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Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 11 April 2017

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Questions (437)

Seán Haughey

Question:

437. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the legislative basis for established positions in the Civil Service; the essential rights and entitlements of such employees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17668/17]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 is the key legislative basis for established positions in the civil service. It defines an established position as "a position in which established service is rendered".  Established service is defined in the same Act as "service in a capacity in respect of which a superannuation allowance may be granted under the Superannuation Acts, 1834 to 1954".

To a large extent the actual differences between established and unestablished service are historical, other than in the case of pensions.  Reflecting developments in employment law the rights of all civil servants are broadly the same.  In the past the fundamental differences between established and unestablished staff were (i) the basis of their tenure and (ii) their method of entry into the civil service. However, these differences no longer exist.

The Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Act 2005 provided for the abolition of the distinction in the tenure arrangements on the basis of whether a civil servant is established or unestablished and replaces it with a distinction based primarily on grade - where the Secretary General is responsible for the management of staff at assistant principal, and equivalent, and below, and the Minister is responsible for the management of grades above that level.

Similarly the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 means that the framework under which recruitment to the public service is carried out is now the same for all civil servants, whether established or unestablished.  All civil servants are covered by the provisions of the Act and this means that whether staff are established or unestablished their entry route to the civil service is the same.  Notwithstanding this because established civil servants cannot be employed under an employment contract - other than a probationary contract - any staff employed on contract will therefore hold unestablished status.

The terms and conditions of civil servants are determined by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform under section 17 of the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 and civil servants, whether established or unestablished, generally have the same statutory and non-statutory conditions of employment.

There are some differences in the pension terms and the retirement ages that apply to established and unestablished civil servants. In general, for those who entered prior to 1 April 2004, and who are established civil servants, excluding prison officers, the minimum pension age is 60 and the maximum retirement age is 65, while non-established state employees have a minimum pension age of 65 and a maximum retirement age of 65/66. In general, those appointed on or after 1 April 2004 and before 1 January 2013, whether established, excluding prison officers, or non-established, have a minimum pension age of 65 and no maximum retirement age. Members of the single scheme, in general those appointed on or after 1 January 2013, whether established, excluding prison officers, or non-established have a minimum pension age of 66, rising in step with state pension age increases to 67 in 2021 and 68 in 2028.  Retirement is compulsory when a member of the single scheme reaches 70 years of age.

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