The HSE recognises the importance of home help and home care in supporting older persons to live in their own homes and communities, in accordance with Government policy. The 2013 National Service Plan includes the provision of 10.3 million hours of home help service, the same level as planned for in 2012.
On 29 June 2012, the Labour Court recommended that the HSE and SIPTU should engage in relation to matters concerning the contracts of home helps. Subsequently, on 16th October 2012, it identified issues to be addressed including exit mechanisms. At a further hearing on 12th December 2012, it noted that management proposals to deal with these issues would be encompassed in a comprehensive delivery model for home help services.
The parties subsequently met on a number of occasions under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission, most recently on 30th April. While significant progress was made on a range of contractual matters, the Commission is referring a number of outstanding issues, including voluntary exit mechanisms as provided for within the terms of the PSA, back to the Labour Court.