HSE gets green light for redundancy scheme
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has been given the go-ahead to introduce a targeted voluntary redundancy scheme.
Health Minister James Reilly said: "The health service is required to achieve a workforce of 98,955 whole time equivalents (WTEs) by the end of 2013. It is therefore necessary to pursue staff reductions through natural turnover and targeted measures.
"This scheme will give managers greater flexibility in implementing the measures needed to remain within reduced budgets and staffing ceilings."
The terms of the redundancy will be on a par with those offered during a previous scheme that provided for three weeks' pay per year of service plus two weeks' statutory redundancy, capped at a maximum of two years' pay.
It recently emerged that the HSE is to offer workers an incentivised three-year leave of absence deal, with €12,000 in pay for each year.
A circular advised staff: "Applications should be facilitated to the maximum extent possible, however, the needs of the business/service may require that some in exceptional cases will have to be refused or deferred."
Workers must apply by May 31, and will have to begin the break by July 1, though in certain circumstances this can be deferred to December 31.
The HSE must cut its staff by 4,000 this year.