Information on who is eligible for the payments and how these will be made.
1. Who is entitled to the NHS COVID-19 bonus payment?
Providers of NHS Wales primary care services (Pursuant to sections 41(2)(b), 42, 57, 64, 71 and 80 of the NHS (Wales) Act 2006) and their staff will be eligible for the bonus payment if they fall within one of the following categories and are not excluded by paragraph 2 below:
- Health care professionals employed or engaged directly by the primary care provider and whose primary role was to directly provide NHS medical, dental, pharmaceutical or ophthalmic primary care services to the provider’s NHS patients for at least 4 consecutive weeks during the period beginning with 17 March 2020 and ending with 28 February 2021.
- Employees of the primary care provider whose primary role was to directly support the delivery of NHS medical, dental, pharmaceutical or ophthalmic primary care services to the provider’s NHS patients at the location at which those NHS services were delivered to those NHS patients for at least 4 consecutive weeks during the period beginning with 17 March 2020 and ending with 28 February 2021.
- Those employees of the primary care provider who would have fallen within the above categories but for them being on COVID-19 special leave, shielding, sick leave, maternity, paternity, shared paternal or adoption leave during the period beginning with 17 March 2020 and ending with 28 February 2021.
- Those Locum workers engaged directly by the primary care provider to provide NHS medical, dental, pharmaceutical or ophthalmic primary care services to the provider’s NHS patients at a location in Wales for at least 8 sessions, with those 8 sessions having been completed during the period beginning with 17 March 2020 and ending with 28 February 2021.
- References above to primary care providers and ophthalmic services include (respectively) providers who hold, or services provided under, an Eye Health Examination Wales arrangement or Low Vision Wales arrangement with a Local Health Board.
2. Who is not entitled to the payment?
- Anybody paid through a personal services company
- Employees of (or workers engaged by) a subcontractor (of any level) of the primary care provider
- Agency staff, excluding locums
- Employees dismissed for gross misconduct
- Board Chairs and Non-Execs/Independent Members
- People working under IR35 arrangements or Direct Engagement models
- Workers paid on a “fee” basis, excluding locums
- Clinical students on unpaid placements
- People on career breaks
3. When and how much should I expect to receive?
The payment being made is £735 per individual which means if you pay tax at 20% and National Insurance at 12% (and the payment is non-pensionable) you should receive approximately £500 net payment in your pay. If you earn under the tax threshold you may receive higher than £500. If you’re a higher rate tax payer you will receive less depending on your individual circumstances.
4. I believe I am eligible for this payment, what do I need to do?
All primary care providers will receive details on how to apply for this bonus for their staff. Locums who wish to apply should contact their relevant practice(s) although they will only be entitled to a single payment even if eligible to claim through multiple providers. The information and application form which the provider will need to complete will be issued as a Welsh Health Circular in the coming weeks.
5. I have retired or left Primary Care since 17 March 2020, am I entitled to this payment?
6. I work in Primary Care but I have been shielding in line with Government advice, am I entitled to this payment?
Provided you would have met the eligibility criteria but for you shielding in line with Government guidance, you are eligible for the payment.
7. I’m a locum worker who has been engaged by a primary care provider, am I entitled to this payment?
Yes, if you fall within the relevant category in paragraph 1 and do not fall within paragraph 2. The required sessions do not have to have been completed for the same provider but you should request the primary care provider who you have completed the most qualifying sessions for to make an application on your behalf. Further detail on this process will be provided in the Welsh Health Circular which will be issued in the coming weeks. If you are also eligible due to your work for a LHB-managed practice see paragraph 9 below.
8. I’m a locum worker, if I am eligible, how much will I receive?
£735, will be paid to the Primary Care provider who completes the electronic application form on your behalf. The primary care provider will then arrange an onward payment to you and it will be your responsibility to pay to HMRC any National Insurance and/or Tax liability associated with that payment.
9. I work solely as a locum in a LHB-managed practice. How will I receive the payment?
If you work solely as a locum in a LHB-managed practice or work as a locum both for a managed practice and a GMS provider, you will not need to apply for this payment or ask the GMS provider to apply on your behalf as you will automatically receive your payment via NHS payroll provided you have met the requirements relating to locum activity in paragraph 1 (and do not fall within paragraph 2 above).
10. Does my length of service impact my entitlement to this payment?
11. Will working part time effect how much of a payment I will receive?
12. Can I receive my payment in instalments?
You need to speak to your employer directly to ask if you can receive the payment over instalments.
13. Is the payment pensionable?
Whilst the intention is that this payment is non-pensionable, where that is not possible under the provider’s terms and conditions for an eligible employee, the provider may also deduct any employer and employee pensions’ contributions associated with the payment.
14. Is the payment vatable?
This will be a decision for each recipient but in most cases it seems likely that the payment will relate to a service that is exempt from VAT.
15. What happens if I work for more than one Primary Care/NHS organisations? Will I receive more than one payment?
No, you are only entitled to and may only receive one payment. The primary care provider for whom you do the greatest proportion of your work should include you in their application form. See paragraph 9 above if you do work for an LHB-managed practice.
16. Will this affect my benefits?
Yes it may do, however the details of how this will affect any benefits payments will depend on what benefits you receive, your household income and other individual personal factors.
17. Am I able to opt-out of receiving this payment?
Yes. You will need to advise your employer not to include you on their application form.
18. I am a primary care provider, what do I need to do?
A Welsh Health Circular will be issued in the coming weeks containing all necessary details.
You will be expected to complete an electronic application form (a link will be available in the Welsh Health Circular document).
The electronic application form will ask for details for all eligible individuals who worked for, or were engaged by, you. You will be asked to provide names and National insurance Numbers for each individual.
You will need to submit your electronic application form within the period beginning with 11 June 2021 and ending with 30 September 2021.
If you wish to receive the payment by 14 September, you will need to submit your electronic application by the end of June 2021. NHS Wales Shared Service Partnership will process all eligible applications and payment will be made to you directly. You are then required to pass this payment (subject to any permitted deductions, as above) onto those persons on behalf of whom you made the application.
19. I am a Primary Care provider, is there a cut-off date to submit my application?
Yes you have until the 30 September 2021 to submit your electronic application.
20. I don’t work in Wales but I see Welsh patients, am I eligible?
The cross border provisions operate so that if you are a provider with an arrangement to provide NHS Wales services based on a section of the NHS Wales Act, you are entitled to the payment. If you are a healthcare provider or employee of such a provider, provided you spend 50% of your contracted hours providing or supporting provision of NHS Wales services, you are entitled to the payment. If you are a locum, you need to have done 8 sessions for such a provider, but those 8 sessions are to be undertaken in Wales.