136. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the procedures adopted under the mobility policy; if it is possible for a person to move backwards on the list; the circumstances in which such could occur; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19904/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Public Sector Staff)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Phase 1A of the Civil Service Mobility scheme was launched for Clerical Officers and Executive Officers to apply for mobility in November 2017. Over 3,300 staff members have applied for mobility since its launch. As a matter of policy for the scheme, applicants are queued by date of application in the first instance, and length of service in the second instance.
It was open to applicants to enter a legacy date on their initial ...

355. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of progress on work on the abolition of the mandatory retirement age in the public service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26686/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 353, 355, 363, 364, 380 and 385 together.
On foot of one of the recommendations of the Report of the Interdepartmental Group on Fuller Working Lives, my Department, with Public Service employers, was tasked to review the current statutory and operational considerations giving rise to barriers to extended participation in the public service workforce up to and including the current and planned ag...

366. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on whether the standardised test of high-speed verbal and numerical reasoning administered as part of the civil service recruitment process discriminates against persons with mental health or neurological conditions which impinge on their ability to complete such high-speed tests that are otherwise highly qualified for recruitment. (Question 27047/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the Public Appointments Service (PAS) is an independent, statutory body which provides professional recruitment and selection services to the civil service.  
I understand from PAS that they use verbal and numerical reasoning tests, alongside other assessment tools, for Civil Service roles such as Clerical Officer, Executive Officer, Third Secretary and Administrative Officer.  The reason for using ...

127. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection his views on the fact that a person (details supplied) who has worked as a community employment scheme supervisor for 24 years is being forced to take mandatory retirement at 66 years of age and will receive only the basic State pension of €230 per week upon retirement. (Question 21147/17 asked on 04 May 2017 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Community Employment (CE) is a non-statutory scheme put in place to support persons who are long-term unemployed and other vulnerable groups to gain the confidence and skills to re-enter the labour market. Schemes are sponsored by local community and voluntary groups who provide valuable support services to local communities. These sponsoring organisations employ supervisory staff to administer the scheme and funding for this purpose is pro...

321. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the details of payments made by her Department or a public body under the aegis of her Department to a person (details supplied) in the past 36 months and to date in 2017. (Question 21390/17 asked on 03 May 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor): The person in question was employed as chief executive officer of the Labour Relations Commission until 30 September 2015, and as director general of the Workplace Relations Commission following its establishment on 1 October 2015.
In this context, my Department processed salary payments to the person in question during the period referred to. These ceased upon the person’s retirement in June 2016.
No further payments...

324. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the details of payments made by her Department or a public body under the aegis of her Department to a person (details supplied) in the past 36 months and to date in 2017. (Question 21385/17 asked on 03 May 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): The Deputy might note that my Department did not make any payments to the person in question. In relation to the State Agencies under the remit of my Department I am also advised that Tusla, the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Oberstown Children Detention Campus did not incur any such payments and that the Office of the Ombudsman for Children will respond directly to the Deputy in the matter.
 ...

335. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the details of payments made by his Department or a public body under the aegis of his Department to a person (details supplied) in the past 36 months and to date in 2017. (Question 21387/17 asked on 03 May 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): There were no payments made by my Department or the Army Pensions Board, the only body under the aegis of my Department, to the person referred to by the Deputy during the period covered by the question.
 ...

134. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 258 of 2 November 2016, if he will confirm that there are currently plans for recruitment at assistant principal level in 2016. (Question 33902/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, the last open and interdepartmental standard Assistant Principal Officer competitions were held in June 2015 and is currently being used to fill existing vacancies at Assistant Principal Officer level in the Civil Service. Such panels usually last for a period of between eighteen months to two years.
A competition for Human Resource Managers at Assistant Principal Officer level was advertised by the...

258. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the areas of recruitment currently planned for the public service; the grades at which recruitment will take place; and if local authorities will be included. (Question 33019/16 asked on 02 Nov 2016 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, I announced additional recruitment measures recently on Budget Day. This will include an additional 2,400 teaching posts in the Education sector, of which 900 will be resource teachers. In the Justice Sector, there will be an accelerated programme of Garda recruitment, with 800 new Gardaí to be hired and trained in 2017.  There will also be accelerated recruitment of about 500 civilian staff into ...

188. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he engages in a due diligence process including a review and analysis of professional conduct, competence and background prior to appointing legal advisers to public bodies including the Standards in Public Office Commission. (Question 16558/16 asked on 16 Jun 2016 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Legal Services: Prior to appointment to any OGP Legal Services Framework Agreement for Solicitors Services, successful Tenderers are required to demonstrate that they meet the minimum standards laid down in the competition. These standards vary depending on the nature and type of Framework Agreement being entered into.
Typically, solicitors are required to demonstrate their compliance to the following standards.
Financial & Ec...

182. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the process by which persons are short-listed and selected for posts as architectural advisers in the Office of Public Works is fully open and competitive; if there are sufficient safeguards to protect against any favouritism; and if any audit of the recruitment process for positions in the Office of Public Works has ever been conducted. (Question 45726/15 asked on 17 Dec 2015 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Simon Harris): The Office of Public Works does not recruit staff in the grade of Architectural Adviser. Open competitions for all Established grades are conducted by the Public Appointments Service.
 ...

12. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the systemic analysis he has undertaken of the effects on public service delivery of the reduction in public service staff numbers from 320,387 full-time equivalents to 293,811 full-time equivalents between 2008 and end of June 2015; and if he is satisfied that public services can be adequately provided in the face of such reductions. (Question 40617/15 asked on 19 Nov 2015 - Public Sector Staff)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Staffing levels in the Public Service are increasing, and have been since December 2013. There are more nurses, teachers, gardaí, and special needs assistants now than at any time since the onset of the economic and fiscal crisis. Public service staff numbers have increased by just under 5,000 in the first nine months of 2015 alone, on foot of Budget decisions taken last year, which also included a removal of the Moratorium o...

294. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to reverse the two-tier pay scale for teachers and other public servants introduced in 2011. (Question 36415/15 asked on 20 Oct 2015 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): I assume the Deputy is referring to the 10% reduced rates of pay for new entrant public servants. This was one of a number of measures, introduced over the period since the fiscal crisis which directly affected the pay of public service staff. The reductions in starting pay were introduced in January 2011 as part of the National Recovery Plan in order to reduce the Public Service Pay Bill by the previous Government. 
However, th...

431. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason for the decision to outsource testing for recruitment to the Civil Service to two UK firms (details supplied), the reason an Ireland-based company or the PAS, Public Appointments Service, are not performing this function; his views that these firms are best-placed to conduct this testing. (Question 31836/15 asked on 22 Sep 2015 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is independent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in the carrying out of its functions including in relation to decision-making on testing for recruitment to the civil service.  Recruitment generally is subject to the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service.      
My Department has been advised by PAS...

193. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance the reason staff who had multiple renewals of temporary contracts working for the Revenue Commissioners in Ennis, County Clare were not awarded permanent contracts, and to make a statement regarding this practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3405/15 asked on 27 Mar 2015 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the temporary staff in question were recruited to carry out work associated with the introduction of Local Property Tax (LPT). The task of introducing this new tax, the largest extension of the self-assessment system in the history of the State, posed major administrative challenges. The staffing model for its introduction was built on flexible deployment, which included recruiting additional staff on ...

187. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Finance if he will justify the fact that 110 staff in the Revenue Commissioners will be let go on 27 March 2015, despite the fact that they have successfully worked in that area for many months and that they will be replaced from an outside panel, necessitating extra training when there were persons in situ that were capable of doing that job. (Question 8748/15 asked on 03 Mar 2015 - Public Sector Staff)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that the temporary staff in question were recruited to carry out work associated with the introduction of Local Property Tax (LPT) and also for the Household Charge Arrears project. 
The task of introducing this new tax (LPT), the largest extension of the self-assessment system in the history of the State, posed major administrative challenges. The staffing model for its introduction was built on flexible de...

218. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a review of the discriminatory impact of changes in public sector sick leave entitlements which calculated pregnancy sick leave as part of overall sick leave entitlements, backdated for four years has taken place; his plans to eliminate this inequality; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1748/15 asked on 14 Jan 2015 - Public Sector Staff Sick Leave)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): The Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 124 of 2014) set out the provisions of the new Public Service Sick Leave Scheme.
The Sick Leave Regulations provides that an individual’s sick leave record will be reviewed over a 4-year period in order to determine how much paid sick leave they will have access to.  Reviewing records over a period of 4 years is generally considered to be a more flexible way o...

19. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps he will take to tackle low pay in the public service. (Question 42003/14 asked on 06 Nov 2014 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Notwithstanding the necessary imposition of pay reductions on public servants through the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts 2009-2013, terms and conditions including pay rates for public servants have traditionally been determined through collective bargaining processes with due regard to statutory provisions including the National Minimum Wage Act. Indeed, the Deputy will be aware that one of the first ac...

33. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the areas of recruitment planned for the public service; the grades at which recruitment will take place; and if the local authorities will be included. (Question 42004/14 asked on 06 Nov 2014 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): In my role as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I have overarching responsibility for workforce planning and recruitment to the Civil Service. The following recruitment competitions for the Civil Service are currently in progress by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) or are scheduled to take place in 2015.
Competitions in Progress
A competition for Clerical Officer in the Civil and Public Service is ongoing and the...

111. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of occurrences and total number of days lost through sick absences in the case of members of the Prison Service, excluding civilians, in 2013 to the end of August 2014. (Question 42358/14 asked on 05 Nov 2014 - Public Sector Staff Sick Leave)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
I can advise the Deputy that the new Public Service Sick Leave Scheme came into effect from 31 March 2014. The Scheme is set out in the Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations S.I. 124 of 2014 and, generally, applies to all public servants, including staff of the Irish Prison Service. The new Sick Leave Scheme was introduced, following the enactment of the ...

112. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of occurrences and total number of days lost through self-certified sick absences in the case of members of the Prison Service, excluding civilians, in 2013 and to the end of August 2014. (Question 42359/14 asked on 05 Nov 2014 - Public Sector Staff Sick Leave)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
I can advise the Deputy that the new Public Service Sick Leave Scheme came into effect from 31 March 2014. The Scheme is set out in the Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations S.I. 124 of 2014 and, generally, applies to all public servants, including staff of the Irish Prison Service. The new Sick Leave Scheme was introduced, following the enactment of the ...

113. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of days self-certified sick leave allowed to a member of the Prison Service, excluding civilians, per year; and the regulations applied to the number of such days as a result of reform of the sick leave arrangements in the public service in 2014. (Question 42360/14 asked on 05 Nov 2014 - Public Sector Staff Sick Leave)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
I can advise the Deputy that the new Public Service Sick Leave Scheme came into effect from 31 March 2014. The Scheme is set out in the Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations S.I. 124 of 2014 and, generally, applies to all public servants, including staff of the Irish Prison Service. The new Sick Leave Scheme was introduced, following the enactment of the ...

23. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will lift the public sector recruitment embargo in order to secure the effective delivery of necessary public services. (Question 38169/14 asked on 09 Oct 2014 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): As I have previously advised the House, there is no embargo on recruitment in the Public Service.  To safeguard frontline and priority services, the Government has allowed for critical posts to be filled throughout the period of reduction of public service numbers.  In addition to this ongoing recruitment, special provision was made in last October’s Budget for the recruitment into key front line sectors, including more than 900...

7. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will revise the public service sick leave scheme in order that absence due to pregnancy-related illness is not counted as sick leave. (Question 29515/14 asked on 09 Jul 2014 - Public Sector Staff Sick Leave)

Deputy Clare Daly: A new public service sick leave scheme was introduced earlier this year. The Minister had the power to change regulations under that scheme. This question relates specifically to the changes in the treatment of pregnancy-related sick leave which I believe is particularly discriminatory against women because a difficult pregnancy could see a woman eating up her entire allowance and, as a result, not being able to avail of sick leave later on without incurring a significant fi...

20. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason he decided to include absence due to pregnancy-related illness as sick leave under the public service sick leave scheme; and his views on the discriminatory impact this will have on women workers and their health. (Question 29516/14 asked on 09 Jul 2014 - Public Sector Staff Sick Leave)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): As I set out in detail in my responses to other questions on this specific issue, the need to protect women during pregnancy and ensure that they are not discriminated against is a priority that has been strongly reflected in the design of the new sick leave scheme.  The new scheme operates its provisions for pregnancy-related illness in accordance with the principles of European law in relation to non-discrimination against pre...