To ask the Minister for Health when the gratuity payment due to certain Home Help workers will be made in lieu of pensions payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I understand the Deputy is referring to Home Help workers who are employed by voluntary providers of home help services which are funded under section 39 of the Health Act 2004. I advised the Deputy previously that as these home help workers are not employed by the HSE, the HSE and the Department has no role in determining the salaries or other terms and conditions applying to these staff including any pension arrangements.
As the Deputy is aware a joint working group has been established, as agreed as part of the Lansdowne Road talks, to consider a number of issues in relation to section 39 organisations. The work of this group is still ongoing and is expected to conclude in the near future.