Elderly care and hospital staff in Germany to receive coronavirus bonus
Germany’s federal health minister has announced a special bonus for those working in hospitals and in geriatric care. A total of 1 billion euros has been earmarked for the scheme.
Federal health minister announces coronavirus bonus
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has unveiled plans for a special coronavirus bonus for nursing staff in hospitals and in geriatric care. Of the total bonus amount, 500 million euros will go to hospital staff and the other half to elderly care workers. Not all employees will receive the bonus, as the Ministry of Health’s key issues paper states that the bonus will be given to those who “have performed outstandingly during the pandemic."
Lauterbach hopes that the bonuses will be paid out quickly, possibly as soon as the end of June, although the proposal has to be reviewed and approved by health committees in the Bundestag. Lauterbach also indicated that the bonus was not the only benefit for care workers, suggesting that working conditions would also be improved.
The bonus meant for hospital staff will be shared out amongst those who work at patients’ bedsides, and intensive care workers will receive a higher amount. Clinics and staff representatives will decide who is entitled to the bonus.
Only hospitals that have treated more than 10 certified cases of coronavirus over the past year will receive full funding. This, according to the Federal Ministry of Health, should equate to about 837 clinics, with 280.000 staff expected to receive the bonus.
Geriatric care nurses
The bonus for geriatric care staff will be available for employees in approved geriatric care centres, where they have to have worked for at least three months between November 2020 and June 2022.
Geriatric care staff that are eligible for the bonus should receive between 60 and 550 euros, depending on their employment status. Employees at geriatric care centres (i.e. those directly involved in care and support), will receive the full bonus of 550 euros. People who spend at least 25 percent of their working hours in care and support, such as administrators, kitchen workers and security services, will receive 370 euros. Trainees will receive 330 euros, whilst other workers can expect to receive up to 190 euros. Anyone taking part in the “voluntary social year” (FSJ) scheme will receive up to 60 euros.
Will other employees get a bonus?
Currently, it is not clear whether other people working in other professions will also receive a bonus. According to the Ministry of Health, funding has not been secured for extra bonuses.
The Ministry of Health would like to make the bonus tax free, even if it is increased by states or employers. However, this would have to be approved by the Federal Finance Minister, Christian Lindner (FDP).