NIPSA reps in health have been receiving queries from members in relation to the proposed £500 payment for health care workers, as announced by the Health Minister at the end of January 2021.

Whilst we acknowledge this recognition of the hard work of all HSC workers, NIPSA, nor any of the other health unions, were consulted on this announcement nor the details about the payment.

Questions were subsequently raised by NIPSA and the joint health unions as to who would receive the payment and when, if it would include Agency Workers, if it would be pro-rata, subject to tax or national insurance and if it would have a detrimental effect on tax credits or benefits.

At this point we understand that it will be tax and national insurance free and that Agency workers in long term substantive posts will receive it. Currently, information about the payment is available HERE via the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Department of Health website. 

Discussions are still ongoing about the details and when it might be paid, but there are still questions around the potential impact for those on social security benefits or receiving tax credits and NIPSA would advise members to seek advice from the voluntary or community groups who can advise on the issue if they think they may be affected.

Maria Morgan
Assistant Secretary