The Health Minister Robin Swann recently announced that NHS staff will receive a £500 bonus for recognition of their service during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
However Clanrye News and Sport can reveal that the payment will be taxed.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health has stated:
“The payment is “non-consolidated”. Non-consolidated means it is not pensionable and does not create a new baseline for future pay calculations. However, tax and national insurance are payable on the sum. The payment will not increase any hourly rates.”
It is a damning blow to NHS staff who have worked hard during the Covid Pandemic to be told that their bonus payment will be taxed to a point whereby they will be lucky to get £350 of it.
A statement from the trade union UNISON said:
“The Regional Health Trade Unions acknowledge the Health Minister’s wish to recognise the fantastic role staff played and continue to play across the health family. They have been relentless in trying to ensure the population of Northern Ireland have received the best possible care under the worst of circumstances. “
“Whilst we acknowledge this announcement and what it stands for in good faith, we also note the Minister’s commitment that this proposed payment will have no bearing on any pay deal for Agenda for Change (AfC) staff.”
“Trade Unions caution that any such payments made to workers can impact detrimentally on workers’ entitlement to universal credits, family tax credits and any pension tiering. We note the Minister has taken steps to try to mitigate against any financial detriment. The full statement from Health Trade Unions can be viewed HERE.”
Commenting on the Minister’s announcement, UNISON Head of Bargaining and Representation and Lead Joint Secretary for HSC Trade Unions Anne Speed said:
‘‘The Minister’s wish to recognise the huge efforts that all health and social care workers have made is reflected in his decision to make this payment. It is important that he has made the commitment that this will have no bearing on any pay deal for Agenda for Change staff.
It is also important that workers in independent health and social care providers will be included.
We await further clarification from the Department of Health in relation to when and how these payments will be made.’’