Enable Ireland staff yet to receive bonus despite pandemic work

Enable Ireland staff yet to receive bonus despite pandemic work

Enable Ireland works with the HSE to achieve a national unified approach to delivering disability health services.

Enable Ireland staff, who worked throughout the Covid-19 pandemic assisting the HSE with public waiting lists for child disability services, have not received the Covid bonus payment, it has been revealed.

Enable Ireland is a non-profit State-funded organisation that provides free services to children and adults with disabilities and their families in Ireland.

Under the ‘Progressing Disability Services’ project, Enable Ireland has been working with the HSE to achieve a national unified approach to delivering disability health services.

The project aims to ensure that each child has a clear pathway to the services they need regardless of where they live, what school they go to, or the nature of their disability or delay.

However, Enable Ireland staff have not received the Covid bonus payment, which was paid out to healthcare staff earlier this year.

It was revealed in recent weeks that a number of HSE and Section 39 staff are still waiting on the payment.

Enable Ireland staff are among those waiting despite working throughout the pandemic in a bid to tackle waiting lists for child disability services.

“It is our expectation that all eligible Enable Ireland employees who gave so tirelessly of their time during the Covid-19 pandemic will be included in the cohort of Section 39 funded agencies for the Covid-19 payment award,” a spokesperson said.

"Enable Ireland continues to pursue this payment on behalf of employees who meet the eligibility criteria."

Department response

A spokesperson for the HSE said the health service and Department of Health have been working to progress the rollout of the Covid bonus to eligible staff in the list of six non-HSE/non-Section 38 organisation cohorts covered by the government decision.

This shall cover eligible staff in private sector nursing homes and hospices; eligible staff working on-site in Section 39 long-term residential care facilities for people with disabilities; agency roles with the HSE; home help workers contracted to the HSE; members of the Defence Forces redeployed to work in frontline Covid-19 exposed environments in the HSE; and paramedics employed by Dublin Fire Brigade to deliver services on behalf of the HSE.

“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,” the HSE spokesperson said.

“Communications with staff and employer representative organisations will be arranged as appropriate as more information becomes available.

The HSE is tendering for a contractor to assist with gathering and processing information.

The spokesperson added: “Once a contractor is in place and details of the necessary processes are finalised, information will be published for those certain eligible non-HSE/non-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.

“Once this is published, the department is keen that payments to eligible workers will be made as soon as possible thereafter.

“At this point, the department is not in a position to assess or comment on individual cases.”

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