Allowances for nurses and midwives in the public sector

Allowances that are payable to nurses/midwives employed in the public health Service. To qualify for the location allowance the nurses/midwife must be working in that particular location. The qualification allowances applies to nurses/midwives who are employed on duties in specialist areas where they hold the relevant qualification  

Allowances Q&A

  •  Nurses and midwives eligible for payment of location/qualification allowances are: 

    • Staff Nurses/Midwives
    • Senior Staff Nurses/Midwives 
    • CNMs/CMMs 1 & 2 (incl. Theatre Sisters).

    If eligible for both allowances, a nurse/midwife may benefit from either a qualification allowance or a location allowance- the higher of the two - when working on qualifying duties.

    Pro-rata arrangements apply to job-sharing and part-time staff. 

  • This scale applies to nurses who have 2 of the 5 registered nursing qualifications. To qualify for this scale you must have held the qualification or been in training for the 2nd qualification on 1st October 1996.  

    In the case of midwifery and children's nursing, the dual-qualified scale is effective from 1st August 1998. A staff nurse can only receive either a dual-qualified scale or an allowance, whichever is the greater. The exceptions to this are:

    • Nurses who were paid on the dual-qualified scale on 1st October 1996 and in receipt of a location allowance at 1st August 1998 or eligible for a new location/qualification allowance from 31st March 1999. In such cases, the value of the location/qualification allowance is €1,597 which they receive in addition to their dual-qualified scale.
    • With effect from 26th November 2003, nurses who are paid on the dual-qualified scale and who then move to an area that attracts a location/qualification allowance will continue to be paid on the dual-qualified scale and will also receive the abated value of the location/qualification allowance of €1,597. Payment of the allowance will cease if the nurse moves out of the qualifying area.
  • A caseload allowance of €4,247 is payable to RGNs in the community undertaking certain specified duties of the PHN.

  • Public Health Nurses 

    Island Inducement Allowance €2,022 (Abolished for new beneficiaries with effect from 1st February 2012) 

    Fixed Payment Weekend Work    €32.22 

    First call on Saturday and first call on Sunday €42.77 

    Each subsequent call on Saturday and Sunday €21.42 

    Payment in lieu of time off for Emergency work   €32.19 


    Location Allowance 

    With effect from 1st March 2019, the location allowance of €2,554 is extended to Public Health Nurses not holding a midwifery qualification but providing midwifery services as part of their duties.

  • An allowance of €3,835 is payable to registered nurses/midwives employed on duties in specialist areas appropriate to the following qualifications where they hold the relevant qualification, for example: 

    • Accident & Emergency Nursing Course
    • Anaesthetic Nursing Course
    • Behaviour Modification Course
    • Behavioural Therapy Course
    • Burns Nursing Course
    • Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing Course
    • Coronary Care Course
    • Diabetic Nursing Course
    • Ear Nose & Throat Nursing Course
    • Forensic Psychiatric Nursing Course
    • Gerontological Nursing Course
    • Higher Diploma in Midwifery
    • Higher Diploma in Paediatrics
    • Infection Control Nursing Course
    • Intensive Care Nursing Course (incl. Paediatric Intensive Care and Special and Intensive Care of New Born)
    • Neurological/Neurosurgical Nursing Course
    • Operating Theatre Nursing Course (incl. Paediatric Op. Theatre)
    • Ophthalmic Nursing Course
    • Orthopaedic Nursing Course
    • Higher Diploma in Cardiovascular Nursing/Diabetes Nursing/Oncological
    • Nursing/Palliative Care Nursing
    • Rehabilitation Nursing Course
    • Renal Nursing Course
    • Stoma Care Nursing Course

    This list is not exhaustive – payment of the specialist qualification allowance extends to all specialist courses confirmed as Category II or equivalent by the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Ireland that are directly related to the nurse/midwife’s current clinical area of work. 

    The specialist qualification allowance is also payable to registered general nurses holding recognised post registration qualifications in midwifery or sick children’s nursing and employed on duties appropriate to their qualification. 

  • An allowance of €2,554 is payable to registered nurses employed on duties in the following locations: 

    Accident & Emergency Depts,

    • Theatre/O.R.
    • Renal Units
    • Intensive/Coronary Care Units
    • Cancer/Oncology Units
    • Geriatric Units/Long-Stay Hospital or Units in County Homes
    • High Dependency Units, 
    • Neo-Natal Units (ICU)
    • Endoscopy Units
    • Specialist Ambulatory Dialysis Units
    • Units for Severe and Profoundly Handicapped in Mental Handicap Services
    • Acute Admission Units in Mental Health Services, 
    • Medical/Surgical Wards, Maternity Depts *
    • Secure Units in Mental Health Services, dedicated Care of the Elderly (excluding Day Care Centres) and Alzheimer’s Units in Mental Health Services and the Intellectual Disability Sector (including Psycho-geriatric Wards, Elderly Mentally Infirm Units, Psychiatry of Later Life Services).

     *(Allowance effective from 1st March 2019). 

  • The amount of €3,835 is payable to Public Health Nurses and Assistant Directors of Public Health Nursing who hold a midwifery qualification.  

  • A nurse co-ordinator formalises the reporting and accountability relationship with the Theatre Superintendent. 

    A shift allowance of €20.71 will be paid to a staff nurse who undertakes this role.  The allowance only applies to a nurse who fulfils specified duties when called in.

    (See D.O.H.C. circular)

  • On-Call with Standby - Each Day 

    Monday to Friday €48.48   

    Saturday €62.27 

    Sunday and Public Holidays 84.17 

    All of these figures are based on a 12-hour period.  Pro-rata to apply after hours. 


    Call-Out Rate – Monday to Sunday    

    (a) Fee per operation per 2 hours (17.00-22.00 hours) 48.48 

    (b)  (i) Operation lasting more than 2 hours and up to  3 hours (17.00-22.00 hours) €72.70             
             (ii) Operation lasting more than 4 hours and up to  5  hours  €121.18                                                    

    (c) Fee per operation per hour (after 22.00 hours) €48.48                                          

    On-Call without Standby 
    (i) Fee per operation, call-in without standby96.96 

    (ii) Overruns from the roster at normal overtime rates (no time back in lieu) 

    On-Call over Weekend 

    In situations where no roster duty is available over the weekend, the following will apply on a pro-rata basis (i.e. appropriate rate divided by 12, then multiplied by a number of hours available).  No time back in lieu will apply. 

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    Catherine Hopkins

    Information officer

    INMO HQ, Dublin

    Catherine O'Connor

    Information officer

    INMO HQ, Dublin

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