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Departmental Staff.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 March 2010

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Questions (106)

Noel Ahern


105 Deputy Noel Ahern asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding the granting of term time this year to civil servants or to staff in various State agencies, specifically, if a decision not to allow term time has been made; the reason such a decision will be made not to allow this family friendly option which is cost neutral at worst; if Departments have freedom outside of a general instruction from him to discontinue term time. [12144/10]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

The Term time scheme has been superseded by the new modernised and updated format Shorter Working Year scheme (Circular 14/2009 of 30 April 2009). This new scheme, which was included in the Supplementary Budget of 7 April 2009, has been applicable from 30 April 2009. Subsequently, all Government Departments were asked to extend the terms of the scheme to bodies under their aegis. The purpose of the scheme is to allow staff to balance their working arrangements with outside commitments, including the school holiday periods for children. Under the terms of the scheme, special leave is available as a period of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 13 consecutive weeks. The leave may be taken as one continuous period, or as a maximum of 3 separate periods each consisting of not less than 2 weeks and not exceeding 13 weeks in total.

The operation of the new scheme, as with the old, is subject to the business needs of Departments/bodies not being adversely affected. While Departments/bodies are asked as far as possible to grant applications for special leave under the terms of the Shorter Working Year scheme, the needs of the work may require that some or all applications will have to be refused. It is also important that the absence of staff does not place an undue burden on the staff remaining in the workplace. The final decision as to granting/refusing applications remains with the Personnel Officer in each Department/body.