The provisions for pay and allowances for both the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) and the Reserve Defence Force (RDF) are set out in Defence Force Regulation S.3. Prior to the Financial Emergency, the pay scales applying to the PDF also applied to the RDF. Under FEMPI measures, the pay cuts that applied to the PDF also applied to the RDF. An additional 10% reduction applied to the rate of paid training for members of the RDF, as per the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA) – 2013-2016 (Haddington Road Agreement) in May 2013.
The restoration of pay for Public Servants, including for members of the Defence Forces, has been conducted in accordance with PSSA 2013 - 2018 and PSSA 2018 – 2020, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
Following active engagement by Department officials with DPER, sanction was received to implement the restorations of pay to RDF members, along with arrears arising as a consequence. Subsequently, sanction was also obtained from DPER to restore the remaining 10%, deducted under the Haddington Road Agreement, with effect from 1 January 2021, with the result that the RDF pay rates are now again linked with the PDF rates of pay. Restoration of pay to members of the RDF was completed in Q1 of 2021 and all arrears due were paid in February of this year.
In addition, in accordance with the Public Service Agreement 2021-2022, updated rates of pay and allowances for eligible members of the RDF were approved for payment with effect from 1 July 2021 and from 1 October 2021, in line with their PDF colleagues.
I note that, as members of the PDF continue to contribute to the Government’s response to the current COVID 19 response, some members of the RDF who have skills required in that response, and whose personal circumstances have allowed them to do so, have undertaken authorised training tasks on a voluntary basis, in support of the PDF. RDF members voluntarily involved in such activities receive the equivalent rates of pay as PDF personnel and their support is welcomed.
Applications for paid training Mandays for Reservists are approved by the Defence Forces at Company level up to a 28 day limit. Applications above this limit are endorsed at Company level and are forwarded to my Department where they are processed for approval and payment without undue delay. I am advised that there is no backlog in the processing of applications for paid training Mandays within my Department.
I wish to assure the Deputy that the Government appreciates the service of the RDF and recognises its important contribution to Ireland's defence capability.