More than 200,000 NHS health workers and social care staff in Wales are to receive a one-off bonus from the government.
The payment Is equivalent to £735 per person. After tax and national insurance contributions are deducted, most people will receive £500.
An estimated 221,945 people in Wales will receive the payment, including social care staff, health workers, students, and primary care staff such as pharmacists, dentists, optometrists and GPs.
Wales’ minister for health and social services Vaughan Gething said: “Over the last year, Wales’ NHS staff and social care staff have shown a remarkable amount of commitment and courage from the initial outbreak of the pandemic right through to the current second wave.
“They will have suffered the impacts of the pandemic on their physical and mental health wellbeing in both their personal and professional lives.
“This payment expresses our gratitude to our NHS and social care workforce for their extraordinary contribution in keeping Wales safe.”
Delyth Jewell, Plaid Cymru Senedd member, said: “This is a one off recognition, it’s a bonus because of the sacrifices that everyone in these sectors have had to make this past year.
“The wider conversation we should be having is about the fact that there is this huge disparity between what health workers and what care workers receive.”
The Welsh government is working with local authorities and trade unions to finalise how the scheme will work.
Last year, care home and domiciliary care workers in Wales received a £500 special payment. The latest bonus will be paid to a wider group of social care workers, including local authority social services staff.
The Department of Health and Social Care has recommended a 1% pay rise for NHS staff in England. Prime minister Boris Johnson said it was as much as the government could afford to give.
The proposed 1% pay increase for health workers in England has been condemned by bodies including the Royal College of Nursing, which said better pay packets would attract more people to the profession and encourage more experienced workers to stay in their jobs.
The RCN’s Fair Pay For Nursing campaign is calling for a 12.5% pay increase for all nursing staff on Agenda for Change contracts.
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