Millions squandered on paper payslips while disabled do without – Naughten

In Business & Jobs, News by Denis Naughten

Denis Naughten TD has described the disclosure by Government Departments that they continue to waste millions of euro issuing staff with payslips while cutting frontlines services as “shameful”.

“While Departments may try to dismiss these costs as being minimal, when considered as a proportion of the overall cost of the pay bill it clearly shows an ethos of not rooting out non-frontline costs within the public sector,” stated Denis Naughten.

“It is hard to explain to a parent that their child’s SNA support is being reduced while the Department of Education is spending nearly €1.5m on issuing payslips.

“It is difficult to justify why home help hours to older people and the disabled are being cut, just to fund the cost of issuing HSE staff with paper payslips.

“Right across Government Departments cuts are being implemented which are small on savings but big on impact, yet at the same time basic back room costs such as issuing paper payslips continues.

“It is time that Departments wake up to the current economic reality and the impact it is having on the most vulnerable within our communities,” concluded Denis Naughten.

ENDS.

Editor’s Note: Please find attached Dail replies on this issue.

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION No. 101

Dail Eireann

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32678/11 Proof: 115

REPLY
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Mr. P. Rabbitte)

The payroll function for my Department is carried out by the Department of Finance under a shared service agreement. Accordingly, there are no costs to my Department that relate to the issuing of hard copy payslips.

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION No. 102

Dail Eireann

To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32693/11 Proof: 116

REPLY
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Mr. P. Rabbitte)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the day to day running of the payroll function in the State agencies under my aegis is a matter for each individual agency and you should contact them directly with regard to the information sought.

Question Nos. 115 and 116

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Ref Nos: 32681/11 and 32696/11

REPLY

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. P. Hogan):

I propose to take Questions Nos. 115 and 116 together.

At present, 328 staff in my Department are issued with hard copy payslips at an estimated annual cost of €7,800. Arrangements are underway to move 187 of these staff to electronic payslips over the coming weeks. Subject to IT security considerations, access to electronic payslips will be provided to as many as possible of the remaining staff, and provision of hard copies ended, over the next few months.

Information in this regard in respect of bodies under the aegis of my Department is a matter for the body concerned.

QUESTION NO: 123

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten

REPLY.
The estimated annual cost of issuing hard copy payslips to 754 employees in my Department and in its associated offices amounts to €8,655 in 2011. Options for the increased use of electronic payslips are currently under consideration and I would expect a significant reduction in these figures during 2012.

QUESTION NO: 124

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten

REPLY.
The estimated annual cost of issuing hard copy payslips to the 20,799 employees and 9,026 pensioners of the agencies accountable to me amounts to €510,641 in 2011. Options for the increased use of electronic payslips are currently under consideration but there are particular technical, logistical and cost challenges in providing electronic payslips for the majority of these people since they do not have ready access to office computers in their workplaces, e.g., members of An Garda Síochána, Garda Pensioners and Prison Officers.

QUESTION NO: 127

To ask the Minister for Defence the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

DEPUTY DENIS NAUGHTEN.

QUESTION NO: 128

To ask the Minister for Defence the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

DEPUTY DENIS NAUGHTEN

FOR WRITTEN ANSWER ON THURSDAY, 3RD NOVEMBER, 2011.

REPLY

Minister for Defence (Mr. Alan Shatter, T.D.): I propose to take Questions Nos. 127 and 128 together.
The cost of issuing payslips to all employees and pensioners paid by me (including cheques/payslips) for 2010 was in the region of €137k. The number of employees who received hard copy payslips for the year 2010 is as follows:
•    Defence Forces Personnel 9,746
•    Defence Forces Reserve 3,170 (occasional payments)
•    Defence Forces Civilian Employees 736
•    Civil Servants 67
•    Pensioners 11,163

The Department is currently investigating and testing a technical option for the provision of payroll information to Defence Forces personnel by electronic means that is cost effective and overcomes the fact that many Defence Forces personnel do not have access to electronic information in the normal course of their duties.
The number of employees in agencies accountable to me is thirty two. Twenty two of these receive payroll information via the Department’s intranet facility.
Therefore, the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to the remaining ten employees is negligible.

Parliamentary Question No.142 & 143

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Ref No: 32675/11 Proof: 162

To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Ref No: 32690/11 Proof: 163

REPLY

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney)
I propose to take Questions 32675/11 and 32690/11 together.
Almost 3,200 staff in my Department access their payslips on-line on the Department’s IT system and do not receive payslips. Hardcopy payslips continue issue to some 380 staff, at an annual cost of approximately €7,000, taking account of stationery and postage costs. It is planned that all staff will be paid by electronically by the end of this year and this will reduce the numbers of hardcopy payslips issued by one third. While the issuing of hard copy payslips is kept under review, there remains a number staff members who do not have access to the on-line system who will continue to require a hard copy.

The situation in relation to each of the non-commercial State bodies that come within the aegis of my Department is as follows:

Bord Bia; with effect from November 2011, all payslips will issue by e-mail.

An Bord Iascaigh Mhara; all staff payslips issue electronically. Hard copy payslips issue only to BIM pensioners and Ice Plant operators, a total of 115 people. The estimated cost is €100 per month.
The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority; hardcopy payslips issue to 96 staff. The estimated cost involved is one half day of staff time per month and €50 per month for stationery costs. An electronic payment system is being developed and is expected to be implemented before the end of the year.
The Marine Institute; hardcopy payslips issue to 7 staff and 12 pensioners at a cost of €192.72 per annum. All other staff access their payslips through an online facility.
Teagasc; the estimated annual cost for producing hard copy payslips is €23,800 for 1,590 pensioners and 1,364 employees. Teagasc is in the process of making payslips available electronically for staff within the next six months, after which hard copies will be phased out. It will, however, continue to provide hard copies for pensioners at an approximate cost of €12,700 per annum.
The National Milk Agency; a staff complement of five are issued with hardcopy payslips.

QUESTION NO: 155

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 03/11/2011

* To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by her; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Denis Naughten T.D.

REPLY.
Employees of my Department have access to an electronic Employee Self Service (ESS) feature as part of the payroll system. A limited number of hard copy payslips are provided to employees in circumstances where an employee does not have access to ESS through illness, off-site assignment or not being connected to the intranet network. As part of a shared service arrangement, the Department of Health provides payroll services to my Department and I am advised that there are currently 13 staff of my Department receiving hard copy payslips. I understand that the Minister for Health is providing overall cost details for the production of hard copy payslips in his response to this question.

QUESTION NO: 156

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 03/11/2011

* To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to her; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Denis Naughten T.D.

REPLY.
I am advised that the majority of staff employed in agencies under the aegis of my Department utilise electronic payslip facilities. The majority of staff at the Adoption Authority of Ireland for example, are on secondment from other public service organisations and utilise the payslip facilities provided by their parent organisation.

The National Educational Welfare Board has advised me that all bar one person has opted for electronic payslips and they incur costs of €200 per annum in respect of producing one hard copy payslip as a result. The Office of the Children’s Ombudsman has advised me that they still issue hard copy payslips to their staff but they can not provide an actual cost on the issuing of payslips as it is built into their overall payroll package. They have further advised me that their payroll providers plan to put an electronic payroll system in place in early 2012.

QUESTION NO: 174

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Health (Dr. James Reilly)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 03/11/2011

* To ask the Minister for Health the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten

REPLY.
My Department has been providing electronic payslips to its employees for a number of years as part of the Employee Self Service (ESS) feature which is enabled by the Payroll System and provided through the existing Departmental Intranet. A limited number of hardcopy payslips are provided to employees in circumstances where an employee does not have access to ESS through illness, off-site assignment or not being connected to the Intranet network. Currently that number is 39 for the combined staffs of the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for whom my Department provides a financial shared service including payroll.

The estimated annual non-pay cost
for hardcopy payslips issued to employees is: € 150
The estimated annual pay cost
for hardcopy payslips issued to employees is: € 406
___________
Total € 556

QUESTION NO: 175

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Health (Dr. James Reilly)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 03/11/2011

* To ask the Minister for Health the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Denis Naughten T.D.

REPLY.
The information requested is not currently held by my Department. The agencies concerned have been asked to reply directly to the Deputy.

Dáil Question
No: 179

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.
Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach
Ref No:
32689/11

Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Leo Varadkar

REPLY

Electronic payslips have been in operation for employees of my Department since September 2008.

Dáil Question
No: 180

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.
Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach
Ref No:
32704/11

Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Leo Varadkar

REPLY

The provision of the material requested is a matter for the agencies themselves. I have forwarded the Deputy’s question to the agencies concerned for their direct response. If the Deputy does not receive a reply within ten working days, please advise my private office.

Question No. 48

Parliamentary Question – Dept Details

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32683/11

Question No. 49

Parliamentary Question – Dept Details

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32698/11

REPLY

I propose to reply to Questions Nos. 48 and 49 together.

My Department implemented an electronic payslip system in January 2008 as part of the “Transforming Public Service” programme of civil service modernisation. All of the Department’s staff are now paid by electronic funds transfer.

The vast majority of the Department’s headquarters staff avail of an e-payslips system via the Department’s intranet. However, it remains necessary to issue hard copy payslips to staff who do not have access to the Department’s intranet either because of the nature of their work or due to temporary absences on secondment, maternity leave or other reasons. The numbers change from week to week but are in the range of 100-120 which represents about 9% of the total payroll.

The cost of issuing hard copy payslips is estimated to be of the order of €3,000 per annum and my Department is continuing to look at ways of reducing payroll administration costs even further.

There are no agencies accountable to me.

DÁIL QUESTION

NO 53

To ask the Minister for Finance the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.
Ref No: 32682/11

REPLY

Minister for Finance ( Mr Noonan) : All employees in my Department are on electronic payslips and hard copy payslips are only provided to employees who are on extended absence, for example, maternity leave.

The details sought by the Deputy are as follows:

•    Number of staff issued with payslips 19.
•    Annual cost, €183

DÁIL QUESTION

NO 54

To ask the Minister for Finance the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.
Ref No: 32697/11

REPLY

Minister for Finance ( Mr Noonan) : My Department is a shared services payroll provider and, in addition to paying Department of Finance staff, provides a service for a number of other Government Departments/Offices.

Hard copy payslips are only provided to Departments/Offices who specifically request them.

The details sought by the Deputy are as follows:
•    Number of staff issued with payslips 272.
•    Annual cost, €1,914.

The figures quoted represent total numbers and costs for payslips for the shared payroll services for the following Departments/Offices: Department of Finance, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Office of the Chief State Solicitor, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Ombudsman, Commission for Public Service Appointments, Public Appointments Service, State Laboratory, President’s Establishment, Judicial salaries and salary for the President and the Comptroller & Auditor General.

The Office of the Paymaster General in my Department is responsible for the issue of pension payments to 22,000 retired Civil and Public Servants and their surviving spouses across a range of Government Departments and Offices. The figures provided exclude numbers and costs associated with pension payments.

The Revenue Commissioners, the Appeals Commissioners, the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General and NAMA, which are under the aegis of my Department, are not part of my Department’s shared services payroll. The numbers and costs associated with these bodies are as follows:

Revenue Commissioners and Appeals Commissioners
•    no costs as they do not issue hard copy payslips to their employees:

Comptroller & Auditor General:
•    Number of staff issued with payslips 154.
•    Annual cost, €830.

NTMA
There are currently 423 employees in the NTMA. Processing of the NTMA payroll is outsourced to PwC. Payslips are currently issued in hardcopy on a monthly basis . The NTMA are considering a move to electronic payslips. There would be a saving of five cent in the cost of processing each payslip from such a move as well as savings in postage and courier charges. It is estimated that the annual savings from such a move would be €415.

Uimhir:72, 73

Ceist Pharlaiminte

Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the cost of issuing hard copy
payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such
payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the
timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Denis Naughten.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the cost of issuing hard copy
payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff
issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by
electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on
the matter.
-Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.
Reference Number: 32680/11, 32695/11

Freagra

Minister Ruairí Quinn

I propose to take questions 72 and 73 together.

The annualised cost of issuing hardcopy payslips to the approximate 94,000
school employees and pensioners, and staff employed by my Department and some
bodies under its aegis, is €1.48 million.

Consideration was given by officials in my Department in 2010, to making
payslips available electronically to serving and retired school employees on
the Department’s payrolls using esinet (which is a portal for the delivery of
online applications to schools and school staff). Following consideration of
the issue, it was decided that it was not practical to proceed with the
initiative at this stage, due to a number of practical and logistical issues
including the initial set-up cost. However, my Department will keep this issue
under review.

My Department is currently testing an online payslips facility which is
intended to be made available to staff in my Department from early 2012. My
Department is also exploring with potential providers the movement of the staff
payroll and associated services to a shared services platform as part of the
Public Service Reform Agenda. The provision of online payslips would form an
element of such a service.

The information in relation to agencies accountable to me is not readily
available and would involve an inordinate amount of administrative time to
compile. However, if the Deputy has any particular agency in mind I would be
happy to have my officials obtain the relevant details and communicate them to
the Deputy.

Uimhir:72, 73

Ceist Pharlaiminte

Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the cost of issuing hard copy
payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such
payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the
timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Denis Naughten.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the cost of issuing hard copy
payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff
issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by
electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on
the matter.
-Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.
Reference Number: 32680/11, 32695/11

Freagra

Minister Ruairí Quinn

I propose to take questions 72 and 73 together.

The annualised cost of issuing hardcopy payslips to the approximate 94,000
school employees and pensioners, and staff employed by my Department and some
bodies under its aegis, is €1.48 million.

Consideration was given by officials in my Department in 2010, to making
payslips available electronically to serving and retired school employees on
the Department’s payrolls using esinet (which is a portal for the delivery of
online applications to schools and school staff). Following consideration of
the issue, it was decided that it was not practical to proceed with the
initiative at this stage, due to a number of practical and logistical issues
including the initial set-up cost. However, my Department will keep this issue
under review.

My Department is currently testing an online payslips facility which is
intended to be made available to staff in my Department from early 2012. My
Department is also exploring with potential providers the movement of the staff
payroll and associated services to a shared services platform as part of the
Public Service Reform Agenda. The provision of online payslips would form an
element of such a service.

The information in relation to agencies accountable to me is not readily
available and would involve an inordinate amount of administrative time to
compile. However, if the Deputy has any particular agency in mind I would be
happy to have my officials obtain the relevant details and communicate them to
the Deputy.

DÁIL QUESTION

NO 75 & 76

To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Ref No: 32687/11

To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Ref No: 32702/11

REPLY

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Mr Howlin):

I propose to reply to Questions 75 and 76 together.

My Department payroll and that of a number of Offices under the aegis of my Department is administered by the Department of Finance shared services payroll and the details sought by the Deputy are included in the figures returned by that Department.

The Department of Finance is a Payroll Agent for the following Departments/Offices under my remit: Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, Commission for Public Service Appointments, Public Appointments Service, State Laboratory, Office of the Ombudsman, Presidents Establishment and the Office of the Paymaster General.

The Commissioners of Public Works and the Valuation Office, which is also under the aegis of my Department, is not part of the Department of Finance shared services payroll and the numbers and costs associated with both these bodies are as follows:

The Valuation Office does not issue any hard copy payslips to staff. All staff members are paid by EFT.

In the case of the Office of Public Works (OPW), the average number of staff issued with payslips is 1,450 at an annual cost of €11,260.

The OPW has confirmed that all staff on the established side have access to online payslips through work. A handful of staff (on average 18 per week) on the established side are issued with payslips. These are staff who are off long term on, for example, sick leave, maternity leave, etc. Payroll Section receives an instruction from Personnel to issue such payslips.

The vast majority of the payslips are issued on the Industrial side as most of these staff do not have access to computers in work. The OPW is currently examining different ways of transferring these staff to online payslips.

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 78

To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Ref No: 32685/11

R E P L Y

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr. Bruton)

My Department has recently commenced issuing payslips electronically. All staff in my Department and its Offices can now view their payslips and other related payroll documents by logging on to a secure computer application. The new facility replaces the traditional method of providing each staff member with a hard copy payslip and it provides quick and secure access to both current and historical payslip and other payroll information online. This initiative will have both positive environmental and cost impacts by reducing the amount of paper produced by the Department.

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 79

To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Ref No: 32700/11

R E P L Y

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr. Bruton)

As this is a day to day matter for the respective agencies, I have referred the question to them for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Question Nos: 94 & 95 Ref Nos: 32688/11
32703/11
To the Minister for Social Protection
To ask the Minister for Social Protection the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by her; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Denis Naughten.

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to her; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

R E P L Y

Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D.):

It is proposed to take Question Nos. 94 and 95 together.

Under the Payment of Wages Act, 1991 an employee is entitled to a clear statement of the gross amount of the wages payable to the employee and the nature and amount of any deductions from that pay. The Department’s staff have access to this statement electronically via an online system which is available to them through the Department’s internal corporate intranet site.

Since July 2009 hard copy pay slips are not issued to the Department’s staff except in a very limited number of situations where employees do not have access to the Department’s internal corporate intranet site, for example if they are on extended leave such as long term sick leave or maternity leave. Over 97% of the Department’s staff receive information on wages paid and associated deductions solely by electronic means.

Hard copy pay slips are issued to 176 members of staff at present. These represent less than 3% of a total of the Department’s total of 6,557 staff. The estimated cost of issuing pay slips to these employees is approximately €5,400 per annum.

The three statutory bodies operating under the aegis of the Department are the Social Welfare Tribunal, the Citizens Information Board and the Pensions Board. In addition, the Office of the Pensions Ombudsman comes under the remit of the Department.

The Social Welfare Tribunal has no employees. Its administration support is provided as required by a designated member of the Department’s staff who performs this role as part of their normal duties as an executive officer. That person’s salary is paid electronically and they receive information on wages paid and associated deductions solely by electronic means.
The Pensions Board has for the past 5 years issued payslips to all employees by electronic means only. However, there are two retired members of staff who receive hard copy payslips as they do not have access to email. The annual cost is estimated to be €12.
In the Citizens Information Board (CIB), expenditure of some €1,000 is anticipated in 2011 to provide payslips to 122 current and retired members of staff. The CIB is currently investigating the option of providing payslips by electronic means. However, no decision has been made yet in this regard.
No employee in the Office of the Pensions Ombudsman is issued with a hard copy payslip.

ENDS

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 98

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32676/11 Proof: 112

R E P L Y

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D.):

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department was established on the 2nd of June 2011. Payroll services are provided to my Department by the Financial Shared Service (FSS) of the Department of Justice and Equality. Currently, 22 of 73 weekly-paid and 40 of 161 fortnightly-paid staff are in receipt of hard copy payslips on an ongoing basis. FSS estimates that the cost associated with issuing hard copy payslips to these employees, which is borne by FSS, for the year 2011 is €2,445.27.
For completeness, I would also advise the Deputy that payroll services for Heritage staff have only been transferred to the Financial Shared Service during the month of October. As a result, a number of staff who are normally in receipt of electronic payslips are currently being provided with hard copy payslips on a transitional basis. My Department and the Financial Shared Service are working together to restore electronic access to payslips for these staff by the end of this month.
All staff are encouraged to avail of electronic forms of payment and electronic payslips, where possible, and my Department reviews the operation of its payroll service on an ongoing basis to improve efficiency and minimise costs in this area.

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 98

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees paid by him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32676/11 Proof: 112

R E P L Y

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D.):

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department was established on the 2nd of June 2011. Payroll services are provided to my Department by the Financial Shared Service (FSS) of the Department of Justice and Equality. Currently, 22 of 73 weekly-paid and 40 of 161 fortnightly-paid staff are in receipt of hard copy payslips on an ongoing basis. FSS estimates that the cost associated with issuing hard copy payslips to these employees, which is borne by FSS, for the year 2011 is €2,445.27.
For completeness, I would also advise the Deputy that payroll services for Heritage staff have only been transferred to the Financial Shared Service during the month of October. As a result, a number of staff who are normally in receipt of electronic payslips are currently being provided with hard copy payslips on a transitional basis. My Department and the Financial Shared Service are working together to restore electronic access to payslips for these staff by the end of this month.
All staff are encouraged to avail of electronic forms of payment and electronic payslips, where possible, and my Department reviews the operation of its payroll service on an ongoing basis to improve efficiency and minimise costs in this area.

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 99

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32691/11 Proof: 113

R E P L Y

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Jimmy Deenihan, T.D.)

It is not possible to provide the information requested by the Deputy in the time-frame permitted for this Parliamentary Question. I will ensure that the information is sent directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

DAIL QUESTION

NO. 99

To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the cost of issuing hard copy payslips to all employees of agencies accountable to him; the number of staff issued with such payslips; the steps being taken to only issue payslips by electronic means; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 3rd November, 2011.

Identical Question(s): to all Depts. except Taoiseach

Ref No: 32691/11 Proof: 113

R E P L Y

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Jimmy Deenihan, T.D.)

It is not possible to provide the information requested by the Deputy in the time-frame permitted for this Parliamentary Question. I will ensure that the information is sent directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.