Working in the HPRA

In addition to providing meaningful, fulfilling and engaging work, where each employee personally contributes to delivering on the HPRA’s role to protect and enhance human and animal health, we understand that benefits can also play an important role when it comes to attracting and retaining skilled and engaged employees. Supported by a culture of open communication, transparency, and recognition we ensure that our employees have access to Core, Work-Life Balance, Learning and Development and Health and Wellbeing Benefits.

Core Benefits

In the HPRA it is important to us that we support our employees with life events. In light of this, we offer beneficial leave policies that support life situations that require your attention outside of the workplace. These include:

  • Enhanced Maternity Leave benefit: The HPRA offers employees enhanced maternity leave benefit (full payment top-up) during your 26 weeks of maternity leave (i.e. salary less social welfare payments).
  • Enhanced Adoptive Leave benefit: The HPRA offers employees enhanced adoptive leave benefit (full payment top-up) during your 26 weeks of maternity leave (i.e. salary less social welfare payments).
  • Enhanced Paternity Leave benefit: The HPRA offers employee enhanced paternity leave benefit (full payment top-up) during your 2 weeks of paternity leave (i.e. salary less social welfare payments).
  • Paid Sick Leave/Extended Sick Leave: The HPRA provides for the payment of financial support to employees during periods of absence from work due to illness or injury.
  • Flexileave: Employees have the opportunity to avail of Flexileave/Time off in Lieu in exchange for excess hours worked.

Pension Scheme:  The Single Public Service Pension Scheme (“Single Scheme”) commenced with effect from 1 January 2013 and applies to all first-time entrants to the Public Service, as well as to former public servants returning to the public service after a break of more than 26 weeks. The legislation giving effect to the Scheme is the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012.

The Single Public Service Pension Scheme provides:

  • A pension and retirement lump sum based on career average pensionable remuneration.
  • A facility for early retirement on medical grounds, subject to certain conditions.
  • A facility for early retirement from age 55 on cost neutral (actuarially reduced) basis.
  • A death in service benefit of twice annual pensionable remuneration.
  • Preservation of retirement benefits which are payable on application at the age a member would be eligible for the State Pension (Contributory).
  • A pension for spouses or civil partners and for eligible children.
  • Pension indexation in retirement based on CPI increases.

Work-life Balance

We very much recognise the importance of life outside of work and the HPRA promotes a healthy work-life balance for all employees which includes a flexi-time attendance system. We endeavour to provide flexibility in line with our policies to the greatest extent possible while ensuring that the needs of the business are met.

We also aim to support employees to develop their potential to ensure that we have appropriately skilled people to achieve the strategic goals and objectives. There are periodic internal communications meetings, departmental team meetings, organisational awareness sessions as well as regular employee social events and employees are encouraged to build relationships across the organisation.

Learning and Development

The HPRA is committed to ensuring a culture of continuous learning which supports a highly motivated dynamic workforce delivering on our business objectives. It is the policy of the HPRA to encourage, develop and support employees to undertake relevant further education outside the working day. Courses of study, which will benefit both you in your job and the HPRA, may be approved for financial assistance of up to 100% of the cost of the course. We aim to give you the opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge to perform and take responsibility for your own self development.

The HPRA understands the mutual value of learning and developing your capabilities and promotes a culture of learning; with 70% of development activities focused on experience; 20% focused on learning from others and 10% on formal courses and reading by educating managers and staff and providing supporting tools and frameworks.

The HPRA operate a Performance Development Programme which encourages regular two-way communication between individuals and managers at all levels in order to promote continuous improvement for individuals.

In addition, we provide a varied programme of lunch time learning sessions on non- work related topics. There are numerous opportunities within teams for employees to act as representatives on working groups and committees across the organisation and in this way employees can participate in matters that affect the organisation overall.

Health and Wellbeing Programme

In line with the Department of Health’s Healthy Ireland Framework, the purpose of this programme is to enable our employees to increase their control over and improve the factors that affect their overall health. It is designed to support individuals in acquiring healthy behaviour patterns, which will lead to an improved state of health and wellbeing and organisational effectiveness. Some of the initiatives include:

  • Mental Health Awareness initiatives that have previously included talks facilitated by former Olympic Boxer Kenneth Egan and Rugby analyst Brent Pope
  • Financial Wellbeing: Seminars and 1-1 financial clinics, covering areas of overall financial wellbeing, Savings and Budgeting, Managing your money effectively & Retirement planning
  • Sli Na Slainte: In conjunction with the Irish Heart Foundation the facilitation of the HPRA Sli@work initiative
  • Lunchtime Yoga & Fitness Classes
  • Healthy Eating Cooking and Taste Demonstrations
  • Healthy Eating Month: Provision of fresh fruit, juices, smoothies, and yogurts
  • VDU Eye Examinations
  • Flu Vaccinations
  • One-to-one Giraffe Childcare Consultations

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is an employee support service designed to support employees resolve any of their personal or work related concerns, which are having an adverse effect on their physical and emotional well-being, their job, their relationships or their health and well-being.

This service is provided for all employees and is completely free, confidential, and voluntary. It covers a variety of issues associated with:

  • Relationship issues
  • Financial and legal issues
  • Balancing work and home life
  • Addiction
  • Health related problems
  • Depression/anxiety/stress
  • Child or elder care

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