Health Minister Urged To Launch Next Health Workers Payment Scheme

The Health Minister has been urged to launch Phase 2 of the Special Recognition Payment for health workers who have previously left employment in the independent sector or agencies as soon as possible.

Making the call, Green Party North Down MLA Rachel Woods said: "A year ago, the Health Minister announced that a special recognition payment of £500 would be made to Northern Ireland's Health and Social Care workers. Payment to statutory sector employees commenced in July, with independent sector workers receiving it much later than anticipated.
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"I have been contacted by some who have missed out because their previous employer has refused to apply to the Scheme on their behalf. Currently, there is no system in place to allow independent sector staff who worked through the pandemic and are eligible, to apply if they have since moved jobs.

"I have repeatedly asked questions to the Minister of Health and written to him directly asking for details on behalf of those affected. I have now finally been told that it is anticipated that Phase 2 would be launching 'early in the New Year'.

"I fail to understand why an employer would not apply to this Scheme for people that are entitled to it, and I welcome and look forward to the Department releasing information on Phase 2 of the £500 Payment for those who have not yet received it."

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