The Ministry of Social Protection dismissed or transferred 20 employees for violating standards

Twenty Department of Social Welfare staff have been fired, transferred or left their posts for failing to meet standards since 2017.

The breaches that led to the dismissals include violation of the code of standards and behavior and violation of the department’s data protection policy. One dismissal related to failing to meet the standards required of staff members who are also clients of Department of Social Care policy.

In response to a parliamentary question, Social Care Minister Heather Humphreys said her department implements the Civil Service Disciplinary Code (2016), which sets out due process and guidance on appropriate disciplinary action or sanctions .

Under this code, a serious breach of accepted standards and behaviors may constitute an example of gross misconduct that may be sufficient to justify dismissal. So far this year, one officer has been deemed to have resigned or not returned due to a breach of the code of conduct standards.

Last year, a member of staff was terminated under the same code. In 2019, three members were fired for breaches of the code of ethics, while two others were transferred.

Separately in 2019, a worker was dismissed due to policy governing the standards required of staff members who are also customers of the service.

The Department of Social Welfare classifies customers as encompassing a broad group including “families, job seekers, employed people, sick and disabled people, carers, elderly people and employers”. Breaches of data protection policy have resulted in three dismissals since 2017, and a total of six since 2011.

Ms Humphreys said: “Since 2011, 25 staff have been made redundant from the Department of Social Care.

“Four other people have been transferred as part of their sanction. Two people were found to have resigned/did not return to duty and left the public service.

Dismissals in other departments

Parliamentary questions on the same subject were submitted to different services by the independent TD of Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan.

For the Department for Transport, Minister Eamon Ryan said: ‘Since 2011 two departmental staff have been reassigned to an old grade and one staff member has been terminated when they failed to meet performance standards appropriate during his probationary period.

“In addition, a member of staff resigned following the initiation of disciplinary proceedings and before the end of these proceedings.” Misconduct was also cited in the dismissal of a Public Expenditure and Reform Department staff member, three dismissals resulted from disciplinary proceedings in the Department of Agriculture, and 15 people were terminated for non-compliance issues. performance according to the Department of Agriculture. Justice.

All of these figures date back to 2011. In the case of the Department of Justice, five people had their jobs made redundant in 2020 alone, said Minister Helen McEntee.

In the case of the Foreign Office, Minister Simon Coveney’s written response said there had been a “number” of DFA staff made redundant since 2011.

In his written response, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said there were few, “if any” instances of formal disciplinary proceedings resulting in the sanction specified in the question, namely dismissal.

The other departments reported no layoffs for the period in question.

Joel C. Hicks