Voluntary redundancies expected to be limited

3rd October 2012

Although few details of the Government’s planned public service voluntary redundancy arrangements were announced yesterday, it is expected that they will only apply in limited circumstances. There will be no ‘scheme’ to which all public servants can apply.

Earlier this year, public service management and unions reached agreement on terms for voluntary exits from the public service “where circumstances require it.”

The agreement, which was reported on the IMPACT website on 10th July 2012, was primarily designed for situations affecting staff not covered by the Croke Park agreement. But unions understood that it might also be used to offer redundancies to small groups of staff in situations where the Croke Park redeployment option was impractical or unsuitable. Yesterday’s announcement appears to be confirmation of this.

Unions understand that public service managers will now be able to seek sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to use the same terms in situations where specific posts, functions, locations or categories of staff are deemed redundant. Any such redundancies will be on a voluntary basis.

Depending on how the facility is used, this could have the effect of bringing forward the reductions in overall staff numbers already set out in the Programme for Government. It is not expected to lead to deeper staff reductions.

We will publish more details when they become available.