Public Service Costs - The Elephant in the Room


Ah here now. The number of people taking “sick leave” when they’re not sick is already high enough. If they need bereavement leave just call it that.


Did anyone here watch the RTE Investigates program last night, ‘Waiting on the List’? Anyone see it? Eye opening stuff.


Whatever about the death of a spouse or a child - the notion that I’d get a full week off, on full pay after my elderly mother-in-law died after a long spell in a nursing home, is ridiculous. And a day off when my uncle died in Australia a few years back? (I met him once - around 1978.) Crazy. In a country where in the past, large families were the norm - there are always plenty of elderly aunts and uncles around the place.

And a full five days off for a parent or grandparent and the same for in-laws. That’s eight potential weeks off right there - on full pay. Add in brother-in-law, sister-in-law etc and the potential extra time off increases hugely. Very generous.

(I’m sure all those in favor of this will agree that the benefit should be extended by law to all employees - including the self-employed by way of a generous tax credit? It’ll do wonders for productivity - especially in the public service.) … increased/
*The maximum level of leave available on the death of a close family member (father, mother, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandfather, grandmother or grandchild of an officer) will be 5 days.


I don’t really have a problem with the previous (lower) levels of leave for all these various relatives. I am not sure that an increase is required really. The spouse one is different to my mind and the change there makes a lot of sense. Maybe it could be set at a lower level e.g. 10 days with an additional amount for each dependant child. I do also think it should be available to all via social insurance. That said people’s relationship to different people is different e.g. being brought up by an aunt or whatever but I am not sure you can legislate for that.


Its all part of the Public Service reforms we keep hearing about!


People should be given enough holidays to deal with bereavements. For close relatives and friends they should be allowed to take extra leave and make it up over a number or years. If they do not have enough holidays to do this (which I doubt because they have loads of holidays) then they should be given extra holidays. The reason for this approach is that it can be costed and can be factored into staffing requirements.

The proposed bereavement leave cannot be costed, and it creates an unknowable variable in relation to staffing requirements. There is no way the government knows how many grandchildren, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are out there. It is wide open to abuse in respect of more distant relatives.

The fact of the matter is that this Fine Gael government is incredibly thick and incompetent. They have proved it time and again. They are just useless.

By the way, that is why FF are climbing in the polls. There are two large parties in the centre - one a bit to the right, one a bit to the left. Which will people vote for? The one that is not full of thickos. This is why it was so important for FF to clear out as many as possible of the older TDs after the crash.


I have a friend who works for the Canadian Civil Service (former Irish Civil Servant) and she has always raved about her working conditions - pay, holidays, pension entitlements etc.

Bereavement leave for Government employees in Canada is seven days for close family member and just one day for a brother-in-law sister-in-law etc. (That compares with twenty days and five days respectively, in Ireland.) … 04-eng.asp
*Article 46
Bereavement Leave With Pay
46.01 When a member of the employee’s family dies, an employee shall be entitled to a bereavement period of seven (7) consecutive calendar days. Such bereavement period, as determined by the employee, must include the day of the memorial commemorating the deceased, or must begin within two (2) days following the death. During such period, the employee shall be paid for those days which are not regularly scheduled days of rest for the employee. In addition, the employee may be granted up to three (3) days’ leave with pay for the purpose of travel related to the death.

46.02 An employee is entitled to one (1) day’s bereavement leave with pay for a purpose related to the death of his or her son‑in‑law, daughter‑in‑law, brother‑in‑law or sister‑in‑law.*


No? Nobody saw it? Just not interested, eh?


Interested? Yes, Informed? Yes. I get a daily update of the latest madness from someone working in one of Ireland’s largest public/private hospitals. At no stage is underfunding the reason blamed by my informant for the dysfunction in the hospital which is not surprising as Ireland spends as a percentage of (inflated) GDP as much as the best of the best worldwide.


I saw it. Hard to watch parts of it especially with the young kids who are the same age as my own. Very sad stuff.
But until the people who work in the health service agree to changing their work practices, it will go on like this. It can’t continue to be run for the benefit of those that work in it as opposed to those who need to use it


Unfortunately we can’t clear the thickos out of the electorate so it’ll be either the economic terrorists or the corporate whores in charge for the foreseeable future.


Interested but this in the wrong thread.


I’ve a source in the Dept of Health who deals with policy and budgets. My source tells me that the only viable solution to Ireland’s systemic health system problems is Sinn Féin’s policy to create a single payer system on a phased basis and to obviate private insurance.

The source’s analysis is that while GDP-health spend is very high the dual system is incredibly inefficient. Even simple things like billing private insurers for the use of public facilities, like theatres, becomes a running battle for public hospitals as the insurers welch on the full bill and end up paying only a certain percentage, months late. There’s also some figures that suggest the public system is effectively subsidising the private system.

The policy of FF and FG is essentially more-of-the-same with some token gestures at the edges and supplementary budgets for the recurrent crisis. Their calculation is that ending the dual system will alienate middle Ireland used to buying it’s way to the top of waiting lists.


The public hospital system has been dysfunctional for over a quarter of a century. If it worked people would not pay from private health insurance.

The core issue is that the managers in the system are unwilling and unable to measure and manage the multitude of micro problems that blight the system.

The health service unions are ultra resistant to change and defend the numerous poor performers across the staff grades.

What is needed is the placement of hard nosed private sector trained Industrial Relations managers in all the major hospitals.


Did your “source” mention anything about the possible ramifications of Sinn Fein’s 7%* additional* income tax for earners over 100K? And how it might affect recruitment of much-needed internationally-based consultants and specialists? (Even as things stand - our tax rates for high-earners are much higher than Canada, Australia and the UK.)


I ran a quick calculation on £100k single salaried person in UK and Ireland.

UK net earnings for single person on €116k is €75.9k. Employers NI is €14.7k.
So UK employee gets 58% of the gross payroll.

IE net earnings for single person on €116k is €68.5k. Employers PRSI is €4.6k.
So IE employee gets 57% of the gross payroll.

That’s not a big difference.

Feel free to do your own calcs.


Did your “source” mention anything about the possible ramifications of Sinn Fein’s 7%* additional* income tax for earners over 100K? And how it might affect recruitment of much-needed internationally-based consultants and specialists? (Even as things stand - our tax rates for high-earners are much higher than Canada, Australia and the UK.)

No SF tax policies never came up, though that’s an interesting point.

The source did say that Ireland trains an above average number of doctors but that there is a limited career path which results in many junior doctors leaving Ireland to get experience abroad. Basically Ireland ends up funding a portion of the NHS’s training costs.


This calculator says 65% is the take home pay for UK for that amount?


Employee cares not for what they get of the gross payroll. It’s a meaningless calculation for them.

Difference between gross and net pay is all that matters. And even then, net pay is by far the most important part of that equation.


If you’re going down that road, the employee doesn’t care what tax they pay at all, only the net pay.

More likely, they care about quality of life.