I propose to take Questions Nos. 107 and 108 together.
As the Deputy is aware, the Civil Service Mobility scheme which comes under the remit of my Department, and is administered through HR Shared Services, National Shared Services Office, offers an opportunity for staff members to apply for mobility through an open and transparent system. The establishment of the scheme fulfils one of the requirements of Action 15 of the Civil Service Renewal Plan; and Action 14 of the People Strategy for the Civil Service.
The scheme is being introduced on a phased basis. Phase 1 of the scheme went live in 2018 and 2019. This phase is for the general Civil Service grades of Clerical Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (EO) to apply for mobility between and within 46 zones. The location choices for the scheme are based on mobility zones (46 zones) rather than by county or province.
There has been a high level of interest in the scheme with c.4,700 staff members (24% of the total participating grades) applying for a move through the scheme with:
- the majority of applicants c.2,860 applying for a move either within a regional zone or between regional zones;
- c.1,040 of the applicants applying to move from Zone 46 (Dublin) to a regional location – representing 12% of the staff in the participating grades in Zone 46;
c.800 staff based in Zone 46 applying for Mobility within the same Zone.
Over 350 moves have taken place since the scheme went live with other moves currently in progress.
Plans are in place to extend the scheme in 2020 to include the grades of Higher Executive Officer, Administrative Officer and Assistant Principal. When this process is complete, mobility will be in place for general Civil Service grades from Clerical Officer up to Principal Officer.
The scheme provides for cross organisational moves within a location that were not previously possible under the former transfer mechanisms that it has replaced. This means that staff members are given opportunities to work closer to home and also to further their career development. The mobility of experienced staff members across the system also supports the business needs of Civil Service organisations.
To date, it should be noted that approximately 75% of the applicants have initially declined an offer to move to a zone that they selected as their preferred location. This would suggest that the actual number of staff members who would move from Dublin to other zones is lower than the number of current applicants [c.1,040]. We will continue to monitor this trend.
Following the full roll out of the Civil Service Mobility Scheme, it is the intention to review and extend mobility over time to provide additional development opportunities and enable greater mobility across the Public Service.