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Outstanding Pandemic Bonuses To Be Paid To Healthcare Staff Before Xmas.

The majority of remaining healthcare staff, latter who have not yet received their €1,000 pandemic recognition payment, first announced in January of this year, will now receive same by the end of his month (November 2022), the HSE has confirmed

These recognition payments were initiated by the Irish State as a means to compensate frontline workers for their collective efforts in fronting our public health system, during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown period.

Unavoidable delays came about about due to agency workers, being categorised as public servants and third-party contractors, and while funded by the HSE, were difficult to immediately identify.

The HSE has awarded a tender to Public Sector consultants Kosi to implement the payment of these bonuses, to these workers in non-HSE and non-Section 38 organisations, who include those employed in private sector nursing homes; Section 39 (in receipt of State grant aid) long-term care facilities for those with disabilities; agency workers in the HSE and home care assistants, latter contracted to the HSE.

The HSE has confirmed that communications have already issued, (since November 1st) to the organisations/employers of potentially eligible employees.
Same communications contained details of how those bodies can apply for payment for their work force, allowing same to pay such named employees on or about the end of November 2022.

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Inland Fisheries Ireland To Progress Plans For Fish Farm In Tipperary.

According to the website Afloat.ie, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) intend to progress plans to develop a new modern fish farm facility, to be located in Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
The facility will be based on a ‘recirculating aquaculture system’ (RAS) technology and will shortly enter the design and planning permission phase.

We understand that recirculating aquaculture systems represent a new way to farm fish. Instead of the traditional method of growing fish outdoors, this system rears fish at high densities, in indoor tanks within a controlled environment.

This new fish farm is not expected to become operational until 2026.

We understand that IFI has placed a ‘Prior Information Notice’ (PIN) on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

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Thurles Resident Withdraws High Court Claim For Loss Of Earnings.

A former meat plant operative and champion ballroom dancer; latter photographed chopping timber, on dates between 2017 and 2018; during a time he claimed he was not able to work, has withdrawn his High Court claim for loss of earnings against Callan Bacon Company Ltd, his former employer.

Mr Frank Burgess, aged 45, and a married father-of-three, with an address at Hillview Drive, Thurles, Co Tipperary, had sued Callan Bacon Company Ltd over a back injury, allegedly sustained while lifting 12kg pieces of pork meat onto a conveyor belt, during his employment on November 24th, 2016 last.

Mr Burgess claimed he remained unfit for work between December 2016 and May 2019 last, and was petitioning his former employer with regard to €25,000, same his alleged loss of earnings; less the illness and injury benefits received by him, from the Irish State.

It was alleged in court that a table, which Mr Burgess had been operating on, was some three inches lower than a conveyor belt, resulting in Mr Burgess having to lift meat onto the belt some 200 times every hour. Thus it was claimed that his employer was negligent by failing to provide a suitable platform level with that of the operating conveyor belt.

His employers Callan Bacon Company Ltd denied all of the claims.

Mr Burgess, a five-time national Ballroom Dancing Champion, claimed his dancing abilities had since been hampered, due to his injuries.

Following two hours of cross-examination by defence barrister Ms Elaine Morgan (Senior Counsel); Mr Burgess was shown CCTV footage of himself, operating a digger and photographs of himself appearing to cut and throw timber.
Mr Burgess confirmed that the CCTV footage and the photographic images were indeed of himself, but said he believed the images had not been taken on the dates suggested by the defence.

However, on Wednesday last, after a brief adjournment in the proceedings, Judge Mr Tony O’Connor was informed that this claim for loss of earnings had now being withdrawn, resulting in the case being struck out.

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Non-EEA Sea Fishers In Irish Fleet Become Eligible For Employment Permits.

  • Pathway to Employment Permits will allow for eventual transition to Stamp 4 immigration permission and its wider entitlements.

Government has today approved the publication of the Review of the Atypical Scheme for non-EEA Crew in the Irish Fishing Fleet. This report and its recommendations follow an extensive consultation process with stakeholders involved in the scheme.

Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mr Damien English and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Mr Charlie McConalogue jointly welcome Government support for the recommended changes to the employment of non-EEA fishers in the Irish fishing fleet.

The Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) for non-EEA Crew in the Irish fishing fleet was established in 2015, as a cross Departmental response to address claims of exploitation and trafficking of undocumented non-EEA workers on certain categories of vessels, in the Irish fishing fleet.

Currently, non-EEA fishers can apply through the Department of Justice for a permission under the Atypical Working Scheme to work on a specific Irish vessel for a period of up to 12 months, but they are not eligible for consideration for the granting of an employment permit by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The key recommendation of the Review Group is that the employment of non-EEA crew in the Irish fishing fleet should be provided for under the Employment Permit system (administered by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment), instead of the Atypical Working Scheme (administered by the Department of Justice). The sector will be required to submit a comprehensive business case to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to support their inclusion in the Employment Permits System and a process of engagement has already begun in this regard.

The transition to the employment-permit based system would entitle employment permit holding Sea fishers to transition to a Stamp 4 immigration permission and the wider entitlements offered by that permission.

A cross-departmental group of senior officials in relevant departments and agencies will be established to oversee implementation of the transition from the current scheme to the Employment Permits Scheme. This group will be co-chaired by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The overall time frame for implementation of the report’s recommendations is expected to be approximately 12 months.

Publishing the report today, Minister McEntee said: “The publication of this report and its recommendations is the first step in putting non-EEA Sea fishers on a similar path to other Non-EEA nationals employed in the State in terms of entitlements and protections.

Non-EEA fishers and their employers will now be entitled to apply for an employment permit through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

These recommendations will also benefit Sea fishers employers, by streamlining the permission process and making it easier to recruit non-EEA Sea fishers.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said; “I have asked my Department to examine the Review Report and to work closely with the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment with a view to ensuring the full implementation of the recommendations. I have also tasked an Bord Iascaigh Mhara with providing the fishing sector with any practical assistance necessary to support of the sectors access to the Employment Permit Scheme”.

Welcoming the publication of the report, Minister of State Damien English said: “The recommendations in this Report will go a long way to addressing the concerns raised by stakeholders in the sector. Of course, the Employment Permits system works very differently from the Atypical Working Scheme so it is proper that there will be a phased implementation in order to identify and address any challenges which arise and deal with these in the most effective way possible.”

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€10.1m Paid Out To Staff In Irish Water Performance Related Bonus Payments.

Irish Water line management, over the past two years, have handed over to staff, more than €10.1m in performance related bonus payments.

Last year, Irish Water paid almost €5.2m in bonus payments to some 789 workers.

Same figure was increased from the €4.96m, that had been determined as eligible in 2020, to some 765 employees.

The average performance related award amongst the top 20 staff during last year, stood at a colossal €19,171 per person. The names of the individuals receiving these performance related awards, has been withheld from the public.

The 20 staff in receipt of the highest bonuses, during the previous year, (2020), are understood to have shared €385,460, or €19,273 per person.

Same bonuses are understood to be taxable, but are not counted for calculation in future retirement pensions.

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