Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Health

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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120. To ask the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on plans to provide the pandemic bonus payment to non-HSE/non-Section 38 organisations covered by the Government decision; when these workers can expect to receive the payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46160/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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Firstly, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all healthcare workers for their efforts during this most challenging period.

The HSE and the Department are currently examining progressing the rollout 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.

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. 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. We expect the rollout to begin shortly and for eligible workers to be paid as soon as possible.

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.

I want to reassure you that the Government is prioritising this payment and remains extremely appreciative for all our healthcare workers’ efforts in the fight against Covid-19.


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