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Voluntary Redundancy in the Public Service: Collective Agreement

(11 Jul 2012)

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Voluntary Redundancy in the Public Service: Collective Agreement

It is important to say at the outset that this is not an early retirement package. It is a key principle of the law of redundancy that the role no longer exists, not the person. In order to be eligible for redundancy, therefore, a specific role or roles would have to no longer exist in a public sector employment. A person who avails of the redundancy package is not entitled to any pension payments until their normal retirement age (60 years in most cases).

Under the Public Service Agreement 2010 – 2014 the parties have agreed that Public Service numbers will be reduced in accordance with Government policy on public service numbers, as implemented through Employment Control Frameworks. To that end, the Agreement states (paragraph 1.5) that, where the circumstances require it, the Government may offer voluntary mechanisms to exit the public service, whether generally or in specific sectors, bodies, locations or services.

The Agreement includes a commitment (paragraph 1.6) by public service management that compulsory redundancy will not apply within the Public Service.

It has been agreed on behalf of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Public Services Committee of ICTU that the following will apply, with effect from 1 June 2012, on the redundancy of a public servant as defined under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts 2009 – 2011 or group or class of public servants.

  • Any ex gratia payment will amount to no more than 3 weeks’ pay per year of service, subject to the total statutory redundancy (2 weeks’ pay per year of service) and ex gratia payment not exceeding either 2 years’ pay or one half of the salary payable to preserved pension age (60 years of age in most cases), whichever is less;
  • In accordance with the provisions in the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 - 2007, public servants in employment for less than 2 years [104 weeks] are not eligible for a severance payment (statutory or ex gratia);
  • Public servants will be advised in writing prior to acceptance of the ex gratia payment that s/he will not be eligible for re-employment in the public service by any public service body (as defined by the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts 2009 – 2011) for a period of two years from termination of the employment. Thereafter the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform will be required prior to re-employment. This declaration will also include an authorisation that their information (PPS number and details) can be used by their employer or any other public service body for the purposes of monitoring compliance with this provision.

The collective agreement will be reviewed from time to time in light of the prevailing economic and fiscal conditions.
 

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Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants