Thursday 19 July 2018

Rehab refuses to reveal pay and funding details

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

THE Rehab Group was the only one of the dozens of charities surveyed by the Irish Independent to refuse outright to answer questions about executive pay, income from the public and state funding.

The group, headed by former midwife Angela Kerins, receives tens of millions of euro in funding annually from the HSE. The last published funding figure from the HSE was €36m for 2011.

It has a staff of 3,500 across Ireland, Britain, Poland, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia. The group runs lotteries and glass-recycling plants and offers training and employment for the disabled. In 2012, more than 80,000 people used its services.

Ms Kerins last year disclosed her salary was €234,000. But her spokesman refused to disclose a more up-to-date figure or to answer questions about the level of state funding the group receives when contacted by the Irish Independent.

"Rehab Group, based on the fact that most of its operations are conducted in commercial rather than charitable sectors, is declining the opportunity to take part in the survey," the spokesman said.

He said that traditional fundraising activities, which necessitated it registering as a charity, accounted for just 1pc of its turnover.

The spokesman added that the salaries of senior management were funded solely from commercial activities.

"The group is unique and, unlike other Irish not-for-profit organisations, it cannot be compared in terms of its structure, operations, scope and scale to other charities operating in Ireland," he added.

"Any comparison in a survey with charitable groups who mostly depend on fundraising for income would not be fair or accurate."

The only other charity that refused to provide details of its chief executive's salary was UNICEF Ireland. It said it would not disclose the package of its boss, former Fianna Fail junior minister Peter Power, as the organisation's longstanding policy was only to publish total remuneration to all staff.

An unfair dismissals case taken by previous chief executive Melanie Verwoerd heard she was on a salary of €100,000 when she left in July 2011.

Figures provided for 2011 showed the average salary package of staff members, including social welfare costs, was €64,000.

Irish Independent

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