Frontline health workers will receive €1,000 pandemic bonus ‘on next paycheque’

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has promised that a special Covid recognition payment for frontline health workers will be made ‘as soon as possible’.

Donnelly said the payment – which will be €600 or €1,000 – will be made to HSE employees in the “next available payroll, subject to local processes”.

He said an “additional phase” of payment will include provisions for staff who are not employed by the HSE, including those in private nursing homes and hospices.

Mr Donnelly said further details of “this phase” will be announced “in due course”.

His statement comes just days after healthcare unions wrote to the HSE demanding an immediate update on the status of the late payment announced on January 19 “out of respect” for staff.

The union’s letter said the government’s announcement contained a commitment to issue the payments by March 31.

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‘Payment will be made as soon as possible to those confirmed as eligible, via the next available payroll, subject to local processes,’ Mr Donnelly said today.

“I welcome the significant efforts made to advance the payment of this measure. It is the result of extensive work by the heads of my department and the HSE, as well as consultation between the HSE, the Department of Health and the unions in the health sector.

He said circulars to enable payment have been finalized and will be issued by the HSE early next week.

“This measure has been introduced as a token of the appreciation and gratitude that myself, my colleagues in government and the people of Ireland have for the continued efforts of our frontline public sector healthcare workers to keep us all safe. of the worst impacts of Covid-19,” says Donnelly.

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone involved – especially our frontline public sector healthcare workers and the unions that represent them – for their patience and intensive engagement as this important one-time measure progresses. .

“A further phase of this payment will include arrangements to pay eligible staff who are not employed by the HSE or Section 38 agencies (eg private sector nursing homes or hospices). Further details on this phase will be announced in due course.

In a summary of the eligibility criteria, the ministry said employees who were among the priority groups for the vaccination program and who worked between March 1, 2020 and June 30 last year would be included.

Employees whose contractual hours are equal to or greater than 60% of the full-time hours of a worker in their grade will receive €1,000.

Those whose contractual hours are less than 60% of those of a full-time worker will be entitled to €600.

Those who have worked less than four weeks will not be eligible.

Those who will be eligible include health assistants, support staff employed by the HSE or ‘Section 38’ employers, including cleaners, maintenance staff, porters, catering workers, staff clinical waste, paramedics, and administrative staff at emergency department receptions.

Other eligible workers are consultants, non-consultant hospital physicians, nurses and midwives, medical laboratory staff, health and social care professionals, Covid test swabs, vaccinators and medical assistants. health care support.

The Department of Health said it would “soon” release further information for other eligible employees.

This includes those in private sector nursing homes and hospices, staff working in long-term care facilities for people with disabilities, HSE contract workers, healthcare support assistants on contract with the HSE, redeployed members of the Ministry of Defense and employed paramedics. by the Ministry of Local Administration.

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