Growing overtime bill noted by Leinster House internal audit – The Irish Times

Some Leinster House staff worked so many overtime hours through April 2020 that they almost doubled their wages, according to an internal audit, and a fifth of staff earned an extra 20 per cent in overtime.

An employee of the superintendency saw his salary increase from €36,801 to €69,248, including €29,641 in overtime and €2,805 in allowances, while the salary of a second went from €30,747 to €63,244, including €26,374 in overtime and bonuses of €6,122.

The first employee worked an average of 61 hours a week during the period under review, in breach of working time legislation. During a six-week period, the superintendent’s office staff worked 2,108 hours of overtime, which equates to eight additional full-time employees.

Seven of the 68 employees audited worked overtime equivalent to “more than 50% of their basic pay”, while overtime was also a problem in Leinster House bars and restaurants. For six weeks, the bar staff worked 204 hours of overtime, which is equivalent to one permanent staff member.

Restaurant staff served more than 826 hours of overtime, which equates to three additional employees: “Nine employees received overtime pay equaling more than 20% of their base salary with no individual claiming more than 40% of their salary basic overtime. ”

Basic Pay Rate

Permanent solutions must be found, such as new staff or hiring of agencies. Each of these options would result in “the same level of staffing but at a base pay rate instead of an overtime rate plus allowances directly tied to overtime,” the report noted.

Poor time management is exacerbated by the volume of overtime. In one case, a person was signed up to work from 9:00 to 11:40, but it is unclear whether the worker was on a short two-and-a-half-hour shift or a marathon work day from morning to night.

A clocking system should be considered to give an “unequivocal and permanent record,” the audit said. Similarly, there are questions about the transfer of vacation from one year to the next. Three out of eight employees put forward excessive days over three years.

The internal audit was completed in April 2020 and was later requested by an Oireachtas worker under freedom of information legislation. However, access was denied and the Oireachtas said it could compromise negotiations with staff on the issues raised.

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