Paul Reid, the chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE), last year enjoyed a pay package of €411,777.
Mr Reid has been leading the HSE fight against Covid-19 over the past two years and, in his role as the CEO of the largest employer in the State, he heads up an organisation directly employing more than 67,000 people.
Now, new figures released in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show that Mr Reid was the best paid non-medical member of HSE staff last year by some distance.
The figures show that Mr Reid’s pay was made up of basic pay of €362,800 and a pension allowance of €48,977 for 2020.
A spokeswoman for the HSE said on Wednesday that Mr Reid's pay as of October 1s last was €366,880.
The spokeswoman stated that Mr Reid is not a member of the HSE pension scheme and in lieu he now receives an additional allowance €49,967 in respect of pension contributions on top of his basic pay.
She stated that the HSE also supplies Mr Reid with a car, which the HSE retains ownership of, and a value of €19,141 is attributed to his use of the car for the purposes of benefit-in-kind tax.
Mr Reid’s 2021 package is down €8,326 on the €420,103 he received in 2020.
However, the bulk of the difference between the two years is down to a quirk in the HSE payment system.
The HSE spokeswoman explained that regarding Mr Reid's 2020 pay, Mr Reid is paid on a rolling fortnightly basis and in 2020 there were 27 fortnightly pay periods within the payroll calendar instead of the usual 26.
She stated: "This will occur every five to seven years and so it will affect all employees who are paid on a fortnightly pay cycle in the same way."
Increase in HSE staff earning over €100,000
The figures show that second best paid non-medical staff member in management/administration received €182,475 with the 3rd and 4rd best paid each receiving just over €182,396.
The FOI response from the HSE also confirmed that the numbers of HSE non-medical staff earning between €100,000 and €150,000 increased by 222 or 35 per cent from 641 in 2020 to 863 last year.
The numbers earning between €150,000 and €200,000 totalled 33 in 2021 compared to 36 in 2020.
The HSE spokeswoman said: “The rates of pay, allowances and other pay-related conditions for HSE employees are approved by the Department of Health.”
Providing context on the increased numbers earning over €100,000, the HSE FOI unit stated that an additional one per cent increase in pay for all staff was implemented from 1st October 2021.
The unit stated: “This increase was calculated based on the pay scales in place at this date. This increase was calculated on top of the accumulated costs to date including all the previous Public Services Stability Agreement 2018 -2020 (PSSA) rate increases.”
The FOI unit stated that “effective 1st July 2021, all staff earning an annual salary of between €70,000 - €150,000 received full & final pay restoration to Pre-FEMPI salary levels, which prevailed as at 1st September 2008. Those employees included in this initiative did not benefit from the general pay increase of 1st October 2021.”
Mr Reid’s basic pay of €366,880 is substantially higher than the current salary of €214,956 for the office of An Taoiseach.
Mr Reid and the top ten best paid non-medical staff in the HSE - mainly managers - last year shared an aggregate €2 million in pay.
Mr Reid’s appointment to the post was given the go-ahead by Cabinet in April 2019 on a salary of €350,000.
Mr Reid moved from his role as CEO of Fingal County Council where he enjoyed an annual salary of €165,320.
He commenced his five-year contract for the HSE on May 14th 2019.