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The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD has announced details of Voluntary Redundancy Schemes (VR) in areas of the public service. The schemes are part of the overall goal of reducing public service numbers by 282,500 by the end of 2014, as opposed to the end 2015 as initially intended.

Voluntary Redundancy is to be established firstly in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and specific parts of the health and education sectors. According to the Minister, exits from these departments will mainly be from back office and support areas and management and administrative grades. Additionally, there will not be replacement of the departing staff. “Each of the relevant departments is liaising with my Department to ensure roll out of Voluntary Redundancy as soon as the necessary plans have been finalised and arrangements made. I would stress that there will be no automatic right to redundancy and all applications will be subject to ongoing business needs and service provision priorities.”

The terms of the scheme will be as agreed between the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Public Services Committee of ICTU in June 2012. 

The Minister added that the scheme may be rolled out to other areas of the Public Service “if deemed appropriate”.