FAQs

The transfer of responsibility for public water services to Uisce Éireann

Service responsibility for the direct management of public water services will transfer from each individual Local Authority to Uisce Éireann on a phased basis during 2023

Under the Framework, all staff will remain in the direct employment of their Local Authority on their current terms and conditions unless they choose to voluntarily transfer to Uisce Éireann. There will be minimum changes on Day 1 as Uisce Éireann assumes direct responsibility for the management of all water services.

The voluntary transfer of water services staff to Uisce Éireann

Uisce Éireann will provide:

  • Secure, pensionable employment
  • Local community-based service delivery, with opportunity to work on national strategic projects
  • Career mobility and progression opportunities
  • National expanding organisation investing in people and systems
  • Specialist roles in water service
  • Extensive training and development
  • Apprentice and graduate schemes

Terms and conditions:

  • Existing terms and conditions remain unchanged on transfer to Uisce Éireann
  • We need and want all staff currently working in water services
  • No change to current locality
  • Role for everyone at existing grade and competency
  • Staff on Uisce Éireann pay model have potential to benefit from an annual performance award
  • Existing pension benefits preserved and will join Uisce Éireann Defined Benefit Scheme from existing Local Authority Defined Benefit scheme.

Following on from introductory briefings, we will follow up with role specific engagements for various staff cohorts, including Caretakers, General Operatives, Craft Workers, Scientists and Scientific Technical Staff, Engineers and Management Teams, Admin Staff and Technical Staff etc. to provide further information on how the overall transfer of water services will be managed and delivered. In advance of Uisce Éireann assuming full responsibility for all water services in each Local Authority staff will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest.

Information will be confirmed in relation to pay, allowances and other terms and conditions for each individual. Following on from this, Irish Water will host a series of one-to one HR clinics to answer specific queries and provide more clarity on the Uisce Éireann proposition. You will have the option to become an employee of Uisce Éireann from the date Uisce Éireann assumes full responsibility for all water services.

We anticipate that staff will continue to engage and make an individual decision beyond this point, and we will continue to support staff in clarifying questions and providing any relevant information as they consider all the options available to them. Staff choosing to transfer to Uisce Éireann will be issued with a contract letter. Ongoing engagement will continue with all remaining water services staff who may consider transferring across to Uisce Éireann up to the end of 2026.

  1. Introductory briefings
  2. Follow up role specific briefings with relevant employee or Local Authority Groups
  3. In advance of Uisce Éireann assuming full responsibility for all water services in each Local Authority, Local Authority Water Services staff can submit an expression of interest and will be provided with full details to allow them to make an informed decision on whether to join Uisce Éireann
  4. Irish Water HR one-to-one clinics with Local Authority staff will provide individuals with more details and clarity on the Uisce Éireann proposition
  5. Following the one-to-one clinics the individual Local Authority Water Services staff will then decide whether to become an employee of Uisce Éireann and the relevant contract letter will issue
  6. Ongoing engagement with all remaining water services staff who may consider transferring across to Uisce Éireann up to the end of 2026

If you choose to join Uisce Éireann’s pay model, you will transfer on your current salary and retain your existing terms and conditions. Staff joining Uisce Éireann will be mapped to a role and the appropriate equivalent grade within the organisation structure. There may be cases where some employees will already be at the top of / above this salary range for that role, in those circumstances there will be no change and those individuals will retain their current salary. You may also choose to join Uisce Éireann on a ‘mirrored’ Local Authority pay model. This will follow the Local Authority structures and any future agreements, unless you choose to move onto the Uisce Éireann pay model at a later date.

All allowances will remain unchanged, including acting allowances.

If you are successful for a promotional opportunity, you will move to the Uisce Éireann pay model on your new salary and be eligible for the relevant performance related award. Your allowances will be reviewed in line with the requirements of the new role. You remain a member of your pension scheme with the relevant pension benefits.

All roles involved in the delivery of public water services will be carried out by Uisce Éireann employees by the end of 2026. For those staff that wish to remain as Local Authority employees but working outside of water services, Local Authorities will work to re-assign staff to suitable vacancies within grade and competence to other Local Authority service areas. Staff will be facilitated to the maximum extent possible by each Local Authority and will be subject to an agreed knowledge transfer period where necessary, and in accordance with the internal mobility policy of each Local Authority.

Your existing pension is preserved.

In recognition of the goodwill of Local Authority staff in moving across to become Uisce Éireann employees, a once-off incentive payment, which is subject to all statutory deductions, will be made to each staff member who joins before the end of 2026.

The Framework set out that the provisions apply only to those who spend more than 50% of their time working in water services. All staff are eligible to apply for open positions across Uisce Éireann from January 2023 and will join as direct employees of Uisce Éireann.

Our commitment to continue providing water services locally

Locality will remain the same for staff and any requirement to change will be in line with current arrangements for public service employees. We are currently a national organisation of 1,200 staff, many of whom live and work alongside you in your communities. We currently have a footprint of 10 regional offices across the country but recognise that we will require more offices and depots to enable staff to continue working in their locality. We are committed to continuing with existing arrangements where possible.

Integration and Management Team

The Integration and Management team will report directly to Uisce Éireann management and will be responsible for the management of water services and water services staff. Existing Local Authority organisation structures will remain unchanged. The team will manage continued operational delivery of water services. It will also support and enable the move towards service standardisation. There will be approximately 90 roles in the Integration and Management Team drawn from both the existing Local Authority Directors of Service, Senior Engineers, Senior Executive Officers and the Irish Water Operations Team (i.e. existing Regional Operational Leads).

Opportunities

Irish Water provides national water services to business and communities across Ireland. We have responsibility for the safe delivery of drinking water and the disposal of wastewater. With that comes the requirement for many different skillsets within the organisation. Irish Water continues to grow and has vacancies across all disciplines. Specifically, in the Asset Operations area we are appointing four Regional Operations Managers, in addition to the existing four bringing the team to eight, to support the new structure within Uisce Éireann. There will be open competition for these new management roles and other vacancies will be advertised across the Local Authority sector as well as to internal Irish Water employees. We would encourage staff to look at the existing opportunities and to get in touch with our recruitment team about open vacancies in Irish water. Over the coming years the organisation will continue to grow and more opportunities will arise through general recruitment, graduate programmes and apprenticeship schemes.