Friday 6 December 2019

HSE so slow to fill job vacancies 'it can take over a year to hire'

Frustrated at delays: Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell
Frustrated at delays: Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell

Anne-Marie Walsh

The HSE is so slow to fill jobs that staff on maternity leave are often due back to work shortly after approval is given to replace them, a committee will be told today.

Siptu's health division organiser Paul Bell will also tell the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health that it is common for recruitment to take more than a year even when approval is given.

He will call for an overhaul of recruitment procedures and paint a picture of extensive bureaucracy facing line managers when carrying out workforce planning.

Siptu represents 45,000 health workers including hospital support staff, nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and ambulance personnel.

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"Line managers and staff within the system are left totally demoralised at the extensive effort and repeated procedures required in order to fill vacancies for essential posts," he will say.

Mr Bell will argue this does not just affect the filling of staff vacancies, as the same procedure also undermines the replacement of those on maternity leave.

"In such circumstances, it is commonplace the HSE may confirm replacement of a maternity leave literally weeks before the staff member is due to return to the workplace."

He says managers and staff have informed the union they use the system to replace posts without any expectation that their application will be approved or when it will be received.

Irish Independent

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