Over 600 apply for Bord na Mona redundancy scheme

More than 600 Bord na Mona (BNM) employees have applied for the semi-state company’s €40 million voluntary redundancy scheme, it has been confirmed.

The much-publicised scheme officially closed to applications from workers last month – on January 31.

In a statement to AgriLand, the semi-state company – which is looking to shave more than 400 jobs from its peat division (including 150 in the immediate term) – confirmed that “over 600 applications” have been received for the voluntary redundancy scheme.

It is understood that the final tally on applications has been communicated to employees and employee representatives.

The job losses – which impact heavily on tractor and machinery drivers – have resulted from the company’s decision to accelerate its decarbonisaton strategy.

It now intends to cease peat harvesting completely by 2025 – five years ahead of its previously announced deadline of 2030.

Currently there are 2,000 workers in BNM – with approximately 1,000 people working on the peat side.

‘Lump Sum’

According to the company’s voluntary redundancy scheme, those who take redundancy will receive two weeks of pay per year of reckonable service – plus a further one week’s pay.

Workers will also receive an ‘ex-gratia’ lump sum, based on four weeks pay per year of reckonable service – this will be capped at 104 weeks’ worth of pay.

The overall cap on payments to workers is half of what they otherwise would earn if they worked until retirement.

BNM will also pay outplacement allowances under the following pay grades:
  • 0-10 years of service: €1,000;
  • 10-15 years of service: €1,500;
  • 16-20 years of service: €2,000;
  • 21-25 years of service: €2,500;
  • 26-30 years of service: €3,000;
  • 31+ years of service: €0.

A spokesperson for the company previously outlined that: “BNM is transitioning away from its traditional operations to a business which will be a leading provider of renewable energy in Ireland, in high value recycling of waste and a provider of a range of low carbon, sustainable products and services based on our extensive land bank and consistent with Government policy.

“One component of the transition focuses on simplifying and consolidating our traditional businesses and part of this involves a voluntary redundancy scheme which closed on January 31.”