The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has paid out €3.2 million in severance pay and gardening leave over a period of just over a year and a half, new figures show.
Figures from the “Bad Bank” show that 49 former employees received severance payments between June 2020 and the end of last year.
One person received more than €100,000 in severance pay, while another received between €90,000 and €100,000 as the agency continues to shut down operations.
A total of 2.2 million euros was paid out in severance pay, with two people receiving between 80,000 and 90,000 euros and four people receiving between 70,000 and 80,000 euros.
There were four payments in the range of between 60,000 and 70,000 euros and seven between 50,000 and 60,000 euros, the records show.
Thirty former employees were paid between €10,000 and €50,000, Nama said in data released under freedom of information.
A further €1 million was paid out as garden leave to 52 employees who took up employment in the private sector.
Gardener’s leave is paid when a former employee leaves the company and information available to him in Nama could be useful for a new position.
They are ordered to stay away from work during a notice period while they remain on the payroll. Payment decisions are made on a case-by-case basis depending on the person’s role and their new employer. According to the figures, the costs for this type of holiday ranged from small amounts of less than 10,000 euros to 90,000 euros.
Nama said one person received between €80,000 and €90,000 in gardening leave. The next higher payments were for six former employees, each receiving between €40,000 and €50,000.
There were seven departing employees who received gardening leave worth between €30,000 and €40,000 and six who paid between €20,000 and €30,000.
32 other former employees received sums of up to 20,000 euros, Nama confirmed.
Gardener leave payments typically span periods of about two to three months.
However, no performance payments were made during this period, a decision that followed direct intervention by Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe.
Mr Donohoe had told Nama that running a forced redundancy scheme while paying bonuses was not a “good mix”.
According to the board minutes, “The minister insisted that the possibility of implementing a compulsory redundancy program with pay for performance was not a good mix in the current economic environment.”
Previously released records describe how the Nama board found this “disappointing” at a time when they were struggling to retain key employees.
However, after contacting the Ministry of Finance, the performance-related pay was temporarily suspended in the agency. In 2018 and 2019, bonus or performance-related payments at Nama totaled 1.5 million euros.
A spokesman for the agency said: “Nama has not made any performance-related payments to its employees. Severance payments will result from the agency’s downsizing as part of its winding up.
“Garden leave payments do not incur any additional costs for the agency – they would have to accrue as a salary payment regardless of whether the employee was on garden leave or not.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/nama-pays-out-3m-to-departing-staff-over-18-months-41491456.html Nama pays out 3 million euros to departing employees over 18 months