Sinn Féin spokespersons on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mairéad Farrell TD, and on Health, David Cullinane TD, have called on their government counterparts, Minister Michael McGrath and Minister Stephen Donnelly, to clarify the eligibility criteria for the Pandemic Special Recognition Payment.
They have also asked that they extend Thursday’s application deadline given that there has been much confusion around who is eligible to receive the payment, especially in regards to agency workers and those working for subcontractors.
Teachta Farrell said:
“I have been contacted by numerous healthcare workers and others who work in healthcare settings who either have not been able to get clarification on whether they are eligible to apply or who have not been able to get their managers to sign off on their applications.
“With Thursday’s deadline looming and with confusion around the eligibility criteria, Ministers McGrath and Donnelly should extend the deadline and clarify the eligibility criteria so that all of those eligible can apply to get this payment.
“This is the least they could do for those healthcare workers who put themselves on the front line to keep us safe.”
Teacha Cullinane added:
“The government made a decision to pay a bonus to frontline healthcare workers six months ago, having indicated they would do this almost 18 months ago.
“Yet reportedly more than half of healthcare workers are still yet to receive their bonus, and there confusion remains about who is eligible and when they might be paid.
“The delays in paying workers their pandemic payment is an absolute failure of leadership. It is downright disrespectful to our frontline healthcare heroes and their sacrifices.”