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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 11 Nov 1986

Vol. 369 No. 8

Written Answers. - Compensation for Prison Officers.


asked the Minister for Justice whether compensation is currently available to a prison officer who is badly injured in course of his duty during the period for which he would be out of work, or for injuries sustained by such officers; if not, if he considers this to be unsatisfactory in view of the fact that such compensation provisions were operated up to recently; and if he will have these restored so as to safeguard all prison officers.

Prison officers injured in the course of duty are subject to the provisions governing occupational injuries which apply to civil servants generally. These include payment in accordance with the normal sick leave arrangements in respect of officers unfit for work as a result of having been injured in the course of duty and, in cases where officers have to retire, benefits under the Injury Warrant, 1946 (as amended by the Injury Warrant, 1978).

Officers injured in the course of duty may, in appropriate circumstances, claim under the scheme of compensation for personal injuries criminally inflicted. I take it that in referring to compensation provisions which were operated up to recently the Deputy has in mind an amendment made to the scheme to exclude payment of compensation in respect of pain and suffering. I am aware of the concern which has been expressed about the implications of this amendment for prison staff injured in the course of duty and I have been examining ways in which this concern might be met. There are difficulties in this area, however, given the implications for other areas of the public service where staff representatives have also been seeking revised compensation arrangements.