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HSE says St John of God is breaching pay rules with CEO's €182,000 salary

St John of God considers John Pepper to be paid by private sources, so not subject to pay rules.

Image: Shutterstock/ShaunWilkinson

THE HSE HAS said it considers the St John of God organisation in breach of public sector pay rules.

The charity, which provides support to families of special needs children, has been at the centre of a row over pay since last week.

It emerged that the charity paid a total of €1.64 million in top-ups to 14 executives in 2013. St John of God has said the payments were made on the advice of consultants, to discharge a pension risk. It also said the money was from the order’s own resources.

Those salaries include €182,000 a year paid to group Chief Executive John Pepper and €125,000 to community services chief executive Clare Dempsey.

The HSE considers St John of God a Section 38 organisation, which means staff must not be paid above €110,000 a year.

St John of God told The Irish Times that Pepper is not a Section 38 employee as his salary is paid by private sources, so not subject to the rules.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie today, the HSE said:

Yes, the HSE does consider the payments as referenced to be in breach of public service pay policy.

The HSE is now conducting an audit of the charity’s finances and the Dáil Public Accounts Committee is expected to call representatives of the charity to a hearing.

Read: Parents of special needs kids at St John of God school ‘furious’ over salary top-ups

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