The Covid bonus of €550 will go to full-time workers in elderly care in the second half of the year, a Health Ministry key points paper has revealed.
It suggests that the bonus is set to paid to nursing staff “who performed outstandingly during the pandemic” when working with elderly patients in nursing and care homes.
This includes nursing staff who were particularly burdened by the treatment of Covid patients through, for example, increased hygiene measures or an increased risk of infection.
“The nursing bonus is coming, we have developed a corresponding draft,” confirmed Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) in an interview on the joint morning programme of ARD and ZDF on Tuesday.
The draft will now be passed on to health committees for review with the aiming of paying out the bonus from June 30th.
Employees who worked in geriatric care for at least three months between November 1st 2020 and June 30th 2022 and are still employed on June 30th 2022 are to benefit.
According to the draft, which is available to the newspapers of the Funke Media Group, the highest amount of €550 will be paid to full-time employees in direct care and support.
Up to €370 will be paid to staff who work at least 25 percent of the time in direct care and support, such as administrators, building services, kitchen, cleaning, reception and security services, gardening and grounds maintenance, laundry or logistics.
Trainees in elderly care are to receive up to €330, other employees up to €190 and volunteers and participants in the ‘voluntary social year’ (FSJ) scheme will receive up to €60.
Employers will receive the bonus through their care insurance, the paper suggests.
€1 billion earmarked for nurses
The traffic light government has put aside €1 billion for the ‘Covid care bonus’, which is set to be split equally between nurses in care homes and nurses in hospitals.
According to the ministry draft, the bonus will be directed at bedside nurses at hospitals where at least ten people were treated with ventilators during the Covid crisis.
Hospital owners will decide how to distribute the bonus payments between their staff, though intensive care nurses are likely to receive more.
Discussing the move, Lauterbach said the care bonus was just the start of a wider scheme to make nursing a more attractive profession.
“We must also improve the situation for carers in general through new staffing systems and better working conditions,” he said.