Government decision to refund charges unlikely to have jobs impact

Company providing business services to Irish Water is contracted to do so until 2018


The Government’s decision to refund water charges is unlikely to have any immediate impact on jobs at the company contracted to conduct Irish Water’s administrative work.

The Cork- based company, Abtran, was awarded a contract in 2012 to carry out administrative work for Irish Water including issuing bills, dealing with customer queries and processing payments before the Government decided to drop the charge.

According to an Abtran spokesman, 400 people were recruited by the company to deal with Irish Water business.

However, since July 2016 when the utility adjusted its requirements, just 225 of them have been working on the project, which it is contracted to handle until 2018.

“As a major company serving many large scale clients, Abtran is very well used to being flexible to changes in client activity and business levels and is used to aligning and redeploying human resources requirements as needed,” said the Abtran spokesman.

“These 225 staff are currently providing customer service for Non-Domestic (i.e. Commercial) Water Charges and the logging of leaks and customer service calls (for both business and residential customers), which is a continuing requirement,” he added.

According to the Abtran spokesman, the reduction in the service level required by Irish Water has been gradual since July 2016. The reduction in the number of staff dealing with Irish Water business from 400 was “balanced by redeployment within Abtran”, he said.

Abtran, which also provides administrative services for the National Transport Authority, the Road Safety Authority, the HSE, SUSI, Electric Ireland Sky and Greenstar among others, currently employs more than 2,000 people at call centres in Cork and Dublin.