22/06/2022

Call For Urgent Review Of Mileage Allowance For Domiciliary Carers

The SDLP called for an urgent review of the mileage allowance for domiciliary care workers and other HSC staff.

Mr Colm McGrath raised concerns in light of soaring fuel costs with diesel prices hitting over £2 per litre at some filling stations in NI.

Currently the NHS employee reimbursement rate is capped at 56p per mile up to 3,500 miles per year and 20p a mile thereafter.

In response to an Assembly Question tabled by the SDLP, Health Minister Robin Swann stated that options are under consideration.

Mr McGrath said: "The response from the Health Minister regarding an increase in the basic mileage rate allowances for nursing, community carers and other Health and Social Care staff is disappointing to say the least.
News Image
"While I welcome that options are being considered for Northern Ireland, I don't accept the excuse that temporary increases which have been agreed in Scotland and Wales, could not be applied here given the election period. This was a relatively small window of time, concerns had been raised by both the SDLP and staff months ago. In addition to that the mileage rate has not been reviewed since 2014, and while the allowance may have been considered fair eight years ago, it is hardly reasonable in the current financial climate at a time when inflation rates have reached a 40-year high.

"Since those initial concerns were raised, we have witnessed punitive price hike after price hike at the pumps which is going to have a devastating impact on staff. People cannot be expected to hold out to these extortionate costs, especially in a post-pandemic economy. On a weekly basis we are hearing from domiciliary care workers whose mileage rates allowance are no longer covering their costs, leaving them out of pocket and giving them no other option than to seek alternative employment.

"Domiciliary carers are the backbone of the social care system. We cannot afford to lose them and the invaluable role they play in our communities, an additional payment needs to be delivered soon."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 January 2020
Belfast Retail Staff Oppose Sunday Trading Extension
Over 90% of Belfast's retail staff have rejected the idea of longer Sunday trading hours. Some 92% delivered an empathic 'no' to shop workers' trade union Usdaw when consulted on the matter as part of Belfast City Council's 'Sundays in the City' strategy.
08 December 2021
New Service Medal And Medallion For PSNI Officers And Staff
A new service medal and medallion has been announced for officers and staff of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The award of a medal for police officers and medallion for police staff recognises the contribution made by approximately 10,000 officers and staff to the people of Northern Ireland.
25 November 2021
PSNI Officers And Staff Sign White Ribbon Pledge
The PSNI has signed the White Ribbon pledge, as part of an international campaign to end violence against women and girls. Police officers and police staff have signed the pledge on White Ribbon Day (25 November), which kick-starts 16 days of action to end violence against women and girls (VAWG).
12 October 2021
CAFRE Staff Raise Thousands For Air Ambulance NI
CAFRE Agriculture Education staff at Greenmount Campus have raised £3,250 for the Air Ambulance NI charity by taking part in the 2021 Dragon Boat Race on the River Lagan.
30 September 2021
Justice Minister Praises Work Of Prison Staff
The Justice Minister Naomi Long has paid tribute to the work of those in Northern Ireland's prisons, youth justice and probation as part of Hidden Heroes Day 2021. During a visit to Maghaberry Prison, the Minister met with staff from across the facility who have worked throughout the pandemic to support the people in the care of the prison service.