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Leinster House strikes €300,000 deal for staff night-time taxi service

Staff working after 10pm are entitled to take taxis home – but plans for Dáil reform should cut how often they’re used.

Taxi drivers park their taxis on Kildare Street during an industrial dispute. The Oireachtas has awarded a contract worth €300,000 for staff to be brought home if they work late.
Taxi drivers park their taxis on Kildare Street during an industrial dispute. The Oireachtas has awarded a contract worth €300,000 for staff to be brought home if they work late.
Image: Joe Dunne/Photocall Ireland

THE HOUSES OF the Oireachtas has awarded a contract worth up to €300,000 to a taxi firm who will drive staff home from Leinster House if they are required to work late hours.

The contract, which was advertised in February, will see staff shuttled home if their duties force them to stay in work after 10pm – a regularly common requirement given the Dáil’s usual timetable.

The Irish Times reported that a total of 435 employees would be entitled to use the service, which has been a longstanding service in Leinster House given the Oireachtas’s “duty of care” to its employees.

The Oireachtas spokesman told the paper that the value of the contract would depend on the frequency with which it was used, though the maximum amount payable under the tender is €300,000 excluding VAT.

Proposals for Dáil reform being pushed by the government could mean that the service is used less frequently, however.

Though the Dáil currently sits until after 10pm on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, new proposals would see Tuesday’s sittings brought forward from 2:30pm until earlier in the morning.

The typical three-day week is also set to be extended to include Fridays too, meaning it is less likely that staff will be required to work the longer hours.

Some staff at Leinster House can typically work until the early hours compiling the official transcript of parliamentary proceedings and records of parliamentary questions.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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