Vets on border posts to get €43/hour as Department sets about putting 230 staff on 'Brexit response'

A disused customs post on the border between Dundalk and Newry
A disused customs post on the border between Dundalk and Newry
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Vets recruited to work on border post will be paid €43/hour, as the Department of Agriculture looks to bolster its Brexit staff by 230 people.

The Department of Agriculture recently advertised for vets to work at Border Inspection posts, but didn't announce how many vets it was looking for, despite the Taoiseach announcing last October that 300 new vets would be recruited.

According to the Department of Agriculture, it will have in the region of 230 staff available for redeployment as part of its Brexit Response, including new recruits, redeployed staff and people on temporary contracts.

Dublin Port will be staffed on a 24/7 basis, while Rosslare ports will operate on the basis of two shifts per day, based on ferry activity.

Last summer the Cabinet agreed to recruit 700 additional customs officials and 300 more staff to ensure checks on agri-food products and animals at border points.

The veterinary recruits will be part of a team involved in protecting public health, animal health and animal welfare in any one of Ireland’s approved border inspection posts or any location associated with the operation of approved BIPs in Ireland including, but not limited to, Dublin Port, Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport and Rosslare Port.

Contractors will be required to attend on a shift basis that will include out of hours and weekend work. Contract terms will vary on a contract by contract basis.

The process is open to suitably qualified veterinary practitioners including private practitioners, who will be engaged on a contracted basis in 4 or 8 hour shift patterns up to a maximum of 40 hours per week for a pre-determined period.

The rate of payment for these contracted services will be €42.99 per hour.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the Government has already sanctioned in the region of €4m for the commencement of a phased process for the recruitment of additional staff across a range of skill sets to carry out increased volumes of import controls and export certification arising from Brexit.

These requirements are significant, and arise in relation to the carrying out of documentary, identity and physical checks on imports of animals, plants, and products of animal and plant origin, as set out in EU legislation.

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