Limerick Council pays €800k to departing staff

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Limerick City and County Council paid �811,334.48 in lumps sums to fourteen employees
FOURTEEN employees who resigned from Limerick City and County Council last year under a voluntary redundancy scheme shared a windfall of more than €800,000 new figures show.

FOURTEEN employees who resigned from Limerick City and County Council last year under a voluntary redundancy scheme shared a windfall of more than €800,000 new figures show.

According to the council’s 2014 annual report, the total value of the lump sums paid out under the scheme was €811,334.48 - an average of €57,952.46 per employee.

The report does not identify those who received lump sums or what position they held or for how long they had worked with the local authority before their departure.

The voluntary redundancy scheme was introduced as part of the merger of the former Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council which took effect after last year’s local elections.

Elsewhere, it has emerged that more than €1.25 million was paid out in pension lump sums to employees who retired during 2014.

The report states, “28 lump sum gratuities were paid out during 2014 in accordance with the City pension scheme.” It also confirms the net amount paid in lump sums was €1,276,523.07 - an average of €45,590.12 per person.

While there were staff departures during 2014, the local authority’s staffing complement, including part-time employees, stood at 1,180 on December 31, 2014.

Despite the public service recruitment embargo, a number of positions, which were deemed essential, were filled last year resulting in 46 new employees being hired by the council.

In addition to its compliment of staff, Limerick City and County Council facilitated participation in a number of government-backed employment schemes, such as JobBridge and Gateway during 2014.

The Council employed 118 people under the Gateway scheme during 2014, with contracts of 22 months duration.

Participants in the scheme receive €20 per week on top of their social welfare entitlements.

In addition, 64 students received placements with the council during 2014.

Limerick City and County Council says 3.7% of working days were lost through certified sick leave last year while 0.35% of working days were lost due self certified sick leave.

The Council states it operates a number of family-friendly schemes for staff which resulted in 155 employees engaging in job-sharing or availing of parental leave during 2014.

A further 35 took a career break or sought external secondment while 25 were granted unpaid leave.