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 a range of contractual matters, including the provision of working hours to home helps. Subsequently, on 16th October 2012, it identified a number of possible options to be given consideration, including redeployment of home help staff. At a further hearing on 12th December 2012, it noted that management proposals to deal with the issues before the Court, 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 by the parties on a range of issues relating to the provision of working hours, the Commission is to refer a number of items, including redeployment, back to the Labour Court.