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Coronavirus / Covid bonus for lifesavers could be paid out by the end of April

SOCIAL care staff employed by local authorities will have to wait another month until they receive a £500 bonus announced on St Andrew’s Day last year by the Scottish Government in recognition of the sacrifices by those working in health and social care during the Covid pandemic.

NHS staff received the pro-rata payment with their February wages but council employees are still waiting for their bonus as questions over “payment eligibility” are being resolved in discussions between local authority umbrella group CoSLA and the Scottish Government.

Announcing the one-off payment on 30 November last year, the government said the bonus would be paid as soon as practicable.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said: “The council is working on an implementation plan to make payments to eligible council staff on behalf of the Scottish Government.

“The payment will not be made this month [March wages].  We will communicate the details to staff when those are finalised.”

“Payments to local authority employees are being made on behalf of the Scottish Government, and it has taken some time at national level to clarify a number of issues including eligibility criteria.

“Local government employers received guidance in March and some details are still being worked through to ensure that payment is made to those who meet the Scottish Government criteria.”

A spokesperson for Orkney Islands Council added: “In line with other councils, we are working towards making the payments as soon as possible.

“Before doing this, we required clarity from Government on payment eligibility for local authority staff. Payments will be processed in line with the guidance we have now received.”

The Scottish Government said that 300,000 staff would gain some benefit from the £180 million investment.