The Government has been accused of devaluing health and social care workers.
The Government has confirmed there will be no COVID bonus for health and care staff in England.
It comes after Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all agreed a one-time payment of at least £500 to all health and social care workers for their efforts during the pandemic.
A recent petition with over 14,000 signatures called upon Downing Street to honour a similar payment in England.
In response to the petition, the Government confirmed there would be no bonus for workers in England; “We are immensely grateful to our health and social care workforce. We are not currently planning to pay £500 bonuses but are exploring ways to improve recognition of health and social care staff.
“The Government hugely values and appreciates all our NHS and social care staff. We are working hard to ensure that all health and social care workers feel supported and safe to continue the fight against Covid-19.
“Covid-19 has placed a huge strain on public finances and the economic outlook remains uncertain.
It comes only weeks after the Government said a 1% pay rise for NHS workers was all it could afford.
Devaluing healthcare workers.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have accused the government of continually devaluing health and social care workers.
RCN acting General Secretary Pat Cullen responded to the news; “The public overwhelming wants to see health and care staff fairly paid, rewarded and respected.
“Yet again the Government’s shown that, behind the rhetoric, they truly do not value our hard-working nursing staff.
“Our nursing staff deserve a significant pay rise and they shouldn’t be kept waiting. Ministers must end the delay and rethink their 1% plan.”
Anthony Johnson, lead organiser for Nurses United UK, added; “This Government continues to ignore how their policies are a risk to patient safety.
“We’ve struggled to get PPE, hundreds of our colleagues have died and still they continue to disrespect and de-value our profession.
“This past year has shown what happens when you don’t invest in nurses, with over 150,000 able to retire in the next 5 years do we really want to continue like this?””