Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (553, 614)

Derek Nolan

Question:

553. Deputy Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to residential health care staff working on sleepover duty; the reasons some residential care staff are expected to work 63 hour weeks instead of the statutory 48; if sleepover duty is part of the working week and if it is treated as such for pay purposes; if he believes that these hours are in breach of EU and Irish working time legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15061/14]

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Seán Kyne

Question:

614. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the issues regarding sleepover duty, particularly in residential facilities; if his Department considers such duties as part of the normal working hours; if not, the reason for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15438/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 553 and 614 together.

The Haddington Road Agreement provides for a process of negotiation under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission in relation to this matter in respect of staff working in residential care settings. Following a referral to the Labour Court in early 2014, it was agreed that the matter should be referred back to the Labour Relations Commission for completion of discussions by 31 May 2014. A series of meetings is scheduled to take place in March and April involving my Department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the HSE, Service Providers and the Trade Unions representing the employees.