NHS Staff Council Guidance on COVID agreements for AfC overtime pay (England)

The NHS TU’s Blueprint released earlier this month referenced the importance of making sure all staff groups are paid properly for every hour they work during the COVID-19 period.

As branches will know, the way that the NHS Handbook terms on overtime are applied varies between organisations and even between different groups of staff within the same employer.

Some groups get paid in strict adherence to the Handbook provisions while others frequently undertake additional hours for no pay or cheaper bank rates.

The employers and trade unions from the NHS Staff Council Executive recently asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to introduce temporary changes to overtime payments made to staff in England during the COVID-19 period to reduce the variation.

However, the Secretary of State has confirmed that he is content to leave the matter for local determination rather than agree the proposal for a national solution.

The NHS Trade Unions are still keen to make progress on this issue, and have therefore reached agreement with employers on a template to guide any conversations about overtime provisions that your staff side wishes to take forward within your organisation.

In order to assist any local discussions you may have, the attached guidance has been agreed by the NHS Staff Council and is being promoted by both NHS Employers and the NHS Trade Unions.

The changes that are set out for local consideration and agreement are:

  • To ensure that all Agenda for Change staff in B1-7 are paid at the correct Handbook rate for any shift overruns or additional hours worked in excess of 37.5hpw.
  • To enable staff in B8 and 9 to access payments for overtime.
    To allow staff to request a shorter ‘conversion period’ to turn TOIL into overtime payments.
  • To ensure that the health and wellbeing impact of additional and long hours is reported and reduced wherever possible.

Branches are asked to read the attached guidance and:

1.   Identify any groups of staff within your employing organisation that would benefit from the introduction of the measures set out in the guidance note.

2.   Raise this issue with other NHS TUs and agree a collective approach to your employer.

3.   Look out for further information including joint staff side advice and status reports on this issue – coming soon!