Tuesday 20 February 2018

Senior staff at semi-states get seven weeks' holidays a year

Paul Melia and  Anne-Marie Walsh

SENIOR staff in some commercial semi-state bodies are enjoying more than seven weeks' holidays a year -- two weeks more than their private-sector counterparts.

The Irish Independent can reveal that managers in the Irish Aviation Authority enjoy 37 days' holidays a year, with senior executives in another half a dozen agencies enjoying more than 30 days.

This compares with just 25 days that most chief executives in the private sector enjoy, according to employers' group IBEC.

The holiday entitlements come on top of generous salaries, pension contributions, bonus payments and other perks including company cars.

It has also come to light that senior staff in commercial and non-commercial semi-states enjoy up to three privilege days a year in addition to their annual leave.

At the Library Council, which provides advisory services to libraries, management get three extra days on top of their 32 days' leave.

Staff at the council, based at Upper Mount Street in Dublin, get the privilege days on the Tuesday after the Easter bank holiday, Christmas Eve and December 27.

A survey of 13 commercial semi-state bodies found that minimum annual leave entitlements ranged from 20 days to 24 days, while senior staff enjoyed between 24 and 34 days.

On top of this, staff enjoy nine public holidays and between one and three privilege days at Christmas and Easter.

It emerged:

  • Staff in the Irish Aviation Authority enjoy 37 days' leave a year. This is almost a week more than the maximum 33 days' leave given to secretary generals in government departments. The agency -- where staff earn an average of €95,600 a year -- has waived bonus payments after a request from the Government last year.
  • Management in the VHI, RTE and An Post are entitled to 32 days' holidays, including up to two privilege days.
  • Executives in the Dublin Port Company, National Lottery and Bord na Mona get 30 or 31 days' holidays a year. When the nine public holidays are added to the total, it means they enjoy eight weeks' holidays a year.


This is up to three weeks more than private-sector workers -- where the statutory minimum is 20 days -- and more than a week more than senior civil servants.

The entitlements come just weeks after the Irish Independent revealed that managers at four local authorities -- Roscommon, Longford, Kerry and Cavan -- enjoyed more than 40 days' leave a year.

All city and county managers later "volunteered" to immediately surrender up to two weeks of annual leave and take no more than 32 days' leave every year after a series of revelations about their generous holiday entitlements.

A snapshot of entitlements in the non-commercial semi-state companies also reveals that senior staff in 11 of those semi-states receive more than six weeks' holidays.

Topping the list were staff at the Library Council, where up to 35 days' holidays a year can be claimed.

Executives at the National Museum of Ireland; National Consumer Agency; National Library of Ireland; Bord Bia; Property Registration Authority; and Industrial Development Authority are entitled to 33 days.

Irish Independent

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