Written answers

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Department of Health

Departmental Staff

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Laois-Offaly, Independent)
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220. To ask the Minister for Health if personnel in his Department have been removed from their positions, have been transferred to another role or had their employment terminated from 2011 to date due to breaches of Departmental standards or professional misconduct or incompetence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57901/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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All Civil Servants are required to comply with the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour and all policies relating to the terms and conditions of their employment. There are a number of formal policies, processes and procedures by which the performance, conduct, behaviour and attendance of Civil Servants is measured, including Guidelines for the Management of Probation in the Civil Service, the Performance Management and Development System, the Civil Service Management of Underperformance Policy and the Civil Service Disciplinary Code. These provide a fair and robust methodology for setting the standards of expected performance levels at each grade, for measuring and reviewing performance against those standards, and for raising concerns and approving any relevant sanctions where there is a failure to adhere to the required standards of conduct, work performance and attendance.

In line with best practice in terms of people management, the Department strives to resolve performance, conduct/behaviour, and time/attendance issues informally in the first instance through its line management structure. This is in order to maximise the chance of a successful resolution of issues where they may arise for a variety of reasons. On occasion, this may include the reassignment of an employee to a role which is better suited to their skills and competencies. Records of such informal engagements are not maintained unless a formal disciplinary process is initiated. In respect of formal disciplinary processes, there are specified timeframes for retaining disciplinary records depending on the particular case. The Department does not retain any such records outside of those timeframes.

Given the relatively small size of the Department of Health for the years in question and the Department's policy of supporting line managers to resolve issues informally where possible, there are limited if any cases in any of the years in question where a formal disciplinary process resulted in a sanction of the nature specified in the question. Where issues arise of this nature, they are generally identified during the probationary process and resolved in accordance with that policy.


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