Noonan 'confident' on IBRC jobs

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he was confident most of the IBRC staff would be re-employed on a contract basis.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he was confident most of the IBRC staff would be re-employed on a contract basis.

Thu, Feb 7, 2013, 00:00

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has expressed confidence the majority of employees at the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation will be re-employed by the liquidator or the National Asset Management Agency.

He told the Dáil that everyone shared concerns about the staff. An estimated 850 employees would lose their jobs in the liquidation, but the Minister said they were highly employable people and most would be re-hired on a contract basis by the liquidator for significant amounts of time.

He said there had been some communication with staff yesterday and the same person would be in communication with the staff again this morning.

Mr Noonan said the Government was not acting on the spur of the moment. The negotiations had gone on for a very long time and the KPMG team were very well aware of staff requirements and would hire specialist staff on a contract basis.

In his opening speech to the Dáil on the legislation to liquidate the bank, Mr Noonan said he understood the announcement of the liquidation would come as quite a shock to staff of the former Anglo Irish Bank and to those who did business with the bank.

He regretted the abruptness of how the decision was communicated to management and staff but because of the scale, sensitivity and complexity of the economic issues involved, it was necessary to keep the matter confidential until now, in the public interest.

Mr Noonan said it had been indicated to me that the majority of staff would be re-hired if they wished, for the orderly liquidation and this would be determined by the special liquidators. He said employees would rank in the normal way as preferential creditors ahead of Nama and unsecured creditors for accrued wages, salaries, holiday pay, sick pay, statutory redundancy, pensions contributions and claims for damages from accidents.

But Opposition speakers were highly critical of the Minister's handling of the liquidation and its impact on about 850 jobs.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin criticised the manner of the announcement of the job losses and said the Bill had very serious consequences for the banks employees and their rights and entitlements needed to be sorted clearly.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said it was a disgrace that no senior figures or accountants had been brought to trial before the courts but "you're going to sack 800 people tomorrow and the Labour party should be ashamed".

When Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins criticised the Minister over the job losses at the bank, Mr Noonan told him: "You've been calling for the liquidation of Anglo for years. It's bit late in the night to be talking about the workers when you sentenced them yourselves years ago."

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