Health and care workers in Northern Ireland are set to receive a ‘special recognition’ payment for their work during the pandemic.
Addressing the media, Health Minister Robin Swann indicated that the payment would be made to all health and social care workers, including domiciliary care staff.
However, the details of the scheme are yet to be signed off by the Department of Finance.
The minister said: “There are no words to properly convey what health workers have done for us, we will never be able to repay that debt.”
If approved, Northern Ireland would follow Scotland and Wales in recognising social care staff with a £500 bonus, leaving England the only country in the UK not to do so.
HCI reported earlier this year that campaigners in England are calling on the UK government to follow suit.
The Independent Care Group (ICG), which represents independent care providers in York and North Yorkshire, hailed the Welsh Government for its “generous gesture” that recognises the “amazing courage” of social care staff.
ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “We very much hope that the English Government will follow suit and provide a bonus for all the social care staff facing the same risks and doing an amazing job here in England.”