Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys on Monday brought proposals to the Cabinet which would attribute PRSI contributions to people who have lost employment due to the public health crisis. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Government to protect social insurance benefits of those who lost jobs due to Covid-19

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was ‘angry’ over the work stoppage. ‘I would say people need to get back on site and start building the children’s hospital because the children of this country need it.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Contractor BAM Ireland agrees to restart following stand-off over Covid-19 costs

The spread of Covid-19 to nursing homes has partially been attributed to residents contracting the virus while hospitalised, and then infecting other residents after returning to their care facilities.  Photograph: Getty Images

Representative group tell minister extra measures such as on-site therapies needed

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “This is a very dangerous virus, it can damage people’s health for a very long time in some instances. It’s not something to be taken lightly.”  Photograph: Alan Betson

Drivers say they expect gardaí to police measure which takes effect from Monday

The agreement between the Government and the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association  has resulted in savings of about €600 million.

Four-year-old accord on supply and pricing of medicines is set to expire at end of July

Construction at the national children’s hospital site at St James Hospital, Dublin. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Construction on €1.7bn site yet to resume as Bam Ireland claims restrictions make delays inevitable

Rosderra Irish Meats plant in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, where, according to Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley had 140 workers were out sick and 120 had tested positive in April. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene

Ictu tells Dáil committee trade union concerns about safety in sector went ignored

People Before Profit’s Bríd Smith: will be examining the record of the Dáil to determine if other TDs have similarly criticised the judiciary.

People Before Profit TD attacked ‘democracy itself’, former minister for justice claims

The company said its commercial Expressway operation had 8,000 seats available daily, compared to 16,000 before Covid-19 restrictions were put in place. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Demand is exceeding Covid-19 capacity on some services

Paul Reid, chief executive officer of the HSE, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health at  the launch of the Covid Tracker App. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister hails number of downloads in less than two days as a huge achievement

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly at the launch of the Covid tracker app in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Figure represents 23% of State’s population over 16 years with smartphones

The largest health insurers, VHI, Laya and Irish Life Health, have all indicated  they are in talks with private hospitals over the charges. Photograph: Getty Images

Mater Private group claims insurers have generated large savings on claims when private hospitals were under State control

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly launches the HSE’s new Covid-19 tracker app. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos  

Minister for Health says app is not a ‘silver bullet’ but an important new tool in the fight against Covid-19

Alan Mongey, president of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, said his organisation would like to see a full return of all students to school in late August-September, “provided it is safe, practical and possible to do so for students, all school staff and school leaders”. Photograph: PA

Covid-19 Oireachtas committee told special schools face challenges restarting

Different private hospitals have levied different charges for Covid-19 tests, and some have not put in place any at all. Photograph: Getty Images

Patients criticise some private hospitals for charging for Covid test

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys:  said last week had seen the highest number of people returning to work since the Covid-19 crisis began in March. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Humphreys says last week saw largest number of people returning to work since crisis began

Sunday was the fifth day of no reported daily deaths in Ireland since the wave of infections peaked in mid-April. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Target of 15,000 tests not met – highest daily tests topped 11,504 in April

  Paul Kehoe (right), the former  minister with responsibility for defence, said last month that some initial preliminary work had commenced on the review of pay structures. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw /The Irish Times

Number of military personnel has fallen by about 300 since initiative launched a year ago

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions in a letter to Minister for Enterprise and Employment Leo Varadkar said the Government should appeal the ruling of the High Court. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Union urges Government to appeal High Court ruling on employment legislation

Clare Guinan (centre) and her daughters Megan and Lauren who moved into Bartra Healthcare’s Loughshinny Nursing Home four weeks ago to help protect the residents against Covid-19. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

‘It was so difficult to see families standing at the windows, looking at their loved ones’

Minister for Education Norma Foley: ‘We are moving towards the  safe reopening of schools, with an accommodation for everyone in the entire school community.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Government says level to which schools will be able to reopen as normal remains uncertain

Public health guidance published on Wednesday says schools should reopen with physical distancing of at least 1m between students in most cases. Photograph: Getty Images

ASTI says students may end up with ‘blended’ learning due to physical distancing rules

Students wearing face masks attend class at the Lopez de Mendoza Institute in Spain. New public health guidance published today says schools should reopen with physical distancing of at least one metre between students in most cases. Photograph: Cesar Manso/AFP

Guidance calls for physical distancing of one metre between students in most cases

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Public sector pay increases to proceed as review warns of €25bn hit to public purse

“Saving and investing in SMEs is an investment to save jobs. It should be used to modernise our SMEs and create new well-paid 21st century jobs in our indigenous sector. That is the only way to pull us out of the recession.” File photograph: Getty

Firms would not take up support as loans at 5-6% interest, lobby group chair asserts

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Parliamentary Budget Office expresses concern over plan for more pandemic funding

RTE director general Dee Forbes said income from licence fees had sharply declined, and funding from commercial sources had also been hit. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Abbey Theatre warns of ‘full-blown crisis’ facing Irish theatre sector

The newly-appointed Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys. File photograph: Julien Behal/PA.

New figures show 405,000 people having their pay supported by wage subsidy scheme

The TUI online conference was told what members in all sectors had delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic may have been unprecedented. File photograph: Getty

TUI chief advises vigilance on ‘collapsing the wage structure and the working conditions’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with Minister for Health Simon Harris at a  press briefing in Dublin Castle on Thursday. Photograph: Julien Behal

Public patients to no longer be admitted to private hospitals under current pandemic deal

Connect officials would meet members in each workplace over the coming weeks to discuss the ruling. Photograph: iStock

Union warns employers against cuts to pay or conditions in light of High Court ruling

 Tuesday’s ruling concerned a sectoral employment order in the electrical industry. Photograph: iStock

Move follows High Court finding that parts of industrial relations law is unconstitutional

Paschal Donohoe: he  said he wanted “serious and constructive” engagement before the end of the 13-week operation of the scheme. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister expressed fears initiative could lead to State facing uncapped expenditure

The High Court on Tuesday struck down a law providing for certain minimum pay and entitlements for electricians. File photograph: Getty Images

Trade unions respond to judgment striking down law on minimum pay for electricians

Phil Ní Sheaghdha, general secretary of the INMO, said many nurses and midwives would be out of pocket or with little or no remaining annual leave as a result of childcare difficulties during the pandemic. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Union says many nurses and midwives are paying higher than normal childcare rates

The Department of Health said the  Minister, Simon Harris, wanted to have specific arrangements put in place to oversee the volume and type of patients seen in the private hospitals and the costs involved. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Department minutes say HSE wrote to Government ahead of Cabinet decision to end deal

The HSE effectively took over the operation of nearly 20 private hospitals amid concerns the public system would be overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

HSE chief Paul Reid warned of likely ‘unforeseen consequences’ of three-month deal

Jim Breslin, secretary general of the Department of Health, said ‘very significant changes’ were needed in how we care for our most vulnerable older people. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Jim Breslin tells Oireachtas committee new cases in care homes steadily decreasing

The scarring effects of long-term unemployment in the 1980s and early 1990s were especially difficult to tackle. Photograph: Aidan Crawley The secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Robert Watt warned there would be 200,000 more people without jobs than at the beginning of this year. File Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform head warns of significant deficit

The secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Robert Watt is expected to warn that ‘a delayed recovery in the economy, for example, could see a deficit of up to €30bn this year’. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Oireachtas Covid-19 committee to hear Government could face €30bn deficit this year

The Department of Social Protection said a further 2,400 employees are returning to accommodation and food service activities. File photograph: Getty

Over 26,000 people to return to work, according to Department of Social Protection

The National Bus and Rail Union says capacity restrictions mean up to 35 million passenger journeys a year cannot be accommodated. Photograph: Eric Luke

NBRU calls for a night time commission to facilitate socially distanced 24-hour society

Hiqa’s Mary Dunnion: “The lack of direct relationship of the HSE with the private sector has highlighted a challenge to effectively project the specific needs of nursing homes during the Covid-19 outbreak.” Photograph: Tom Honan

Staffing levels and nursing skills ‘not commensurate’ with Covid-19 care needs

People walk past reopened shops and businesses on O’Connell Street, Dublin, on Monday as  lockdown measures are eased. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Oireachtas committee told current system needs overhaul to be fit for purpose

INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Something is going wrong on the front lines, says INMO’s Phil Ní Sheaghdha

Paul Reid, HSE chief executive: The HSE pointed to large numbers of day cases being treated and argued hospitals were getting busier. The private consultants contended that the private hospitals were on average two-thirds empty. Photograph: Photocalll Ireland/PA

Analysis: State will take control of facilities again if future pandemic surge appears imminent

Staff at the Blackrock Clinic. The temporary State takeover of private hospitals has been criticised over costs. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Deal came under fire over its cost and the lack of use of much private hospital capacity

Patricia King, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Trade union says there can be ‘no going back’ to economic and social situation prior to crisis

Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland warned about ‘cataclysmic consequences’ because of delays in testing for staff and residents. Photograph: Oireachtas TV/PA Wire

Some nursing homes say they had to use painter’s overalls due to lack of PPE

 Hiqa chief executive Phelim Quinn and chief inspector of social services Mary Dunnion arriving at Leinster House on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Watchdog says it provided list of facilities it suspected would struggle with Covid-19

Many private consultants have maintained that they have been effectively shut out of private hospitals and that this has affected care for their patients.

HSE says two private consultants have said they intend to resign from State contract

Nursing homes have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland, accounting for 54 per cent of the 1,606 deaths from the virus in the State. File photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Hiqa to raise concerns about care oversight shortcomings for some of State’s most vulnerable citizens

Construction workers  make their way to a site  in Dublin city centre as they returned to work last week. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Figures show 35,600 people who were receiving the benefit are now returning to work

People on Henry Street in Dublin’s city centre on Thursday as restrictions put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been eased. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

WHO says best distance to keep from people to avoid inhaling droplets is two metres

Simon Harris: the expert panel will report back to the Minister for Health  by the end of June on how the Government responded to the pandemic in nursing homes. Photograph:  Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Siptu wants nursing home workers represented on Minister’s new expert panel

 Grafton Street on Saturday, May 23rd: If cases and deaths continue to fall, some aspects of the July 20th opening could be brought forward to June 29th. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Easing plans for late July might be brought forward amid growing calls from business

HSE operations director Anne O’Connor: says private hospitals are getting busier, with some 50 per cent occupancy of in-patient beds and 80 per cent occupancy for day cases. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA

Government paid €112.4m to private hospitals in April and first week of May

In a letter sent to the National Bus and Rail Union Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the next government would want to review the Ireland 2040 capital development plan. Photograph: Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Varadkar wants to protect Dublin Metro, BusConnects from State spending reviews

Staff at the Blackrock Clinic this month. The temporary State takeover of private hospitals has been criticised over costs. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Department of Health describes spend as ‘advance payments’ and final bill could change

People on Henry Street in Dublin’s city centre on Friday as restrictions put in place due to  the coronavirus pandemic have been eased. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ministers discuss stringent measures including 14-day stay at ‘designated facility’

Aer Lingus met the group of unions representing staff on Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fórsa describes airline’s plans as ‘premature’

The Department of Public expenditure said it was “open to employees to make claims directly from Revenue in respect of actual costs incurred in working from home”.  Photograph: Getty Images

Some individuals understood to have sought €3.20 per day payment

The Department of Health said last night the issue of private consultants withdrawing from the public-only contract was a matter for the HSE. Photograph: iStock

Group of consultants withdrawing from Covid-19 arrangement with the State

 Paschal Donohoe:  warned that the Government would face demands to increase regular job seekers’ benefits up to the level of the weekly Covid-19 unemployment payments. Photograph:  Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Over a third of recipients were paid less than €300 a week before payment was introduced

The Opposition will seek to press Ministers to guarantee there will be no cuts to the current Covid-19 unemployment payment before the crucial Dáil vote on spending takes place. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Dáil vote due as Covid-19 outlay likely to deplete €8.6bn budget by June, Donohoe warns

Cost increases of such a scale could add hundreds of millions of euro to the current estimates for the new children’s hospital which currently are more than € 1.7 billion. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Construction industry suggests cost of house could rise by up to €15,000

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan, CMO arriving at the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee sitting at Leinster House, Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Covid-19 safety measures could add €15,000 to price of new home, says industry body

Siptu official Paul Bell  said it was feared that many health workers would develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the pandemic. File image:  Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Siptu says the State should cover losses including the cost of counselling services

Michael O’Hanlon and  Liam Cahill   at Howth Golf Club in Dublin on Monday, as golf courses reopen and Ireland cautiously begins to lift it’s coronavirus lockdown. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

‘Ever-present danger’ of further Covid-19 cases as Ireland partially lifts restrictions

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu) general secretary Patricia King urged Government to reconsider the issue. File photograph: Alan Betson

Ictu says it is ‘not tenable’ that women returning from maternity leave treated differently to other workers

The number of people receiving the €350 special Covid-19 unemployment payment fell by about 5,000 over the last week. File photograph: Getty

More than 1.26m workers relying on State for all or part of income

The Department of Health has confirmed that it is proposed consultants with private practice rights will be charged for the use of private rooms when the new hospital opens. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Consultants will also face ‘operational costs’ bill for seeing private patients at the hospital

Earlier this week the State Claims Agency advised that specimens should not be accepted by private hospitals from medical specialists who had not signed up to the HSE’s proposed locum ‘Type A’ contract. Photograph: iStock

Fianna Fáil had sought Taoiseach to reverse ‘outrageous and dangerous’ move

Private hospitals may pull out of the agreement which has seen the State take over their facilities during the Covid-19 crisis.

Hospitals may seek other arrangements as HSE not sending enough patients

Blackrock Clinic in May 2020. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Critical questions are being asked about the future of Irish healthcare as the State’s takeover of private operators nears its con(...)

The Blackrock Clinic is being used by the State during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Case studies: ‘I don’t want to go to a new doctor and explain the last 20 years of my care’

HSE ceo Paul Reid (left) said the announcement by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan (right) bore ‘absolutely no resemblance to that which we previously discussed and has taken no account of what can be achieved by when’. Photographs: Gareth Chaney/Collin Keegan/Collins

HSE chief and chairman both wrote to department to complain over Holohan announcement

The NBRU says there will have to be many changes to public transport, particularly at peak times, to accommodate passenger numbers within social distancing rules. Photograph: Getty Images

NBRU urges staggered opening times for schools and restructuring of workplaces

Dr Cillian De Gascun, chair of the Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group: ‘We know we need to get better, but it’s a huge improvement on where we were.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Data entry errors, missing contact details and incompatible systems among issues

The NBRU said it would be ‘preposterous and untenable if Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann were to be left to run aground’. File photograph: The Irish Times

NBRU in no mood ‘to entertain’ job losses at firms as a result of Covid-19 financial problems

The Department of Social Protection said that since the scheme was launched in mid-March more than 95,000 people had sought to close their Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment. File photograph: Getty

More people now in receipt of salary support under the temporary wage subsidy scheme

Bus Éireann said its Expressway business had been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Impact of Covid-19 raises questions over future of Expressway inter-city bus services

Sources have said the financial situation for Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and Bus Éireann is now ‘dire’, and a significant injection of State funding could be required in coming weeks. Photograph: Getty Images

Ross says all necessary measures will be taken to support ‘essential transport services’

HSE chief executive Paul Reid: cost of testing and tracing will be ‘at a scale that nobody could have foreseen’. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland/PA

PPE, testing and contact tracing will cost well over €1bn for the year, says Paul Reid

 INMO general secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha: “Not only are there now greater demands on nurses and midwives, but sources of new staff are likely drying up.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Recruitment of overseas staff likely to slow to trickle amid Covid-19 crisis, INMO says

Unions warned that if remote working becomes the norm for an extended period, public-sector employers would be expected to provide adequate supports. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

‘Very gradual staggered return’ to office environment expected for department after August

Handshakes will be banned. Temperature testing will be carried out in line with public health advice. Workers will not be allowed to share pens, bottles, or cups. Photograph: Alex Welsh/New York Times

Measures drawn up by Government, unions and employers to be monitored by HSA

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil in April the agreement with private hospitals could cost €115 million per month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Any extension of current deal to require approval from Paschal Donohoe

Healthcare staff will have to pay €90 per week for childcare to facilitate them going to work. File image.

Exclusion applies to providers of childcare under scheme for front-line workers

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said the  Covid-19 wage  payments are set to be reduced in the weeks ahead. Photograph:  Photocall Ireland/PA Wire

Paschal Donohoe has indicated that the wage supports cannot continue indefinitely

HSE chief executive Paul Reid pictured on Sunday. HSE has proposed that staff experiencing childcare difficulties could be offered a range of flexible and working arrangements. Photograph: Leon Farrell/PA

Zappone says 45 hours of childcare per week to be offered

Siptu has urged the Government to revise the proposed date for the reopening of childcare facilities to help essential workers  are experiencing childcare difficulties. Photograph: Edmond Terakopian/ PA Wire.

Siptu calls for annual leave compensation for staff forced to take holidays to mind children

Gardaí on O’Connell Street, Dublin, check passengers on board a Dublin Bus over the weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Union says relaxing coronavirus restrictions poses difficulties for public transport

Regina Doherty said some 598,000 people would receive a Covid-19 unemployment payment this week, at a cost of over €209 million.

Doherty says short -time health crisis will not become long-term economic one for workers

About 150 private sector medical consultants are understood to have signed up to the State public-only contract for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

HSE in talks to resolve impasse over plans for private consultants to treat public patients

Gardaí are planning wide-ranging operation this bank holiday weekend to ensure public adhere to travel restrictions

Government to unveil plan for lifting restrictions as pressure mounts to ease cocooning advice for over 70s

Minister for Health Simon Harris said  that he had proposed that the students would be given roles as assistant radiographers. Photograph: iStock

Similar arrangements in place for student nurses and medical scientists

Employees reassigned to alternative duties will continue to be paid their normal basic salary and fixed allowances. Photograph: Frank Miller

Department acknowledges ‘limitations’ of schemes as unions say it ‘falls far short’

Trade unions have been pressing the Government to introduce childcare arrangements for key healthcare workers for several weeks. Photograph: iStock

Proposal would only apply to those who have exhausted all other alternative options

Siptu said that 30 of the 51 student radiographers were allocated to two radiology departments, both in major Dublin acute hospitals. Photograph: iStock

Union says students in other health disciplines receiving payments equivalent to €30,000/year

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