Quinn criticises public sector 'sickies'
LABOUR minister Ruairi Quinn has hit out at certain sections of the public sector who, he says, are "throwing a sickie".
Speaking to reporters following the Action Plan for Jobs Forum in Dublin Castle yesterday, Mr Quinn said there was a divide between the public and private sectors when it comes to absenteeism.
"It's not really a problem with the small and medium-sized sector because they manage their own employees and they make sure in fact they are available for work when they are available for work.
"It's a much bigger problem in sections of the public service and what Joan Burton and the rest of us are trying to do is to reduce that cost and to separate out legitimate sickness where people are genuinely unable to come to work and those who are throwing a sickie," he added.
Workers in the civil service miss an average of 11 days a year through sick leave compared with six in the private sector.
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton wants employers to share more of the overall sick pay bill, estimating that up to €89m a year could be saved by the State.
However, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton is opposed to the move, fearing it could add to company costs and lead to job losses
Mr Bruton, who was also speaking at yesterday's event, said an IMF report which was published last week and appeared to back Ms Burton's plan, was only a "partial" report.