Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (133)

Paul Murphy


133. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the projected cost to transition to a four-day work week without loss of pay in the public sector. [47205/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Projecting detailed costs of transitioning to a four day week without loss of pay in the public sector would depend on a number of factors including:

- The amount of reduced working hours

- The distribution of the reduced hours

- How frontline services were treated

- The impact on overtime expenditure, premia payments and allowances

- The impact on agency expenditure

- The potential productivity increase per public sector worker

The projected cost sought in this request would require detailed HR data on the 337,000 Full Time Equivalent public servants including: grade; point on scale; work pattern; standard hours worked per week; usual hour worked per week; allowances; overtime; premia payments. This data is not available to the Department.

The total pay bill estimated in Budget 2020 is €19.6 billion. Assuming that transitioning to a four day week would result in a need to replace one-fifth of public service working hours, the estimated cost would be €3.9 billion. However, given the issues outlined above, it is likely that the cost could exceed this.

Some of these issues were highlighted in my department’s 2017 Staff Paper ‘Estimating the Value of Additional Hours Worked: Haddington Road and Croke Park Agreements’, which I have attached below in a link for your information.

Finally, depending on implementation, there could be wider costs to society as a whole from a decision to transition to a 4 day week in the public service, for example increased childcare costs for families to replace an existing school day. The potential effects on the broader labour market, economy and national competitiveness would also need to be examined.

Estimating the Value of Additional Hours Worked - HRA and CPA