Government facing calls to widen eligibility for pandemic bonus

GPs, Gardai and retail workers are calling for the pandemic bonus to be extended to them.

The scheme will cover frontline healthcare workers with a one thousand euro payment to recognise their efforts.

The government says it would be hard to know where to draw the line if more workers are eligible.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar gave an update to the Dáil on who qualifies for the new payment.

He said it’s planned to give the bonus to healthcare staff in February or March.

Meanwhle, labour is calling for the likes of bin collectors and supermarket workers to get the pandemic bonus.

Carers, pharmacists and retail workers won’t be eligible under the government scheme.

Wexford TD James Browne outlines that though some workers are not included – there is also the new bank holiday to commemorate all those who are on the frontline during the pandemic.

He says the details of different grades of risk and exposure to Covid is necessary.

“It is an additional payment for those who were particularly at heightened risk and experienced trauma that our healthcare professionals had to deal with on an hourly and daily basis.

“I think that is why the distinction is there.

“I think in relation to the issue in having details on the different grades of staff and who did what during the pandemic is necessary.”


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