Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (105)

Mick Barry

Question:

105. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on a uniform pay rate and policy for senior civil servants in Departments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20332/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The current pay rates for senior civil service grades (Secretary General, Deputy Secretary, and Assistant Secretary) are as set out in Circular 12 of 2020, which is available here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/circular/39b2c-circular-12-2020-application-of-1st-of-october-2020-pay-adjustments/

These rates may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government pay policy.

Regarding Secretaries General, the gradings of these posts were informed by recommendations of the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector which concluded that, given the differences in terms of job weight between the various posts of Secretary General, a structure of three salary levels was appropriate.

As regards the terms to apply for recruitment to the post of Secretary General in the Department of Health, I engaged with the Taoiseach, the Minister for Health, and the Secretary General to the Government. In that context, I took account of a number of factors, including that the post is a highly complex one with a very challenging brief, particularly so in the midst of a global pandemic. There are very significant responsibilities attached to this role including: the ongoing management of the response to the COVID public health emergency; implementing the Government’s ambition for the rollout of Sláintecare; and the management of the greatly increased budget of €22 billion for Health in 2021.

Reflecting these, I consider that a salary of €292,000 is commensurate with the scale of the responsibilities and the unique challenges attached to this role, not least at the current time.

There are no changes to pay rates for other Secretary General posts, and I do not envisage this decision resulting in any change in relation to general pay policy at senior level.