Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 February 2018

Dept sick leave push cuts days lost by 13pc

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

A major crackdown on Department of Agriculture sick leave has resulted in a 13.2pc decrease in the number of days lost.

The new Attendance Management Policy, in place since August last year, involves quarterly sick leave reports being issued to heads of divisions and targets a saving of 3,550 sick leave days among Department staff for this year.

Figures for the 12 months from August 2010 to July this year saw a 13.2pc fall in days lost to sick leave compared to the previous 12 months.

The Department of Agriculture is also on target to exceed its Croke Park Agreement staff reduction target for 2011.

Staff numbers have fallen by 32 full-time equivalents in the past six months, according to the latest update.

At the end of September, the Department's staffing figure was 3,572 full-time equivalents -- 36 staff less than the 3,608 permitted under the Croke Park rules.

The Department is also on target to deliver a 7pc saving in overtime expenditure this year. At the end of September, overtime expenditure amounted to €2.574m.

The number of agricultural inspectors has been reduced by 21pc since January 2008, falling from 253 inspectors to 199.

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