Saturday 24 February 2018

Central Bank staff in line for extra five days' holidays

Laura Noonan

TOP staff at the Central Bank could soon be getting up to five extra days holidays under a new "performance management scheme" hammered out by the Bank and trade union Unite in recent days.

The proposals also provide for "cash benefits" to be paid in lieu of some of the extra holidays though sources stressed that this was "highly unlikely" in the short-term.

Other elements of the agreement, which has yet to be ratified by union members, include:

•extra pay rises for staff who get promoted and migrate from a 32.5 hour working week to 35 hour working week.

•the phasing down of flexi-days over two years for some staff and the elimination of flexi-leave for some new staff.

•allowances of up to €250 for staff who undertake "approved professional development" training.

A spokesman for the bank last night stressed that the measures in the agreement were consistent with a deal agreed under the Labour Court last July.

The "performance management scheme" replaces an old scheme which was halted when the financial crisis hit and rewarded staff for basic achievements including attendance.

Documents sent to the 900 professional and administration staff covered by the new proposals stress that awards will only be made to staff who meet "targets and objectives".

The highest award, for "exceptional performance" will only be paid to the top 10pc who'll be rewarded with four extra days for their own output plus another day if the Bank itself hits certain targets.

Those staff could end up with 39 days leave a year, based on five "merit days", a maximum of 14 "flexi days" for some grades and a basic holiday allowance of 20 days.

The next best 35pc of staff will get 2 extra days leave, and another additional day if the Central Bank meets targets. The 45pc of staff below that will only get an extra day if the Central Bank meets targets.

In the bottom 10pc, staff could be signalled out for corrective action if they don't up their performance.

A spokesman for the Central Bank said the programme's objective was to "encourage improved standards of performance".

The scheme will not apply to about 80 staff who make up the Central Bank's top management team. The bank's spokesman declined to give details of the "extra increment" staff will be paid when they migrate from a 32.5 hour working week to a 35 hour working week.

The 35-hour working week has been standard for new hires since December 2008, but the new proposals mark the first effort to migrate long-serving staff to longer hours.

Irish Independent

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