Minister of State Mary Butler has confirmed that the pandemic recognition payment will be received by contract cleaners and caterers once they meet all other criteria for the payment.
The Minister spoke during a Seanad commencement matter with Senator Aisling Dolan and Senator Eugene Murphy.
Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan, said, “This is welcome news for so many hospital cleaners and caterers. The pandemic recognition payment given by the Government is on behalf of the Irish people to say thank you for the work in such difficult times during Covid-19.
“I want to thank the people from Portiuncula Hospital who met with me and Senator Eugene Murphy to highlight their case and delays in payments for contract cleaners and caterers.
“Everyone who worked in our hospitals saved lives of loved ones during the pandemic and in a time of such fear and anxiety. Our cleaners and caterers worked long shifts and came in day and nights the same as all other staff working in the hospital and did what was asked to help our patients.
“We came together as a country to fight this battle and now we need to ensure that these payments happen quickly to all eligible staff who worked directly or indirectly in our hospitals and that includes contract cleaners and caterers.
“The Minister stated today at the Seanad commencement on this matter that over 124,000 eligible frontline HSE and Section 38 workers have been paid. Support staff, such as cleaning and catering staff, amongst other groups are included once they meet the eligibility criteria set out.
“Minister Butler also indicated a new process for payments to non-HSE organisations through the HSE and KOSI Corporation and that information packs have been issued to 750 relevant organisations. If prompt returns are submitted then funds may be expected in coming weeks.
“This payment needs to happen as soon as possible for all of our well deserving hospital staff,” concluded Senator Dolan.