Under the Working Time Regulations and Agenda for Change, staff who work unsocial hours are entitled to annual leave payments based on an average of their last three months of unsocial hours payments. However, for at least four years staff were not receiving the full additional unsocial hours uplift leaving a range of health care workers out of pocket.
Over a year of negotiations between the Trust and staff side unions have now concluded and will see rostered staff receive an average settlement of £620 in October’s pay packet. The Trust told staff in an email yesterday (Monday 29 October).
It is thought that the underpayments could go back further than the four years. Staff who feel they are owed more than four years repayments will need to go through the County Court system.
The Trust will not be required to contact former employees regarding the underpayments, however ex-employees can process a claim if they make a submission before 31 January 2019.
Following the error, the Trust has now made changes that will see annual leave for rostered staff now automatically recorded in hours which will allow unsocial enhancements to be correctly calculated. For non-rostered staff, timesheets have been amended to record annual leave in hours as well.
RCN London staff, representatives and staff side unions have also negotiated an apology from GOSH to its staff.
RCN Senior Officer Alan Ridley, who represents Affected members at the Trust, said:
‘We are pleased that our members will finally receive compensation for significant underpayments that occurred up to 4 years ago. Without the handwork and determination of RCN London staff and local RCN representatives in the hospital, this issue may have remained a long way from being resolved.
‘Additional unsocial hours payments during annual leave are fair compensation for nursing staff who consistently work through the night, at weekends, and at Christmas and bank holidays to provide care around the clock.
‘It is essential going forwards that all Trusts in London check the accuracy and suitability of their pay roll systems to ensure that nursing staff who work unsocial hours are not hit in the pocket.’
GOSH staff wishing support should contact the Trust HR Department. RCN London local representatives and staff-side are also on hand.