Minister Donohoe publishes final module report of the Public Service Pay Commission on Recruitment and Retention

15th October, 2019

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. today, (Tuesday), welcomed the Public Service Pay Commission’s final module report relating to its examination of recruitment and retention issues in the public service, in accordance with Section 3 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020.

The Public Service Pay Commission was established in 2016 to advise Government on public service remuneration policy and has delivered four reports in total.

This final module report provides a high level analysis of the remaining grades and specialities where evidence of recruitment and retention difficulties were outlined in the Commission’s first report in May 2017 including, specialist grades in the public service, Senior Executive posts and certain public service health professional grades.

Reflecting that this Report marks the conclusion of the Commission’s work programme and the expiry of its current mandate, Minister Donohoe said: ‘On behalf of the Government, I would like to thank most sincerely Chair, Kevin Duffy, and the Commission members for their unstinting commitment over the last three years and for their invaluable and incisive input across a range of deeply complex and challenging issues. The independent evidence based output of the Commission has been of great assistance to the Government and the parties to the Public Service Stability Agreement. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of all those who contributed to the work of the Commission, including public service management and staff representatives’.

The Minister continued: ‘While this marks the end of this Pay Commission’s mandate, the Commission has recommended that the parties to the PSSA give consideration to putting further arrangements in place at an appropriate time and without compromising the stability of the public service pay bill to allow for pay arrangements more generally to be fully examined. In this context, my Department is currently engaging with the parties to the PSSA on a possible mechanism that could form part of a future pay agreement.” 

As with previous studies carried out by the Commission, it will publish all of the submissions and inputs it received on its website


Notes to Editors

The main findings in the Commission’s final report were:

  • Certain public health professionals

The Commission notes that the Joint Employer’s submission states that there are no recruitment or retention difficulties for the health professionals examined (Radiographers, Psychologists, Paramedics, National Emergency Operations Centre staff, and Public Service Dentists). Although, the Commission reports that there could be issues at local level or in particular specialities. A number of initiatives are underway to address recruitment and retention issues and these should be supported. The recruitment process in the public health service could be reformed.

  • Specialist grades in the public service

There would appear to be particular recruitment and or retention challenges in certain niche areas which may require exceptional intervention. Difficulties may also arise at an organisational level and these can be examined on a case by case basis. In the past various devices (such as, entry above minimum point on a scale, accelerated incremental progression, and allowances) were used to address specific recruitment challenges in specialist positions. These could provide a tailored rather than a “one size fits all” solution.

  • Senior Executive Grades in the Civil and Public Service

The current policy for pay determination for senior posts continues to be affected by limits imposed at a time when economic conditions were substantially different to those that apply in the current labour market. As a result, pay for certain senior posts in public service are under pressure with decisions being taken on an ad hoc basis, which is undesirable. 

The Public Service Pay Commission stated that they would consider it appropriate, should it be decided to conduct a review of remuneration of senior level posts, that the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector be reconstituted for this purpose. The Minister has instructed his officials to evaluate proposals in this regard.ENDS