In Budget 2015, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform announced that the existing Employment Control Frameworks (ECF) and associated moratoriums would be lifted and replaced with a system of delegated sanction for managing public service staffing numbers, subject to pay ceilings and other controls. This arrangement was put in place for the Education Sector in November 2015 excluding Higher Education which is still subject to the Employment Control Framework. My Department will continue to work with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on future staffing frameworks/agreement for Higher Education.
A condition of the ECF is that core staffing levels should be achieved in a balanced manner across the grading structure and should not be concentrated at either the lower or higher grade levels or at either academic or non-academic grades i.e. the framework should not result in 'grade-drift' within institutions. There is no restraint with regard to staffing levels in any particular departments within an institution. As autonomous bodies institutions are responsible for managing the staffing levels within their departments in line with the conditions of the ECF and HR practices generally.