Home care organisations based in local communities have called on the Minister for Health to clarify when they will receive the pandemic bonus payment.

The payment is set to be issued to frontline staff as recognition of their work during the pandemic.

In recent months, the National Community Care Network (NCCN) - an organisation of not-for-profit care organisations that provide home care in communities - engaged with Government ministers and called for carers in community-based organisations to be included in the payment.

Under the original proposals, carers directly employed by the Health Service Executive received the bonus.

The NCCN said no information was forthcoming from Minister Stephen Donnelly regarding the bonus to those who are not directly employed by the HSE, but are providing State-funded care in the community.

NCCN Chief Executive Fiacre Hensey said it was about recognising the tireless and invaluable work of thousands of hardworking carers.

"Despite doing the same work as HSE employees, with the same risks, there has been little or no political recognition for carers who do not work for the HSE, even though the care they are providing is funded by the HSE through our members," he said.

"The Government is yet to publish information for non-HSE frontline healthcare workers on when they will receive the payment."

Mr Hensey added that at a time when the country is severely struggling to recruit carers, community carers needed to be valued properly.

Other organisations that worked on the frontline during the pandemic have also sought confirmation on when the payment will be made, including voluntary bodies that provide disability services.

"When the peak of the pandemic hit, carers were largely responsible for facilitating discharges from hospitals, keeping beds available for urgent cases," Mr Hensey told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.

"And, frankly speaking, keeping clients at home in a safe environment and judging by the stats, they did a mighty job and they need to be recognised for it."

Mr Hensey said it was important that staff are told when they will receive the payment, and that many have probably already spent the money or are planning how to spend it.

Recruitment and retention of staff is becoming increasingly difficult and staff do not feel like they are being properly recognised or appreciated, he said.

He said staff employed by the NCCN currently earn between €13 to €15 an hour, but carers employed elsewhere may earn less.