Sleepover payment arrears – IMPACT follows the money

IMPACT has agreed a process by which the union will be able to check claims by HSE funded organisations (Section 38/39 organisations) that claim inability to pay sleepover rates to residential care staff. The agreed process will allow the union to “follow the money” and verify that organisations have been appropriately funded.

IMPACT successfully pursued the case for appropriate payment for sleepover duties, resulting in a Labour Court decision in 2014. This secured the replacement of sleepovers being paid through an allowance that averaged €40 per sleepover with the national minimum wage rate. This provides a payment of € 64.75 cents per seven-hour sleepover period.

However, IMPACT official Ian McDonnell said it’s come to the union’s attention that some Section 38/39 organisations have been refusing to pay the appropriate rate.

“We’ve had complaints from industrial officials and union branches that some agencies have been refusing to pay sleepover rates, as well as sleepover payments in arrears, while claiming that they haven’t received the necessary funding from the HSE. In some instances this also applies to other payments,” he said.

In a letter issued to IMPACT’s health branch secretaries (Monday 17th July) national secretary Eamonn Donnelly said the union raised the issue with HSE management. “That discussion led to written confirmation from Corporate Employee Relations Services (CERS) to the effect that all monies had been paid through the relevant Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) to these organisations. However, this hasn’t resolved the matter,” he said.

Eamonn said the union had raised the issue with the HSE again at a meeting of the National Joint Council 11th July, where the parties agreed that any claim by an organisation that it has not received appropriate funding would be referred directly to CERS. “CERS has a detailed record available of all monies paid to the Section 38/39 sector, and will be in a position to confirm definitively what any such organisation has received,” he said.

Ian said this effectively gives IMPACT an opportunity to “follow the money” and thereby help to resolve any outstanding problems with the correct payment of the rate for sleepover duties.