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Department defends its social distancing approach as union says members 'at risk'

The Department for Communities says it is "making every effort to ensure its key workers are safeguarded" after facing criticism for not putting necessary social distancing measures in place.

It comes after photos emerged appearing to show staff working in close proximity and not staying the required two metre distance apart.

Nipsa union official, Dooley Harte, said the department's failure to follow Government advice on social distancing was "playing games with people's lives". Mr Harte said: "The Communities NI Twitter account is putting up videos about keep your distance while shoehorning our members into unacceptable accommodation, putting them at serious risk."

A departmental spokesperson said: "We have worked hard to comply with guidance issued by the Public Health Agency and Department of Health on social distancing within the work place and direction has been communicated to all managers and staff.

"All our sites are compliant and all aspects regarding this are being continually monitored."

Belfast Telegraph