A TRADE union has called for the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 ‘thank you’ bonus being given to NHS and social care workers in Wales, to be extended to council staff.

Welsh NHS and social care workers are entitled to a £500 grant as a mark of gratitude for the work they have carried out to treat and protect people during the pandemic.

But currently, public service workers are not entitled to such a grant – and Unison Cymru Wales has released survey data from 738 public service workers, which found that nine in 10 of them have not been reimbursed for extra costs they have incurred during the pandemic.

The trade union says many low paid, mainly female, public service workers on Wales “have been left hundreds of pounds worse off because of the costs of working from home”.

This includes additional costs for heating and electricity, phone and broadband, home adaptations, and an increase in home insurance.

The survey also found that 85 per cent of them are not paid an allowance for working at home - employers are able to pay a tax-free allowance of up to £6 a week.


Six per cent of those who responded to the survey said they earned too little to qualify for any tax relief for home working.

Lianne Dallimore, who chairs Unison Cymru Wales’ local government committee, said: “The pandemic and lockdown haven’t affected everyone equally.

“Many of those who are low paid and working from home have been left struggling to survive.

“These people include public service workers who kept vital community services running throughout lockdown and ensured virtual learning could continue for school children.

“You can’t question their dedication, yet Unison has received reports from across Wales that these same workers are hundreds of pounds worse off because of home working.

“The Covid bonus of £500 should be extended to all council workers who played their part serving their community during lockdown, including school staff, refuse workers, meals on wheels service and many more.”