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45 years: average age of civil servants as staffing levels approach crisis point

The country’s top civil servants say more urgency is needed on staffing levels, with some public servants taking on the work of two or three people.

Image: Adam Peck/PA Wire

THE AVERAGE AGE of Ireland’s civil servants is 45 years, according to Dave Thomas, the chief executive of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants.

Speaking to Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Thomas said that there are concerns that staffing levels within the civil service are approaching a critical level, with half of current workers due to retire in the next five to ten years.

The association is meeting today to discuss issues affecting the public service and falling staffing levels is top of the agenda.

Thomas said that the government have started to address the problem by recruiting administrative officers, but that more urgency is needed. He said that in some cases one civil servant could be doing the work of two or three people.

Meanwhile it’s been revealed that there’s a significant drop in the number of civil servant taking long-term sick leave when the rate of pay during that leave is cut.

The Irish Independent reports today that a switch to half pay after six months leave leads to a 68 per cent drop in the number of workers on leave.

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It’s previously been reported that annual sick leave in the public sector costs the State over €551 million.

Read more: Most Government departments seeking new staff to cope with retirements>

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Emer McLysaght

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