The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has updated his colleagues regarding the introduction of a voluntary redundancy scheme in targeted sections of the public service.
Minister Brendan Howlin explained: “As I have reiterated on a number of occasions, this Government is committed to developing a leaner, more efficient public service. To this end, we agreed on October 2 2012 to accelerate the reduction in public service numbers in order to achieve the previous end 2015 target of 282,500 by end 2014 instead.”
According to the Minister greater efficiencies in the way the public service is going about its business means that some posts have been identified as surplus. Where surplus staff cannot be redeployed, voluntary redundancy can now be used.
“Initially voluntary redundancy will be rolled out in three areas – the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and specific parts of the Health and Education sectors. These departments estimate that there will be scope to effect about 2,000 exits from these areas over time, mainly from back office and support areas and management and administrative grades. The availability of voluntary redundancy for these areas will be useful in supporting the achievement of organisational reforms and restructuring. Obviously, as voluntary redundancy is being targeted at areas with identified staff surpluses, there will not be replacement of the departing staff,” the Minister outlined.
It is proposed to proceed with these schemes as soon as possible. Each of the relevant departments is liaising with the Minister’s Department to ensure roll out of voluntary redundancy as soon as the necessary plans have been finalised and arrangements made. The scheme may also be rolled out to other areas of the public service if deemed appropriate.
“I would stress that there will be no automatic right to redundancy and all applications will be subject to ongoing business needs and service provision priorities,” explained Minister Howlin.
The terms of the scheme will be as agreed between his Department and the Public Services Committee of ICTU in June of last year.