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Privilege days case might lead Howlin to tackle all public sector leave

After plan to abolish two privilege days for civil servants was rejected yesterday, Government may look to make savings across a broader section of public servants.

Minister for Public Sector Reform Brendan Howlin
Minister for Public Sector Reform Brendan Howlin
Image: PA Images/Niall Carson

A RULING YESTERDAY which allows civil servants to hold onto their two privilege days may push the Government into looking for reform across the holiday leave for all staff in the public service.

Brendan Howlin, the new Minister for Public Sector Reform, told RTE’s Nine O’Clock News last night that he was “disappointed” by the ruling by an arbitration board yesterday. The board rejected plans by the Government to scrap the two privilege days which date back to pre-Independence times.

The privilege days were traditionally given at Easter and Christmas and will now be given in addition to the civil servants’ annual leave days.

According to the Irish Times, Howlin said that the Government would now be looking at ways to standardise annual leave across the entire public service to try and claw back savings that way. This would involve other staff across the public sector including those in the HSE and in local authorities.

Privilege days: what exactly are they?>

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