Over 300,000 health and social care staff in Scotland will receive a one-off £500 payment to reward them for their hard work during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
All NHS employees and adult homecare staff who have worked since 17 March 2020 will be eligible for the payment. This includes staff who have had to shield, have retired, or who have since left their current position at the NHS.
The special payment, which will be awarded in the financial year of 2020/21, will be covered by the Scottish government’s Coronavirus support package, costing around £180 million.
Nicola Sturgeon, first minister for Scotland, said: “Back in the spring, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, 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 are 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.
“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 staff, it is a demonstration of what we collectively owe them, and a thank you for the sacrifices made.”