The Minister for Health has confirmed that student nurses who lost their employment due to COVID-19 will be eligible for PUP payments.
This may be applied from the date of loss of employment.
The INMO and students have raised issues of loss of income during COVID-19 due to fewer opportunities for part time work, particularly in nursing homes.
There are about 4500 student nurses in Ireland
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar says a review is being carried out into the issue of paying students for placements.
He told the Dáil a review of student allowances is now underway and will be completed shortly.
"It's intended that that outcome, once negotiated with their unions, will take effect from September 2021."
NEW: Student nurses who lost other part time work due to COVID will now be able to claim Pandemic Unemployment Payment. It will also be backdated to when they lost their jobs initially
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) December 3, 2020
It follows challenges from the opposition in regards to student pay.
Sinn Féin TD Pearse Dohery said "Your government doesn't value the work that these student nurses are doing in the first number of years."
Student Nurse Says Decision Doesn't Go Far Enough
But for fourth year nursing student Áine, the announcement doesn't cover the concerns raised by the IMO.
"This really does nothing for those who have contracted Covid," she said.
the important thing to note is that student nurses and midwives ARE NOT just there to learn. our learning needs are compromised because the health service is understaffed. if they can’t protect our student status, and we are working: WE SHOULD BE PAID.
— jodie (@yupfinglas) December 3, 2020
"It does nothing for those who still are unable to work in their base hospital because that would impose a cross-contamination risk"
"So really it doesn't answer any of our please."