Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (612)

Dara Calleary

Question:

612. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Health when he expects all section 38 and section 39 agencies to be in compliance with public sector pay policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16783/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

At my request, the HSE has taken urgent action to ensure Section 38 agencies which have been found to be in breach of health sector pay policy are brought into compliance.

Following consultation between the agencies and the HSE, a substantial number of Section 38 Agencies submitted business cases seeking retention of unapproved allowances.

An Internal HSE Review Panel communicated their decisions in April on the business cases that were made to them by the Section 38 organisations. I understand that the vast majority of the business cases were rejected. The HSE advised the non-compliant agencies that a period of up to three months to 1st July 2014 had been set to allow time for them to make the necessary arrangements to cease the payment of all unapproved remuneration. The agencies have been requested to report back to the HSE setting out their planned course of action to give effect to the Review Panel decisions by 16th May 2014. I will not be in a position to comment accurately on when full compliance will be achieved, until the agencies have reported back.

Staff in organisations funded under Section 39 are not classified as public servants, not counted in public service numbers, don’t have public service pensions and not bound by the Department of Health Consolidated Salary Scales. The HSE funds more than 2,600 agencies through 4,100 individual service level arrangements under Section 39 of the Health Act 2004. At the Minister for Health’s request, the HSE wrote to the CEOs of all Section 39 agencies outlining health sector pay policy and requesting each to have due regard to public pay policy, in particular in respect of senior management. In accordance with service level arrangements, since 2013, the HSE requires all funded agencies to disclose senior manager remuneration. The HSE is close to completing a verification and validation exercise in respect of senior managers’ remuneration in the larger Section 39 Agencies who receive in excess of €5million in funding annually from the HSE. A report will be finalised in the coming weeks.