First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the SNP Government will pay out a one-off £500 to Scotland’s lifesavers and care-givers on the frontline throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A pro-rata payment of £500 will be made as soon as is practicable to all NHS and social care workers employed since 17 March 2020 - including staff who have had to shield, or who have since retired.
This investment of around £180 million will see over 300,000 staff gain some benefit from this bonus, including nurses, porters, doctors, primary care staff, homecare workers, care home staff, hospice staff and residential child care staff.
The First Minister said:
“Back in the spring, at the height of the first wave of COVID, many of us publicly – and often loudly – showed our appreciation for the work our NHS and social care staff were doing.
“The applause was important, but it was never enough. Our appreciation must be shown in a more tangible way.
“We’re in the early stages of negotiating a new pay deal for NHS Agenda for Change staff for 2021/22. The UK Government's public sector pay policy will not make that task easy, but we will do our level best to give NHS staff the pay increase they deserve. However, these negotiations will take time to conclude.
“Those who have worked in our hospitals and care homes - at the sharpest end of the COVID trauma - deserve recognition now.
“So I can announce today that, on behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full time NHS and social care worker £500 as a one-off thank you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years. Those who work part time will get a proportionate share.
“The money will be paid in this financial year and it will be separate from any negotiations about pay for the longer term. There are no strings attached.
“Of course, a payment like this can never come close to expressing our full admiration for those who have cared for us so heroically. But to our health and care workers, it is a demonstration of what we collectively owe you - and a heartfelt thank you for the sacrifices you have made.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“It’s been said many times that clapping doesn’t pay the bills for NHS workers and the First Minister has been listening to that.
“Thank you to all health and social care workers, you have been working on the frontline, putting your lives at risk at health and social cares services stretched by unprecedented pressures. Whether you use the payment for bills, gifts or to simply pamper yourself, you deserve it.”
The pro-rata £500 bonus scheme, which will be funded from the SNP Government's COVID-19 support package, applies to employees employed since March 17, for:
All NHS Employees, including:
staff who have been active in the NHS since 17 March 2020 but who have since left NHS employment, including retirees
staff who accepted and worked on temporary contracts since 17 March to aid pandemic response but who have since left NHS employment, including students who worked under temporary contracts but who have since returned to University
staff covered by the Two Tier Agreement
General Practitioners and their practice teams, including 2C practices
Staff providing NHS services under independent contractor arrangements including:
GP surgery staff
NHS Dental surgery staff
NHS pharmacy services staff
NHS optometry staff
Staff working in Adult Social Care including:
Care home staff
Palliative care/hospice staff
Adult Personal Assistants
Social care staff in residential child care settings
Social Workers (including those working with children and families and in criminal justice)