Minister McGrath welcomes Government approval of the Independent Hours Body’s Report

Published on: 14 April 2022

The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Michael McGrath T.D, today, (Thursday) welcomed Government approval of the Report of the Independent Hours Body’s in relation to the Haddington Road Agreement hours worked by certain staff / grades in the public service.

THE HRA hours were considered by the parties to the current public service pay agreement, Building Momentum, to be an outstanding matter to be resolved, and in this context, the Independent Hours Body, chaired by Kevin Mulvey was established to examine issues arising from the HRA hours. An amount of €150m was provided for under the terms of Building Momentum for the implementation of the Body’s recommendations in 2022.

The Independent Body's deliberations were informed by:

  • stakeholder engagement;
  • detailed analysis of submissions received; and 
  • an assessment of the potential impacts of a reduction in working time across the public service in terms of service delivery and cost to the Exchequer.

Commenting on the approval of the recommendations, Minister McGrath said:

“I welcome the approval of the Independent Hours Body Report by the Government at its meeting yesterday. This was an important and complex piece of work as it was a key provision of Building Momentum. I would like to particularly thank the Chairman Kieran Mulvey and the members of the Independent Body for the expertise and commitment that they brought to the process.

“In approving the Report, the Government will continue to prioritise service delivery. In light of the challenges the Health Sector may face in implementing the Body’s Report, I understand that the Minister for Health will arrange for immediate engagement with health sector unions and associations on  the measures that are required to ensure safe implementation of the recommendations. 

"The Government has also has approved an additional €29m in 2022 to deliver on the Body’s recommendations. 

“It is important to remember that Building Momentum embodied a strong commitment to reform and the improved delivery of public services. The Government is determined to ensure the current pay agreement is honoured in full.

“The past few years have been, and continue to be a challenging time for all of us across the economy and society. The HRA hours have been in place for almost nine years now and Government is appreciative of the contributions made by all public servants throughout this time. This contribution has been, and still is, crucial to getting us through this difficult time, and the commitment shown by our healthcare workers and those on the frontline cannot be overstated".

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