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Government to do what is 'right and proper' with bonus for frontline workers, says Taoiseach

Micheál Martin said an announcement on the bonus will be made ‘shortly’.

Image: PA

A ONE-OFF BONUS to recognise the efforts put in by frontline workers during the pandemic will be announced “shortly”, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said. 

Speaking to The Journal in New York, he said details around the bonus are being finalised after government gave it “very serious consideration”. 

“We will make a decision shortly in relation to that”, he said, adding there will a full government discussion on the matter.

“We want to do what is right and fair and proper,” he said.

Martin said “suffice to say, frontline workers and those that performed brilliantly in response to Covid in what has been a very difficult time for all” will be rewarded.

Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath has been working on the bonus measure, which will take the form of annual leave and in some cases a monetary payment. 

Unions had sought some form of special recognition for healthcare staff as far back as last year.

Health service employers in France, Northern Ireland, Denmark and elsewhere have offered staff bonuses or pay increases in recognition of their work over the past year.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said in Limerick recently that he definitely wants to see “some form of recognition for the extraordinary work that they’ve all put in”.

After the HSE made no offer last month in relation to a bonus of some kind, the unions referred the matter to the Labour Court.

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