Officials said there was a “strong moral case” for a Covid death in service payment for health workers and that it would provide “reassurance” to those who continued to work in hospitals and other facilities during the pandemic.
A series of Department of Health submissions explained how there was no legal obligation to pay anything extra to those who died while providing healthcare during the Covid crisis.
The officials also advised that any scheme would not be compensation for “any specific wrong” but simply a payment made as a gesture.
Under the scheme, the families of healthcare workers who lost their lives through Covid-19 infection are to be paid €100,000 with applications for the scheme set to open shortly.
A note ahead of a memo for government said that by March 2021, fifteen healthcare workers had lost their lives after being infected with Covid-19 while working.
It said: “While the State may not have a legal obligation to make payments to families in these circumstances, there is a strong moral case for ensuring that families bereaved in such circumstances to not face hardship.
“Furthermore, assurances to healthcare workers that a payment will be made to their families is a reassurance to them in continuing to provide essential services, notwithstanding the real or perceived additional risk to which they may be exposed.”