(Photo: Andy Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS)

The Scottish government has announced a one-off payment for “lifesavers and care-givers on the frontline” throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

A payment of £500 will be made as soon as is practicable to all NHS and social care workers including pharmacy staff employed since March 17.

The list of beneficiaries also includes staff members who have had to shield, or those who who have retired.

This investment of around £180 million will see over 300,000 staff gain some benefit from this bonus.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “…On behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full time NHS and social care worker £500 as a one-off thank you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years. Those who work part time will get a proportionate share.

“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 workers, it is a demonstration of what we collectively owe you – and a heartfelt thank you for the sacrifices you have made.”

“We’re 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,” Sturgeon added.

“Those who have worked in our hospitals and care homes – at the sharpest end of the Covid trauma – deserve recognition now.”

The prorated £500 bonus scheme will be funded from the Scottish government’s Covid-19 support package.

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