- 2008 Health Care Service Group Conference
- 14 December 2007
Since the implementation of Agenda for change, many NHS employers have discontinued the practice of paying ‘mufti’ allowance . A Q& A issued from the Staff Council stated:
Section 19, annex O
“We have been asked for advice on ‘MUFTI’ allowances. There is no national provision for this within Agenda for Change. MUFTI is not part of the evaluation scheme and is, therefore, not an allowance replaced by the scheme. It is our view that any discussion on the provisions of MUFTI allowances are for local partnerships. The partners to any such discussion should give careful consideration to the equal pay implications of any mufti provisions that they might contemplate.”
The payment of a Mufti Allowance should still occur in situations where individuals involved in physical or clinical interventions with patients are required to wear their own clothes for work where a uniform would normally have been provided. However for patient/client reasons a department/service decision is taken not to have staff in uniform.
Listed below are some examples of the areas where uniforms are not worn by staff given the needs of the service and where the payment of a mufti allowance would be appropriate.
Health Visitors are involved in interactions with families and children and where the public perception is important. The patients are not sick and any risk of infection control issues are dealt with by the use of plastic aprons as required. This group of staff undertakes no bodily interventions and there is also limited contact with body fluids. This would also apply to staff supporting the Health Visitors.
Children Services – Staff working with children are often required to be on the floor interacting with the children and where normalisation is important for the children. The payment of a mufti allowance could apply at the RHSC where community nurses are working in the Community and also for some Nursing and AHP staff working within the inpatient areas.
Learning Disability/Mental Health/Physical Disability – staff within these areas do not wear uniforms as the wearing of ordinary clothes is seen as part of the normalisation process. They are involved in limited bodily interventions and where there are infection control issues or contact with body fluids then plastic aprons can be used. This applies to staff working in both the wards and the community. It would also be applicable for some AHP staff such as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Dieticians who are also working with this patient group.
Non Patient Contact – although staff in areas with no patient contact are required to wear their own clothes a MUFTI allowance does not apply as they would not normally have been provided with uniforms.
UNISON seeks a minimum allowance of £110 as at 1 April 2008. The allowance would be uplifted on an annual basis in line with the percentage pay increase and would be subject to tax. The payment would be paid on an annual basis on the 1 April each year. For staff joining part way through the year who would be eligible for the payment of a MUFTI allowance, a pro rata amount would be paid depending on the remaining months within the year.
It is also proposed that NHS employers maintain a list of staff in receipt of MUFTI allowance and this is reviewed annually. If the reason that they no longer are eligible to receive the allowance is connected to organisational change then the allowance would be protected. However, if the individual is no longer required to wear their own clothes where a uniform would have been provided, no protection will apply. The gender impact of payment of such an allowance could also be monitored thought this mechanism.