Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (514)

John McGuinness

Question:

514. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of gardaí in receipt of injury at work payments; the number injured at work who have received compensation awards; the policy relative to the reclassification of injury at work payments to standard sick pay for members who are frequently out sick due to injury; the impact on the income of the members concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19403/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, it is the Garda Commissioner who is responsible for managing and An Garda Síochána including personnel matters.

The number of Gardaí recorded as absent on 30th April 2019 as a result of Injury on Duty is 144. In order for a Garda Member to be in receipt of full pay a certificate must have issued in accordance with 11.37 of the Garda Code, or the Chief Medical Officer must have advised that an absence is related to a previous Injury on Duty.

Regarding the policy of reclassification of injury at work payments to standard sick pay for members that are frequently out sick due to injury and the impact on the income of the members concerned, if a member is maliciously injured in the course of duty, without wilful default or negligence on their part and this is confirmed by the Chief Superintendent by way of the issuing of a Certificate in accordance with Garda Code 11.37, full pay may issue while there is a reasonable probability the member will be able to resume duty, as provided for in the Garda Síochána (Finance) Code (F) 3.41.

Where a member is attributing a subsequent absence to a previous injury sustained on duty, the advices of the Chief Medical Officer are sought to confirm the classification of the absence. The absence remains treated as “Ordinary Illness” until the Chief Medical Officer confirms otherwise. Where an absence is reclassified as Injury on Duty, the member will be restored to full pay for the period of absence.

The Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts, 1941 and 1945 provide for a scheme of compensation for members of An Garda Síochána who are maliciously injured in the course of their duty and for the dependants of members who have died from injuries maliciously inflicted on them.

The figures for cases awarded since 2017 are outlined in the following table:

Year

Number of Awards*

2017

111

2018

126

01/2019- 03/2019

32

* While compensation awards were made out in these years, the injuries concerning the compensation awards may have occurred in a year previous.