Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Health

Health Services Staff

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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386. To ask the Minister for Health the conditions that have been imposed on section 39 organisations delivering community care before restoration of FEMPI pay cuts can be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17175/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the very important role played by those working in Section 39 organisations in our communities.

Under section 39 of the Health Act 2004, the HSE provides financial assistance to organisations by means of a grant. Section 39 legally underpins the provision of services similar or supplementary to a service that the HSE may provide. Staff in these section 39 organisations were not subject to the provisions of FEMPI legislation and therefore did not receive those cuts that were applied to the pay of public servants. They were not and are not party to the Public Service Agreements and are therefore not covered by the pay restoration provided for in these Agreements. While it is understood that pay savings were made by the organisations, the precise mix of pay cuts or other savings measures will have varied.

In October 2018, an agreement was reached by the parties at the Workplace Relations Commission in relation to a process of pay restoration for staff employed in Section 39 organisations who met certain criteria. A further WRC engagement followed in December 2020 in relation to a final phase of 250 organisations who were identified as part of the earlier agreement. A payment arrangement consisting of three phases was agreed with the first two payments made in 2021, and the third and final payment due to be made in 2023.

Pay restoration was applicable to Section 39 organisations who met certain criteria, rather than types of individual workers that are employed in them. Eligible Section 39 organisations included only agencies that had service arrangements in place back in 2013 and that were still under service arrangements in 2019. Only organisations who received in excess of an agreed, specified amount from the HSE by way of the Service Level Agreement process were included.

Pay restoration is absolutely limited and only applicable to those included in the initial WRC agreement. I can also confirm that there is no scope to revisit the eligibility criteria for the process and that from a Departmental point of view, the process has reached a final resolution.


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