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Health Services Staff

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 14 July 2022

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Ceisteanna (711)

Éamon Ó Cuív


711. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Health if workers who work for a contractor providing catering services in a hospital (details supplied) and work alongside HSE catering staff will be paid the €1,000 pandemic bonus payment similar to directly employed HSE catering staff; if not, the reason, given the equal contribution both sets of workers made and the risks they took; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39029/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Firstly I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all workers for their efforts during this most challenging period.

On January 19th, the Government announced a COVID-19 pandemic recognition payment for frontline public sector healthcare workers, to recognise their unique role during the pandemic. Following extensive engagement with healthcare unions on the matter, on 19th April the HSE published eligibility guidelines and FAQs, as apply to the HSE and Section 38 agencies, which are available on its website: https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/resources/hr-circulars/hr-circular-012-2022-pandemic-special-recognition-payment.html. Payment is currently receiving priority across all Hospital Groups and Community Services in the HSE.

The HSE and the Department are now examining progressing the rollout to the list of 6 non-HSE/non-Section 38 organisation types covered by the Government Decision. It is hoped that information will be published shortly for those certain non-HSE/S38 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:

1. Private Sector Nursing Homes and Hospices (e.g. Private, Voluntary, Section 39 etc.);

2. Eligible staff working on-site in Section 39 long-term residential care facilities for people with disabilities;

3. Agency roles working in the HSE;

4. Health Care Support Assistants (also known as home help / home care / home support) contracted to the HSE;

5. Members of the Defence Forces redeployed to work in frontline Covid-19 exposed environments in the HSE;

6. Paramedics employed by Dublin Fire Brigade to deliver services on behalf of the HSE.

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.