95. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the directive on the compulsory retirement age of 65 years of age for public servants is coming into force; the timeframe for its introduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8890/18 asked on 21 Feb 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 53517/2017 on 14 December 2017.
The legislation is on the list of priority legislation for publication in the Spring/Summer Session 2018. 
 ...

94. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the timeframe for the legislation to extend the mandatory retirement age in the public sector to 70 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4986/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 146 on 14 December 2017.
 ...

143. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if persons who work in the public service and are due to retire in 2018 will be afforded the opportunity to continue in their employment if they wish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4736/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 and 144 together.
I refer the Deputies to my response to PQ No 4003 on 30 January 2018.
 ...

144. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when legislative change to permit persons in the public service and other jobs who wish to work beyond the normal retirement age of 65 years of age to do so on a voluntary basis will be implemented (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4957/18 asked on 31 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 143 and 144 together.
I refer the Deputies to my response to PQ No 4003 on 30 January 2018.
 ...

189. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the arrangement and future plans to allow public servants to continue to work after their retirement; if they will be put at a financial disadvantage or if they will be allowed to earn the same salary as they were earning prior to their retirement date; and if they will be taxed differently. (Question 4600/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 195 together.
The Government agreed on 5 December 2017 that the compulsory retirement age of public servants recruited before 1 April 2004 should be increased to age 70. Primary legislation will be required for the changes to be implemented. In approving the proposals, the Government also approved the General Scheme of a Bill to give effect to the changes. The Attorney General’s Offic...

195. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of a person (details supplied) who is due to retire in April 2018 at 65 years of age but would like to remain working; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4003/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 189 and 195 together.
The Government agreed on 5 December 2017 that the compulsory retirement age of public servants recruited before 1 April 2004 should be increased to age 70. Primary legislation will be required for the changes to be implemented. In approving the proposals, the Government also approved the General Scheme of a Bill to give effect to the changes. The Attorney General’s Offic...

15. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the proposed legislation to increase the compulsory retirement age for public servants to 70 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2121/18 asked on 18 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Deputy John Brady: I want to ask the Minister about the announcement he made last December whereby he decided to increase the retirement age for public service workers from 65 to 70. That must be welcomed, although it does not go far enough. The Minister is aware that I put forward legislation to ensure no worker would be subject to a mandatory retirement age. However, there is some concern on this issue. With whom did the Minister consult regarding the interim arrangements he announced in a...

40. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason public service workers who wish to remain at work beyond 65 years of age will see wage cuts as per the terms and conditions set out for those wishing to remain at work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2349/18 asked on 18 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Deputy John Brady: I want to ask the Minister about the announcement he made last December whereby he decided to increase the retirement age for public service workers from 65 to 70. That must be welcomed, although it does not go far enough. The Minister is aware that I put forward legislation to ensure no worker would be subject to a mandatory retirement age. However, there is some concern on this issue. With whom did the Minister consult regarding the interim arrangements he announced in a...

79. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the full extent to date of recruitment throughout the public sector in the context of economic recovery; the expectation in respect of future recruitments throughout the sector by the end of 2018 and thereafter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2604/18 asked on 18 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, in my role as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I have overarching responsibility for workforce planning in and recruitment to the Civil Service. 
In Budget 2015, it was announced that there will be a targeted programme of recruitment into the Civil Service to address service needs and a shortfall in key skills commencing in late 2014 and continuing. The Deputy will be aware that a number ...

82. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of persons that have left the public service in each of the past five years to date either by way of retirement or redundancy; the extent to which the national pay bill has been affected as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2607/18 asked on 18 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Data)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): This Department only holds data in relation to the civil service, data in respect of the public service would require individual requests to each Department and public service body.
In the civil service over the period 2012-2017 there were 5,412 retirements for a variety of reasons including normal age retirement, ill health and voluntary early retirement.
The data available doesn’t specifically identify redundancies (as oppose...

254. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the estimated cost of introducing the living wage for all employees in the public sector. (Question 54567/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The detailed costings sought in this request would require detailed data on the position of staff on each salary scale across the public service and details of the standard working hours per week for each individual grade. This data is not available to the Department. 
Pay band data available to the Department indicates that some 94% of all public service staff are on salary points in excess of €25,000 per annum. The suggeste...

478. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of court convictions in each of the past five years for assaults on front-line staff including those in health care employments, An Garda Síochána, fire services and prison services; the number of those convicted who received prison sentences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54335/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Safety)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system. 
However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that it is not possible to provide most of the information...

479. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the legislation he plans to introduce to counter the number of assaults on frontline staff, including those in health care employments, An Garda Síochána, fire services and prison services; when such measures are likely to be in force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54336/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Public Sector Staff Safety)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): There is specific legislation in place to deal with assaults on emergency workers in front-line positions.  
The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2006, provides explicit statutory protection for what are termed “peace officers”, which include members of the Garda Síochána, prison officers, members of the fire brigade, ambulance personnel and members of the Defence Forces.  The Act also co...

26. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the way in which the existing public sector pay agreements are helping to address staff shortages in front-line public services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50835/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Since Q4 2013 Public Service numbers have increased by nearly 30,000. Over 20,000 of those were recruited in the Health and Education sectors. Adjusting for transfers of functions between Departments, both the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Skills have higher staffing levels now than in 2008.
Furthermore there has been a shift from administrative staff to front-line service delivery. For example in ...

30. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the pension and public pay restoration to be carried out under FEMPI by Department and public body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53430/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Public pay and pension restoration by Departments and public bodies has been and will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA): 
www.per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Public-Service-Stability-Agreement-2013-2018.pdf.
and the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA):
www.per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/LRA-extension.pdf.
Pay increases under the LRA were as follows:
2016
- 1st January annu...

32. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if studies have taken place to determine the number of persons displaced by the retirement age, impacting on those 65 to 70 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53250/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As this is a voluntary measure for existing public servants with a compulsory retirement age of 65, giving them the option to work until 70, it provides an ongoing opportunity to public servants to exercise their retirement option anytime from age 65 to age 70. This will be influenced by the personal circumstances of each individual, which may be subject to ongoing consideration as those personal circumstances change during th...

146. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the timeframe for the legislation to extend the mandatory retirement age in the public sector to 70 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53517/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Government has approved the General Scheme of a Bill to give effect to its decision last week to increase the compulsory retirement age for most public servants recruited before 1 April 2004. It is not possible to predict the length of time it will take for a Bill to be drafted and pass through both Houses of the Oireachtas given the need for meticulous drafting, ongoing detailed policy considerations, and the scheduling re...

160. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which the recruitment embargo throughout the public sector has been lifted with particular reference to the need to ensure replenishment of staffing levels in the most sensitive areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53945/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The moratorium on recruitment in the Public Service, introduced as a control measure in 2009, was ended with effect from 2015. Since then, a policy of delegated sanction for management of staff numbers has been applied to most Government Departments. Under this policy, subject to remaining within their pay ceilings, Departments can recruit or promote in grades up to and including Principal Officer or equivalent without seeking ...

96. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the sectors within the public service which will not benefit from the phased increase of the retirement age from 65 to 70 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 53404/17 asked on 13 Dec 2017 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): There are certain groups of employees in the public service who, due to the nature of their work, are currently required to retire early. Members of An Garda Síochána, the Permanent Defence Force, Firefighters and Prison Officers are the constituent groups in this category, which are collectively referred to as the uniformed pension fast accrual group.
These public servants currently have earlier compulsory retirement ages (the...

68. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 121 of 29 November 2017, the process by which external members of TLAC are appointed; the qualifications and skill sets sought relative to external members; the level of professional human resources qualifications of each member; the rationale behind the decision to have two ex officio members; the skillsets required by the two Secretaries General appointed; the process by which they are selected and appointed; the attendance record of each member; the number of occasions when a split decision occurred in terms of an appointment; the way in which such a decision is dealt with; the number of persons appointed to vacancies that had no connection with the civil or public service out of the 615 appointments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52475/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Public Sector Staff Recruitment)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC) operates in an independent manner and strictly on the basis of open competition and merit. TLAC is responsible for determining its own procedures and remit, subject to Government decisions as appropriate. All TLAC interviews are conducted by sub-panels of the Top Level Appointments Committee each comprising two Secretaries General, two external members and chaired by the TLAC Chairp...

94. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the estimated cost of pay equalisation for new entrants in the public service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51360/17 asked on 30 Nov 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The 10% reductions in starting pay for certain new entrants were introduced in January 2011 as part of the National Recovery Plan in order to reduce the Public Service Pay Bill by the then Government. 
The issue of addressing the difference in incremental salary scales between those public servants, who entered public service employment since 2011 and those who entered before that date was addressed with the relevant union inte...

121. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the names of persons that serve on the high level appointments commission for the Civil Service; the length of time that each one has served on the commission; the number of appointments made since its inception; his plans for reform of this commission; his further plans to replace members of the commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50891/17 asked on 29 Nov 2017 - Public Sector Staff Data)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy will be aware, open publicly advertised competition is a key principle of senior level appointments to posts across the public service reflecting the Government’s commitment to ensure that such posts, which are central to the effective performance of our system of public administration, are filled by high-calibre candidates.  
In my area of direct responsibility, the civil service, recruitment in relation to senio...

12. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to review and address recruitment and retention issues in various areas of the public service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47262/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Public Sector Staff)

Deputy Dara Calleary: The issue of recruitment and retention within the public service is causing considerable pressure, particularly in the health service but also in the area of education. An issue has arisen, for example, in the context of the availability of substitute teachers. I have also seen figures which indicate that 60 hospital beds were closed last month because of a shortage of staff. I understand that there are procedures within the Public Service Pay Commission to address this ...

15. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps that have been taken or need to be taken to change the mandatory retirement age in the public sector; the cost benefit analysis of increasing the mandatory retirement age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46865/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Public Sector Staff Retirements)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): An Interdepartmental Working Group, chaired by my Department was established in 2016 to examine the issues arising from prevailing retirement ages for workers in both the public and private sectors. This examination was in the context of the current age of entitlement to the State Pension and the scheduled increases to the State Pension age in 2021 and 2028. 
The Group, whose Report was agreed by Government in August 2016, con...

21. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of public and civil servants earning the minimum wage and the living wage; his plans to ensure that all public and civil servants earn the living wage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47235/17 asked on 09 Nov 2017 - Public Sector Staff Remuneration)

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): As the Deputy is aware my colleague the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is responsible for setting the National Minimum Wage on recommendation from the Low Pay Commission. 
The current minimum wage is set at €9.25 and the third report of the Low Pay Commission recommended that this be increased by 30 cent per hour.
The Government welcomed that recommendation as a modest increase but one that is ahead of th...