Agency workers within the Northern Ireland Civil Service will be entitled to enhanced sick pay and special leave arrangements.
And these will be backdated until March 13.
Confirmation came from Finance Minister Conor Murphy who this afternoon announced new measures to assist them.
There are currently 2,500 agency staff working in the NICS.
Minister Murphy said: “During this uncertain time, agency staff are critical to ensure we can continue to deliver vital frontline services to our citizens.
“We cannot have agency workers who should be self-isolating coming into work because they can’t afford to stay at home.
“This issue needs addressed immediately which is why I am introducing enhanced terms and conditions backdated from 13 March 2020 for agency workers within the civil service.
“This is a worrying time for everyone and I want to do my best to reassure agency workers who are supporting departments that they will be protected in these unprecedented times as much as possible.”
The measures include:
- the extension of full pay, equivalent to Occupational Sick Pay, for two weeks if ill or self-isolating;
- payment of Statutory Sick Pay for any further period(s) of sickness absence/self-isolation
- the facility to access special leave in order to make alternative childcare arrangements;
- the facility, where possible and in line with business need, to work from alternative locations, be redeployed into other work or work from home
- continued payment if a building is closed and alternative working arrangements cannot be found by either the hirer or the recruitment agency;
- the effective date for these measures to be in line with the change to SSP entitlement from day one (13/3/2020)
- measures to remain under review as the position with Covid-19 develops