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Agency workers in Ireland will finally receive €2.5 million of retrospective pay from the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). This is because of new regulations, the Temporary Agency Work Act, which brings the European Agency Work Directive into force and ensures equal treatment of temporary staff.
Hundreds of agency staff have been waiting for months to receive the backpay which is owed to them by the HSE, the Irish Independent reports. It affects agency nurses and healthcare assistants who had received lower salaries than permanent employees. The new regulations set out that agency staff must be paid the same as directly hired workers doing the same job.
The agency workers can expect to receive the backpay by the end of the month, according to local media reports. The HSE said that it has already paid back all money owed to agency nurses supplied by the company Nurse on Call, which specialises in providing nurses to HSE hospitals. The HSE also said that it had paid 60% of healthcare assistants employed through Ireland-based staffing firm Cpl.
The HSE last year pledged to significantly lower the volume of agency staff functions, targeting a reduction of up to 50% in 2012. The organisation expects that the new pay rates for agency workers will cost it an extra €30 million a year.