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tax-free payment

Around 66,000 workers still waiting on €1,000 pandemic bonus payment

The health minister says he hopes the majority of the payments will be made before Christmas.

AN ESTIMATED 66,000 people are awaiting their €1,000 recognition payment for Covid-19 frontline workers. 

Speaking to the Oireachtas Health Committee today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said more that 190,000 workers are entitled to the tax-free payment. He confirmed today that around 124,000 have already received the payment to date.

The payment was first mooted late last year and formally announced in January as a gesture of gratitude for the work of healthcare employees during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Those eligible for the payment include full-time and part-time health workers who worked in settings exposed to the virus for at least four weeks between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2021.

They include healthcare workers in nursing homes, porters and cleaners in healthcare settings, hospice workers, student nurses, staff in HSE test centres, members of the Defence Forces seconded to healthcare roles and staff in private sector nursing homes.

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Both full-time and part-time workers are eligible for the payment, though the amount due to the latter has to be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Employees who left or moved employment within the period are also eligible, though must fill in a declaration form to request payment by the end of June.

While payments began earlier this year, questions continue to be asked about why some workers have received their payment and others have not. 

Donnelly said he absolutely would have preferred people to have received their payments during the summer, but he told the committee that the “majority should be paid before Christmas”.  

Many of the claims from outside employers only came to Government in the last two weeks, said the minister, who added that he hopes those claims can be processed before Christmas.

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