Ireland’s cleaners yet to receive pandemic bonus payment

23rd of November 2022
Ireland’s cleaners yet to receive pandemic bonus payment

Ireland's contract cleaners have still not received a €1,000 Pandemic Recognition Payment that was promised to them by the government - more than 10 months after the move was announced.

Politicians are calling for these "forgotten heroes" to be given the recognition they deserve.

A €1,000 lump sum was pledged to all of Ireland's cleaners, security staff and caterers who worked throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Employees who are paid directly by the HSE have already received their payments, but contract workers are still waiting.

Contract cleaner at Cavan General Hospital Lisa Stenson said the stress of her job meant she was unable to eat or sleep during the pandemic which caused her to lose two stone in weight.

"Nobody knew if you caught it whether you were going to die. It was a very, very scary period," she said. "Now contractors are being left on the back foot again. We want to be recognised."

Contract cleaner at St James' Hospital in Dublin Suzanne Hales says she has also received no payment, despite the fact that her job required her to spend up to 20 minutes at a time cleaning Covid wards. "It is a kick in the gut," she said. "It is tough. We deserve it."

The Pandemic Bonus Payment was announced in January 2022 by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. Labour's health spokesperson Duncan Smith is calling for these "forgotten heroes of the pandemic" to receive the recognition they deserve.

According to an HSE spokesperson, the remaining payments should be made by the end of November.



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