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County Secretary defends 45-day leave entitlement

County Secretary defends 45-day leave entitlement

John Condon says leave justified because Mayo County Council does not give days off for horse races, like other councils

Anton McNulty

Annual leave for senior officials in Mayo County Council will be cut from 45 to 32 days, but the 45-day entitlement has been defended by one who enjoyed it. The County Secretary of Mayo County Council has argued that unlike council staff in other counties, Mayo staff do not get days off for special events, implying that the higher leave entitlement in Mayo made up for that.

Most holidays in State
The leave entitlement for Mayo County Council staff at grade eight and above is set at 45 days a year – the highest of all local authorities in the State. The next highest is Roscommon on 41 days followed by Kerry on 40 days. Staff at grade eight are on a pay scale of €64,426 to €84,036 per annum.
Earlier this year, County Managers voluntarily agreed to a new maximum leave level of 32 days following controversy when it emerged they were entitled to leave of more than 40 days. Under reforms announced last month, the maximum annual leave for all staff across the public service will be set at 32 days a year, 30 days for new staff.

Mayo not Galway, Kildare
Speaking to The Mayo News, John Condon, County Secretary of Mayo County Council, defended the number of days entitled to senior staff in the Council, stressing that less than ten people were entitled to 45 days.
“Every local authority throughout the country has different leave entitlements because many are given days off for local events. In Kildare, they get days off for the Punchestown Races while in Galway they get days off for the Galway Races, and those days are taken into account for their annual leave. We have nothing like that in Mayo, and to compare Mayo with other local authorities is not comparing like with like,” he said.
Mr Condon added that there were other circumstances which were taken into account when the number of leave days are allocated.
“A lot of our senior staff work outside of office hours when attending meetings and that was taken into account in the past. The vast majority of our staff are already getting less than 30 days so there will be no change there. Only a handful of people are affected by this and most of the senior people generally don’t take their full leave because they are too busy”  he told The Mayo News.