Nama pays 3 million euros to staff leaving over 18 months

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) paid out €3.2million in redundancy and gardening leave in just over a year and a half, according to new figures.

Figures from the ‘bad bank’ reveal that 49 former staff members received severance pay between June 2020 and the end of last year.

One person received severance pay of more than €100,000, while another was paid between €90,000 and €100,000, as the agency continues to scale back operations.

A total of 2.2 million euros were paid in the event of dismissal, with two people receiving between 80,000 and 90,000 euros and four between 70,000 and 80,000 euros.

There were four payments between €60,000 and €70,000 and seven between €50,000 and €60,000, records show.

Thirty former staff members were paid between €10,000 and €50,000, Nama said in data released under freedom of information.

Another million euros was paid in gardening leave to 52 employees who made an appointment in the private sector.

Gardening leave is paid when a former employee leaves and the information he has in Nama could be useful in a new position.

They are asked to be absent from work for a period of notice, while remaining on the payroll. The decision to pay it is made on a case-by-case basis depending on the person’s role and their new employer. The cost of this type of leave ranged from small amounts of less than €10,000 to €90,000, depending on the figures.

Nama said one person received paid gardening leave between €80,000 and €90,000. The next highest payments were for six former staff members who each received between €40,000 and €50,000.

Seven departing employees received gardening leave worth €30,000 to €40,000 and six were paid €20,000 to €30,000.

Thirty-two other former staff members have received sums of up to €20,000, Nama confirmed.

Gardening leave payments generally cover periods of around two to three months.

However, no performance-related payments were made during the period, a decision that followed the direct intervention of Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Mr Donohoe had told Nama that running a mandatory redundancy scheme while paying bonuses would not be a “good mix”.

Board minutes said: “The Minister strongly advised that the potential management of a mandatory redundancy program with performance-related pay was not a good combination in the current economic environment.”

Previously released filings detail how Nama’s board felt it was “disappointing” at a time when they were struggling to retain key staff.

However, performance-related pay has temporarily ceased at the agency following contacts from the Ministry of Finance. Bonuses or performance-related payments at Nama had totaled 1.5 million euros in 2018 and 2019.

A spokesperson for the agency said, “Nama has not issued performance-related payments to its staff. Severance pay stems from the agency downsizing as part of its liquidation.

“Garden leave payments entail no additional cost to the agency – they should be incurred as a salary payment whether the staff member has been placed on garden leave or not.”

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