Firstly I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all healthcare workers for their efforts during this most challenging period.
On January 19th, the Government announced a COVID-19 pandemic recognition payment for front-line 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: 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.
While the Department cannot comment on specific cases at this point, I can advise that the HSE and the Department are currently examining progressing the roll-out 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/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. 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 front-line Covid-19 exposed environments in the HSE;
6. Paramedics employed by Dublin Fire Brigade to deliver services on behalf of the HSE.
The above 6 areas only are covered by this Government Decision and all eligible workers will be paid in accordance with the overarching eligibility criteria in place.