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Extra Bank Holiday and other compensation for Covid

  • 24-09-2021 10:33am
    Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭ Economics101

    There is increasing pressure for people to be "compensated" for their work during the pandemic. A sum of over €350m has been mentioned for the health service alone. And other public sector workers are getting on the bandwagon. A few points:

    Some will have got significant extra overtime earnings where the pandemic has required extra work

    Some who were at work incurred very little exceptional risk (bus drivers driving largely empty buses and in a separate driving compartment)

    Basically living standards are determined by what we produce as a society. If the pandemic lessened out production it must in some way lessen our consumption: we cant just all compensate one another out of an economic shock. Is al this yet another manifestation of the cult of the magic money tree in Irish politics?

    It was told to cocoon in early 2020. I found this rather patronising and infantilising. Should I get compensation? NO!



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,340 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    Hard to fathom were this is going but my god the costs being mentioned are eye watering. The €350 million mentioned in OP doesn't include cost of agency staff , estimates for HSE alone between €500 million, up to a €1 billion.

    I don't disagree with the concept of reward but some of the suggestions seem unworkable and I have to wonder why 10 days as opposed to say 5 days being sought by health service Unions .

    The latest Bank Holiday idea seems odd, is this an extra reward for everyone ?

    Logistically, implementing a reward across different sectors seems extremely complex, who gets it, who doesn't. I just sense a can of worms has been opened and seriously have to ask, can the country realistically affordable this. Just a humble opinion mind you.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,050 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    As I expect there'll be some suggestion that no private sector employees will get anything (other than a potential BH) - I've a private sector employer and we got a small but worth receiving bonus this month as recognition of effort/disruption. It'd be worth a few days leave if you were taking them as unpaid anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭ Economics101

    In the limit if everyone were to get compensated, then everyone would have to pay more tax or higher consumer prices to pay for it. A whole society or economy cannot compensate itself for something like a pandemic.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,634 ✭✭✭ ec18

    It's the problem with anything to do with the public/civil service you can't just reward one group without the rest of the unions piling in. Health workers yes give them a few extra days holidays. Clerical staff who worked for home no you get nothing

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,602 ✭✭✭ Cluedo Monopoly

    Not entirely. In employment law, the term 'custom and practice' is a big factor and the working conditions for front line staff changed very quickly.

    Wearing protective gear during long shifts and replacing it all the time is exhausting and very inefficient. I could go on but I do think front line workers should be given something as a reward.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 ✭✭✭ patnor1011

    Private sector employees who were "frontline" and "essential" workers got extra bonus during pandemic.

    Fairly empty roads so they could get to work faster since they also had to queue in the rain when they had to go to shop to buy something.

    Other than that most of them can say: What pandemic?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,602 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    My that is all frontline nurses can expect, I think , going on what has been proffered already .

    @Dempo1 Many staff from regular , non Covid areas of hospital services were redeployed to acute care, both Covid and non Covid, meaning those services that are important , but less critical, were reduced . Nobody's fault just not enough bodies to do everything .

    Also it is estimated at €350 to 500 million as a cost to give this mooted 10 days to frontline HCWs, but I would counter that

    a) that is not what nurses are looking for , as it is nigh on impossible to get annual leave due already as it is, for a lot of nurses ,

    b) the larger sum that Michael McGrath quoted was to give ALL public servants 10days off . This is a bit of a joke giving those who wfh compensation.

    On the subject of monetary compensation , which is what most nurses want , not annual leave ...many frontline staff could not get childminders to mind their children especially in the first and second lockdowns and had to resort to expensive babysitting or continually swapping shifts to try to manage . This has never been addressed.

    Also staff working in Covid areas had to isolate from family members and vulnerable relatives and friends before vaccinations , and many did not go out except to excercise even when restrictions were lifted , as they did not want to risk bringing infection to work .

    Is all this as described not disruption, at the very least ?

    Any worker out of pocket due to lockdown , be they nurses or anybody else who had to go out to work and wear PPE all day long , when others could work from home and did not have to risk their family or indeed their own health , should be compensated .

    Many went above and beyond their normal job description and what would normally be expected even of them, in their daily lives , and I think it is very petty of some not to recognise this .

    Workers in essential retail and other essential services, like ambulance people and firefighters, who had to go out every day and work should be included , but some of these have received bonuses already from their employers ( thinking of retail here )

    I agree with those that say that public servants who did not have to go out to work but could work from home do not require compensation . That would be unions jumping on the bandwagon , increasing costs, and it denigrates the real effort by others .

    The extra bank holiday would not be a bad thing and would be for everybody . A Remembrance day , where religious or secular services could be held , would be inclusive and of some comfort to everybody who has gone through a truly awful 18 months .

    Might be of interest @Economics101 to have a poll of some sort at the top of the thread ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,340 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    Very hard to disagree with your observations, I will just say I saw first hand, hospitals essentially abandoned and as to other services, well, I suspect the waiting lists speak for themselves. Worth mentioning again, a clinic I'm supposed to attended every 3 months remains closed for 18 months and when I broke my leg, no, I repeat, no physiotherapy offered or available.

    I reiterate I don't object to a reward or recognition but a little realism required I think and realistically if all public sector and some private included a €1 billion seems am under estimate

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,602 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    You do know physios and other staff were a bit busy elsewhere ? ICU and Covid ICU and wards . It was all hands on deck . Corridors were kept clear on purpose . This is all self explanatory at this stage really .

    Also I attend one of those endocrinology clinics with my son, myself and to be honest am very happy that those staff , who were up to their eyes with all sorts of endocrine issues resulting from Covid infections, managed to keep up with 3 monthly virtual clinics.

    People with issues like that , are high risk , as you know, to be attending in - person, in- house appointments . There is no way that risk could be justified during the worst of the pandemic. Not sure why you have not been back recently though once vaccinated .

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,340 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    Of course I know but you pointed out other staff diverted , I find it hard to believe all frontline staff in hospitals and other services diverted to Covid wards and ICU'S, That's somewhat stretching it a little.

    When may I enquire were Physios for example sent into work in ICU'S or I might add Covid wards 🤔

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,602 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    One of the first problems with Covid is pneumonia . Physio.

    All ventilated patients require physio.

    They were also in attendance helping to probe patients and maintain muscle tone in all those very sick patients . That's just ICU.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,340 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    OK, I stand corrected and didn't wish to offend . I don't know what the answer is to this Reward, Recognition, Bank Holiday etc, I just feel notions of grandure setting in with various public service Unions loosing the run of themselves when the country on its knees financially. I also sincerely believe that n matter what gov come up with, its going yo cause division as i believe not everyone who contrubuted will be rewarded fairly.

    I've to upmost respect for your profession and understand some services were impacted , but felt it important to pose the question as why some are still curtailed .

    So I accept your points , just have a different view, that's all 😏

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,604 ✭✭✭ Amadan Dubh

    A week of Bank Holidays for the country on the day we announce the end of covid emergency powers and restrictions is what the country needs. Set it for the Christmas time and let all the country just have the time off without using annual leave.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,602 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    FWIW I agree about the costs and think it should be tailored to those that the public genuinely feel should get something .

    10 days annual leave is never going to be possible , but frontline staff in many countries have been given bonuses as have essential retail .

    I think the bank holiday is possible and for everyone.

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 63,696 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Beasty

    In the overall scheme of things this would not cost that much, but it will ultimately add to debt short-term and the tax burden longer-term. As with all of this we are going to make future generations pay, when the current generation has extracted/exploited more of the World's resources than any other, and are leaving less for those future generations to benefit from.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,340 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,602 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    Maybe when they get the refunds from the PPE that couldn't be worn or the ventilators that were too dangerous to use they would have enough to pay a little compensation to those who deserve it in the HSE !

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,317 ✭✭✭ ZX7R

    Compensation the worse word in the English dictionary that could have been used.

    Something typically money given for loss ,injury or suffering.

    Reward would be better in thus circumstances.

    But most will say reward front line workers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, garda fire services army ect no doubt they deserve it.

    But then what about truck drivers, security personnel, meat and all food related workers and many many others.

    Where do you draw a line should a line be even drawn.

    Should everyone not be compensated.

    Will the rise in the budget be the reward for the pensioners for cocooning.

    If a reward should be given should it not be done for the country and for everyone affected in it because in reality everyone was.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,818 ✭✭✭ Darc19

    Make it good Friday. It's taken as a holiday by most of the public sector already.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,602 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    That's where the bank holiday comes in , I would think .

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,776 ✭✭✭✭ rob316

    An extra bank holiday for the next couple years would be plenty.

    A bullshit PR tactic for a deeply unpopular government is all it is. The costs are absolutely ridiculous and where does it end who gets it? Now there saying all retail staff. **** that Aldi, Tesco, Dunne's, woodies made collosal profits it should be up to them to give bonuses.

    Woodies parent group alone made a 164m profit, x4 the usual number.

    I would actually benefit from this bonus but enough has been borrowed. It's ridiculous, what's another 1 billion sure 😡

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,776 ✭✭✭✭ rob316

    Bank holiday,

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,602 ✭✭✭ Goldengirl

    Some of those Tesco I know for sure , have already given 10% extra in a bonus to their workers . It should of course be down to private companies to reward their own workers .

    It's being enlarged and enlarged upon here .

    All I have heard is frontline healthcare workers that would be coming out of the public purse and a one off payment would not be as big as some seem to think , given the high value to cost ratio.

    Many countries are or already have done this, and as some have said workers in some private companies have already had bonuses .

    And @ZX7R , compensation for 'pain and suffering 'endured by nurses and other healthcare workers in the last 18months sounds just about right !