For Written Answer on : 08/09/2022
Question Number(s): 1996 Question Reference(s): 44007/22
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Health the current situation with respect to the processing of the pandemic bonus payment for eligible staff of non-HSE and non-section 38 organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Firstly, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all healthcare workers for their efforts during this most challenging period.
The rollout of the Pandemic Recognition Payment is currently receiving priority across all Hospital Groups and Community Services in the HSE. As of Friday, 02 Sept, 85,012 eligible HSE staff have received payment around the country. This number excludes Section 38 agencies which are estimated to have paid 36,475 staff to date thereby bringing the total number of employees paid to 121,487.
The HSE and the Department have been examining progressing the rollout of the Pandemic Recognition Payment to the list of 6 non-HSE/non-Section 38 organisation types covered by the Government Decision. This measure will be ring fenced to staff working ordinarily onsite in COVID-19 exposed healthcare environments. This shall cover eligible staff in:
- Private Sector Nursing Homes and Hospices (e.g. Private, Voluntary, Section 39 etc.);
- Eligible staff working on-site in Section 39 long-term residential care facilities for people with disabilities;
- Agency roles working in the HSE;
- Health Care Support Assistants (also known as home help / home care / home support) contracted to the HSE;
- Members of the Defence Forces redeployed to work in frontline Covid-19 exposed environments in the HSE;
- Paramedics employed by Dublin Fire Brigade to deliver services on behalf of the HSE.
Information will be published shortly for those certain non-HSE/non-Section 38 healthcare employees that are covered by the Government Decision and the process available to their employers to implement this measure for their eligible staff. Once this process is published, the Department is keen that payments to eligible workers will be made as soon as possible thereafter.
As the rollout of payments to the eligible workers in non-HSE/non-Section 38 organisations has not yet begun, and eligibility has not yet been assessed across the private sector, I cannot provide an estimated number of workers who will receive the payment.
Rolling out the payment to eligible employees of those specific non-HSE/Section 38 organisations covered by the government decision is a complex task, particularly as these employees are not normally paid by the public health service, duplicate payments need to be avoided, and there are many organisations to be covered, but this work is being given priority attention.