Working on a staff bank: overview
Historically, bank workers have not been considered to be employees because the normal requirements of a contract of employment do not exist between the parties. In particular, a 'mutuality of obligation' - i.e. the compulsion on an employee to attend work and the compulsion on the employer to pay them for that attendance (amongst other things) – is not in place in this type of contract.
This does mean that as a bank worker worker you can choose the hours that you want to work. It makes bank work a popular choice for parents and those with personal commitments as there is no obligation to work on particular days and you only need accept the shifts that you are able to work. Likewise, the flexibility of bank work is often attractive to retired nurses who would like to refresh their skills or supplement their income. Some bank workers pick up additional shifts in a ward/department where they already work under a contract of employment. Others may pick up shifts in a range of similar working environments within the one workplace.
The practicalities of booking, changing, and cancelling shifts will vary from workplace to workplace, as will arrangements for payment and notice periods. Please check your paperwork carefully so that you are clear on the correct procedures.
As a bank worker you will also be subject to the workplace's policies around behaviour/conduct at work (see information on bullying and harassment), performance review and supervision (including clinical supervision where appropriate). Specific policies around discipline, investigation and grievance will also apply to you. When you start working for the staff bank be sure to find out how you can access these policies and ask the bank manager if you're unsure.