Health Minister Robin Swann has announced a mileage rate increase for Health Trust staff.
The increase applies to work-related car travel by Agenda for Change (AfC) staff, including Trust employed domiciliary care workers and district nurses.
The current rates are 56ppm for the first 3,500 miles, and 20ppm for each mile thereafter.
After considering a range of options for AfC staff, the Minister has decided to increase the rate paid for mileage incurred above 3,500 miles to 30p per mile for an initial six month period, to be reviewed. This measure will benefit those who are required to use their vehicles most frequently.
Paying this increased rate through staff payroll systems will take some time to implement, although payments will be backdated. In the interim, Trusts are being asked to explore issuing fuel cards to eligible staff when they reach the 3,500 mile threshold.
The Minister stated: “I have taken this decision after careful consideration of options prepared by officials in recent weeks.
“I need to reiterate that every decision I make to allocate additional monies is taken at risk at present. I do not have a finalised budget and funding pressures in health may be significant by the second half of this financial year.
“I am very mindful of the cost of living pressures on health and social care staff and across the wider community. While I am pleased to confirm this mileage rate increase, I would also stress that a sustained and funded cross-Departmental approach is the best way to address cost of living issues and provide our citizens with the support they need.