There are still frontline workers in the dark over the pandemic bonus, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

The group is calling on the Government to engage with them on the Pandemic Special Recognition Payment.

They believe a portion of frontline workers have been excluded from receiving the €1,000 tax-free payment.

Over 73,000 HSE staff have been paid the gratuity.

However, many agency workers and volunteers are still unsure if they will receive their payment.

Tony Fitzpatrick of the INMO says some frontline workers need clarification.

“They are staff working in private nursing homes, staff working in what are called Section 39 agencies and a multitude of others.

“Agency staff are those that are contractors providing services to the HSE at that time.

“So six months later, we still do not have a circular from the Department of Health with regards to how that payment will be processed for those individuals.”

He says there are also grey areas for others.

“For those in the private hospitals that were involved in the response to COVID-19, but also practice nurses that had a key role during the pandemic were vital to the response and the roll-out of the vaccination programme.

“And there is no clarity yet from the Department of Health with regards to a payment of the pandemic bonus to them”.

The HSE says the payment applies where an employee was working in an eligible environment during the period of March 1st 2020 to June 30th 2021.

Workers eligible for it include:

  • public service health and ambulance workers
  • those seconded or assigned to the HSE (for example: Defence Forces staff seconded/assigned to HSE testing centres)
  • supernumerary students who were required to perform training in clinical sites
  • staff in private sector nursing homes and Hospices affected by COVID-19