Firstly I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all healthcare workers for their efforts during this most challenging period.To recognise their unique role during the pandemic, the Government announced a COVID-19 recognition payment for frontline public sector healthcare workers. Eligibility guidelines for this payment, as applies in HSE and Section 38 organisations, were published by the HSE on 19th April and are available at www.hse.ie/eng/staff/resources/hr-circulars/hr-circular-012-2022-pandemic-special-recognition-payment.html.
Separately, the Department of Health shall shortly publish information for those other certain healthcare employees that are covered by the Government Decision and the process available to their employers to implement this measure for their eligible staff. 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;
- Redeployed members of Department of Defence to work in the HSE in Covid-19 exposed frontline settings;
- Paramedics employed by the Department of Local Government, Housing and Heritage
I am also mindful of other workers who played their own part during this difficult period in sustaining other services. It is tough to draw a line on this matter, but the Government based its decision on the risks which the above frontline workers faced. In recognition of the efforts of all workers, volunteers, and the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in remembrance of people who lost their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced a public holiday which took place on 18 March 2022. From February next year there will also be a new permanent public holiday established to mark Imbolc/St Brigid’s Day.
I would also like to remind the Deputy that it is against Department policy to comment on individual cases.