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Healthcare workers to get €1,000 bonus in February or March

The bonus will appear in the regular payroll payments in those months.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

THE €1,000 TAX-FREE bonus for public sector healthcare workers will be paid in February or March, according to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. 

Cabinet approved plans yesterday for the payment as well as an additional public holiday on 18 March and a national commemorative event. 

Frontline healthcare workers in nursing homes, porters and cleaners in healthcare settings, hospice workers, student nurses, those working in HSE test centres and members of the Defence Forces seconded to healthcare roles will all be eligible.

Staff in private sector nursing homes affected by Covid-19 will also get the payment, with the Government stating that a pro-rata arrangement will apply for eligible part time staff.

However, workers in private hospitals are not eligible.

The full list of workers eligible for the payment is currently being worked on by the Department of Health and will be provided in the coming days. 

“It’s our objective to have it paid in February or March,” Varadkar told the Dáil today, stating that it does require primary legislation. 

The bonus will appear in the regular payroll payments in those months. 

Those no longer working with the HSE are understood to be getting their payment through another mechanism.

The Tánaiste said that further details on the payment will be issued today .

During Leaders’ Questions today, Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty asked why family carers would not get the payment.

“It’s very hard to know where to draw the line with these things,” said Varadkar, stating that the Government “did give a lot of thought” to who should get the payment and who should not.

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He said the decision was taken that those who would receive the additional payment would be those who worked in clinical settings, who wore masks and gowns every day, and were exposed to Covid patients every day.

“And of course, did so at a time when there were no vaccines. And that’s the criteria essentially that we did apply and that’s over 100,000 people,” he added.

He said he was happy to clarify that agency workers contracted to the HSE, such as a nurse or an agency cleaner, an agency paramedic, is included.

However, somebody working for a private company such as a private hospital, a GP practice, a pharmacy or a private swab centre, are not covered, he said.

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