Thursday, 15 July 2021

Questions (430)

Niall Collins


430. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health when section 39 workers can expect to see full restoration of their pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32959/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Section 39 agencies are agencies under Section 39 of the Health Act 2004 where the HSE provides a grant to allow the agency to provide services similar or ancillary to the HSE. They were not and are not party to the Public Service Agreements and are therefore not covered by the pay restoration provided for in these Agreements.

In October 2018, an agreement was reached by the parties at the Workplace Relations Commission in relation to a process of pay restoration for staff employed in a pilot group of 50 section 39 organisations who are funded by way of a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Pay restoration commenced with an annual pay increase of up to €1,000 in April 2019. Any outstanding balance was and will be paid in two equal amounts in October 2020 and October 2021.

The agreement reached at the WRC noted that some of the organisations (approximately 250) which did not form part of the pilot phase are also likely to have pay restoration issues. A further WRC engagement followed in December 2020 in relation to a final phase of 250 SLA funded organisations who were identified as part of the earlier agreement. A payment arrangement consisting of three phases was agreed with the first two payments to be made in 2021.

Pay restoration was applicable to Section 39 organisations who met certain criteria, rather than types of individual workers that are employed in them. The list of section 39 organisations that was compiled, included only agencies that had service arrangements in place back in 2013 and that were still under service arrangements in 2019. Only organisations who received in excess of an agreed, specified amount from the HSE by way of the Service Level Agreement process were included.

Pay restoration is absolutely limited and only applicable to those included in the initial WRC agreement.

I can also confirm that there is no scope to revisit the eligibility criteria for the process.

Question No. 431 answered with Question No. 425.