and find out more, including how to respond, from the DETI website at the following link.
Deadline for response - 31 July 2013
Consultation on proposed changes to Planning Fees
The Department of the Environment is seeking your views on proposed changes to planning fees. The consultation paper proposes the following:
- the introduction of reduced fees for applications to renew planning permission;
- the introduction of a revised methodology for calculating fees for mixed use applications;
- the removal of the fee exemptions for resubmitted applications for Certificates of Lawful Use or Development and consent to display advertisements;
- the correction of an anomaly in the existing fee for two or more dwelling houses;
- zero fee for applications made by non-profit making organisations relating to the provision of community facilities (including sports grounds) and playing fields; and
- the introduction of a revised methodology for calculating fees for minerals, gas and waste applications.
This is the first set of proposals to be brought forward as part of Phase 2 of the Department’s review of planning fees and funding. The aim of the review is to develop a fair and fit for purpose charging system that will ensure the planning function is sustainable both before and after the transfer of planning to local government.
You can download documents and find out more, including how to respond, from the DOE website at the following link.
Deadline for response - 14 June 2013
Consultation on proposals for the Reform of Financial Eligibility for Civil and Criminal Legal Aid
The Department of Justice is seeking your views on a number of proposals for simplifying and harmonising civil legal aid means testing and puts forward two options for the introduction of threshold limits which would form part of the criminal legal aid means assessment if a formal test were to be introduced into the magistrates’ courts.
In addition, the consultation sets out some general principles which, if accepted, would underpin the replacement to Legal Advice and Assistance when Civil Legal Services and the Funding Code have been introduced.
You can download documents and find out more, including how to respond, from the DOJ website at the following link.
- Consultation on proposals for the Reform of Financial Eligibility for Civil and Criminal Legal Aid - DOJ website
Deadline for responses - 21 June 2013
Consultation on guidance on the termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has produced a guidance document for health and social care professionals on termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland. The document “The limited circumstances for a lawful termination of pregnancy in Northern Ireland: A guidance document for health and social care professionals” does not change the law.
The new document builds on previous versions that have been subject to public consultation and consideration by Northern Ireland courts. The guidance now recommends that consultant psychiatrists should be involved in the assessment of a woman’s mental health when it is related to grounds for terminating a pregnancy. Other improvements include a section in relation to accountability and information collection in organisations.
You can download documents and find out more, including how to respond, from the DHSSPS website at the following link.