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Factsheet for measure IE-2020-12/1770 – measures in Ireland

Manufacturing companies pay bonus to employees working onsite

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 15 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 07 February 2021 (updated 08 February 2021)

Background information

A number of manufacturing companies have paid additional remuneration to those employees who needed to remain on site during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The companies, identified by specialist publication IRN news, are mainly based in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector but also include a food and drinks manufacturer.

Content of measure

IRN reported that the following companies paid bonuses to production staff present on site during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, the decision to make a payment was made by the US-based parent company, as an appreciation for the role played by frontline workers engaged in the production of essential goods during the crisis.

  • Pfizer paid a single €1,900 lump sum payment in May 2020 payable to all employees attending at site during the crisis, including craft and operative workers. A Pfizer spokesperson said: “Pfizer recognises the vital role our manufacturing colleagues play in providing essential medicines to patients during this pandemic. The bonus recognises the on site colleagues who work every day to bring medical breakthroughs to patients.”
  • A payment at Pepsico took the form of a €100 per week enhancement to pay, paid for a 6 week period from 30th March 2020 to 15th May 2020. It was paid to those employees required to be present in a manufacturing facility during the Covid-19 outbreak, including craft, operative, laboratory and supervisory staff. Pepsico CEO Ramon Laguarta said: “We’ve been rolling out COVID-19 related benefits to show our appreciation for the ways employees have been going above and beyond during this unprecedented time, especially our frontline colleagues who continue to make, move, and sell our products to our customers.”
  • Janssen (part of the Johnson and Johnson group) paid a single lump sum to on site workers in May 2020. Johnson and Johnson’s chief HR officer Peter Fasolo said this payment was being made “in recognition of the extraordinary commitment to our values and dedication of employees who are working to ensure our essential facilities are operational.”
  • AbbVie also provided “special bonus payments to eligible essential employees during this crisis who are working onsite, in recognition of their contributions toward the company and our patients.”
  • Medical devices manufacturer Hollister made a special payment in May 2020 of €315 to workers who attended on site during the Covid-19 emergency period.

Use of measure



  • Bonuses

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Workers in essential services
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level


No involvement

Views and reactions


Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C10 Manufacture of food products
      C11 Manufacture of beverages
      C21 Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 09 April 2020: Pfizer and Pepsico paying bonus to staff working on site during Covid period (
  • 23 April 2020: Hollister Incorporated to make special payment during pandemic (
  • 14 May 2020: Janssen and AbbVie making special payments to workers for COVID-19 period (


Eurofound (2021), Manufacturing companies pay bonus to employees working onsite, measure IE-2020-12/1770 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.