- Breaking News
- Today's Paper
- Text Only
- Family Notices
Monday, July 16, 2012
There is "strong data" to suggest sick leave is a bigger problem in the public than private sector, Richard Bruton has said.
The jobs minister was speaking after a private briefing paper he prepared for Fine Gael TDs and senators on the issue emerged into the public domain.
The paper suggests that public sector workers take almost twice as many sick days each year than their private sector counterparts.
Mr Bruton refused to comment on the briefing paper yesterday, saying it had been prepared for a private meeting. However, he told RTÉ Radio: "Everyone recognises that there’s the problem around sickness.
"The question is how do we tackle it. There’s strong data to suggest it’s a bigger problem in the public service than in the private."
Mr Bruton used the paper to brief members of Fine Gael’s parliamentary party at a Leinster House meeting last week.
The paper is being viewed as Mr Bruton’s case against proposals by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to make employers pay for the first four weeks of sick leave. That proposal, if implemented, would significantly reduce the €876m being paid out by the State each year in illness benefit.
Employers fear it would ramp up their costs and ultimately cost jobs.
Mr Bruton is known to be firmly against the proposal, but is publicly insisting it is a matter for the Cabinet to decide.
He insisted yesterday that it was not about personal positions, and said the briefing paper was merely contributing to the debate.
© Irish Examiner Ltd, City Quarter, Lapps Quay, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523712.