Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Ceisteanna (212, 220, 221, 222, 232)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

212. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance with regard to the liquidation of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation persons who were employees of the corporation now find themselves effectively to be collateral damage, the remedial action being taken to ensure that their rights under previous agreements with the Government are not liquidated along with IBRC; the steps he will take to restore the value of the severance terms previously agreed in order that when their work is completed they are not placed at a further disadvantage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10050/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

220. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Finance the steps he and his Department are taking to ensure that the severance terms previously agreed by his Department and the board of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in respect of IBRC employees are honoured; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10225/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Patrick Nulty

Ceist:

221. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Finance if he will a full breakdown of severance payments provided to the chief executive and former senior managers of the former Anglo Irish Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10227/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Patrick Nulty

Ceist:

222. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Finance the reason the new terms originally agreed with Irish Bank Resolution Corporation workers for redundancies have been changed; if he will set out the original terms of the redundancies, and the new proposals that are being put to staff; if he will agree to honour the agreed voluntary severance terms; and if he will agree to meet unions representing the IBRC workers. [10228/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

232. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Finance the step he will take to restore the value of the severance terms previously agreed with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation for the workers who have been affected by the recent appointment of a liquidator to IBRC to ensure fairness and equity following the Government's recent decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10418/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 212, 220 to 222, inclusive, and 232 together.

As the Deputy is aware, the legislation surrounding liquidation ranks employees as preferential creditors in respect of certain amounts owing to them on a winding up, including accrued wages and salaries, holiday pay, sick pay, statutory redundancy, pensions contributions and claims for damages arising from accidents. Any claims over and above that described above will rank as an unsecured claim in the liquidation process.

There are standard rules which apply to the distribution of the assets of companies in liquidation and it would not be appropriate for me to interfere with these rules. However the State does intervene to ensure that statutory redundancy is available through the Social Insurance Fund and that arrears of pay, sick pay, holiday pay or pay in lieu of statutory notice (limited to €600 per week up to a maximum of eight weeks) are payable from the Insolvency Payments Scheme. The Minister for Social Protection will rank as a preferential creditor of IBRC in respect of any payments made to employees of IBRC from the Social Insurance Fund or the Insolvency Payments Scheme.

Any action taken by the Minister which might divert the assets from IBRC creditors to employees, could be challenged in the Courts. I have been advised by the Special Liquidators that any voluntary severance scheme, that was in place prior to liquidation, is no longer operational.

The Special Liquidators were promptly in contact with staff on Thursday, 7 February and, unlike in other liquidations, the majority of employees have been re-hired by the special liquidators, for a minimum period of 3 months, to ensure an orderly wind-down of the business. In addition some staff may in time be re-hired by NAMA or other purchasers of the assets. This should provide some reassurance to employees.