Cabinet has signed off on a 'pandemic bonus' payment for healthcare workers.
Frontline staff in the health sector will be given a tax-free €1,000 bonus if they worked in COVID-exposed clinical settings.
Ambulance workers will also be eligible for the payment, while an "equivalent payment" will be paid to relevant staff in private nursing homes and hospices.
However, workers in private hospitals will not receive the bonus.
In a statement, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “Frontline healthcare workers will receive a special, once-off tax-free payment of €1,000 in recognition of their work in dangerous and challenging conditions during the pandemic, and for the thousands of lives saved as a result of their efforts."
Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said: "While no monetary amount could truly reflect the dedication of healthcare staff on the frontline, the Government believes it is appropriate, at this time, that a once-off tax-free payment of €1,000 be provided for all eligible public service healthcare and ambulance workers, in recognition of their efforts.
"I want to thank them for their dedication and commitment during this extraordinary period."
The payment won't be restricted to clinical staff, and will apply to the likes of porters and attendants in hospitals.
Nursing students and Defence Forces staff seconded to the HSE will also qualify for the payment.
Around €100,000 people will benefit at a cost to the state in the region of €100 million.
Some opposition parties have already called for the eligibility criteria for the bonus payment to be expanded to all workers who were on the frontline during the pandemic - not just healthcare workers.
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy said: "If you're going to give a bonus to workers, it should cover all frontline workers."
Minister McGrath said they decided not to expand the payment out to other frontline workers.
He said singling out one group of workers is never easy, but added he doesn't think anyone can deny that frontline healthcare staff have been "truly extraordinary" over the past two years.
The Cabinet decision came alongside the confirmation that an extra bank holiday will take place this year.
The extra public holiday will be held on March 18th this year, and there'll then be a permanent bank holiday to coincide with St Brigid's Day from 2023.