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‘Strict adherence’ to pay scales

30 Oct 2013

Barry O'Brien, HSE

By Lloyd Mudiwa.

Hawkins House has ordered “strict adherence” to set pay scales for all employees of the HSE and the agencies it funds, including voluntary hospitals, in light of the damning findings in a HSE Internal Audit Report on remuneration in bodies funded under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004, IMT reports.

The Audit Report of March identified a number and range of payments and prerequisites that do not conform to the Department of Health Consolidated Salary Scales (July 1, 2013) and many breaches of the one-person one-salary principle. Under the new pay policy, all of these infringements must now cease with immediate effect and all overpayments be recouped.

“The Scales, which set out current salaries for public health service staff as sanctioned by the Minister for Health, must be strictly adhered to and in no circumstances should an employee receive remuneration in the nature of pay and allowances of any amount greater than the amount prescribed,” the HSE National Director of Human Resources informed relevant health managers, including CEOs and HR managers of voluntary hospitals or agencies.

Barry O’Brien added: “Non-Exchequer sources of funding may not be used to supplement approved rates of remuneration.” He said the policy also relates to the FEMPI-imposed pay cuts.

It is not open to implement an increase in remuneration for public servants while that legislation remains in force, except with the sanction of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. Furthermore, where a public servant has received remuneration from a public service body at a rate greater than the approved amount, the FEMPI Act requires recovery of that overpayment.

Where, as an exception, it is proposed to pay an allowance not encompassed by, or in line with, the Consolidated Salary Scales, a detailed business case must be submitted to the HSE outlining the rationale, the length of time for which it is proposed to pay the allowance and whether it is pensionable or not.

The Health Department’s approval is required where a proposed allowance is not covered by existing rules.

Various superannuation schemes in the health sector require that the salary and pensionable allowances used to determine the pension and retirement benefits are those approved by the Minister for Health, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure, O’Brien commented.

30 October 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times