Hospital staff face six-month wait for pay-outs
ANGRY nurses and other staff may have to wait up to six months for state redundancy payouts of up to €20,000 following the closure of Mount Carmel Hospital.
Some 320 workers – including nurses, radiographers, clerical personnel and support staff – could be affected. The hospital faces closure within the next nine days following the appointment of a liquidator.
SIPTU official John McCarrick said workers may be left without any income for a number of months as they await social welfare payments.
"There are a number of people affected who have over 30 years' service," he told the Irish Independent.
"They'll have to sign on for jobseeker's benefit, but that could take up to three months to process. We are trying to engage with the Department – but so far there's been no assistance given to the people affected. He said none of the 320 staff have found other work yet, adding that the job prospects for many remains "bleak".
"Some of the nurses might sign up with agencies, but that's not stable work. People are recruiting healthcare assistants and radiographers – but overall the situation is not great.
"The redundancy payments would range from about €5,000 up to €20,000." Statutory redundancy amounts to two weeks of pay per year of service, capped at €600 per week.
The Department of Social Protection has confirmed that employees facing redundancy could face delays of up to six months in securing payment of certain state entitlements.
However, a spokesman said if the relevant documentation is submitted within a specified timeframe, statutory redundancy payments are being decided well within the target processing time of five to six weeks.
SIPTU has urged the Government to engage with the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) in an effort to secure the future of the hospital which it says could be sold as a going concern.