Above and beyond

Garda overtime set to be capped across the country as payments are vastly exceeding budgets

Garda overtime for the first five months of this year has run over budget by €12 million.

File Photo Middle-ranking gardaí say there is a chronic shortage of supervisors to monitor the increased number of gardaí being recruited. The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors said more than 160 more sergeants are needed immediately. End Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

OVERTIME FOR MEMBERS of An Garda Síochána is to be capped across the country, it emerged tonight.

A new directive released to gardaí states that overtime is to be strictly restricted to budget going forward in a bid to stem costs.

The first five months of 2018 saw such work run over-budget in the force by nearly €12 million.

“Each district, division, and region must take measures to ensure that no overtime is approved which will exceed the relevant budgetary allocation in that roster,” a memo from the Garda executive states.

In the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR), each member will see their overtime capped at 50 hours per roster (each of which runs roughly along the same lines as a calendar month).

“Only in exceptional circumstances and with the express permission of the divisional officer, subject to health and safety considerations/working time agreements, can a member exceed this 50 hour cap in any one roster,” a missive distributed to the DMR states.

It’s understood that the cap will see overtime denied for back office and administrative functions.

“Careful management of time and adttendance should take place to ensure that annual leave and rest days are not being taken to maximise overtime payments,” a memo from the Garda executive reads.

An Garda Síochána has been contacted for comment on this matter.

It emerged last December that one Garda was paid €68,641 in overtime for the first 11 months of 2017.

Almost €107 million was spent on Garda overtime in total for the first 10 months of last year.

In November 2017 it emerged that no overtime was to be allowed for gardaí whatsoever for the following December – however this plan was later backtracked upon after a deal was struck to pay for that overtime from the 2018 budget.

With reporting by Michelle Hennessy

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