RepsDirect No 242 - 9 February 2004

Head of Health, Gail Cartmail General Secretary, Derek Simpson

Q & A 6th Edition

A 6th edition of the Q and A from NHS employees is attached below; this is the latest outcome from the experience in early implementers and further questions that have emerged from staff in other trusts. The answers have been provided by the Dept of Health on a partnership basis.

Q1. I have recently received an enquiry from a GMB member who, although employed to work full time in the NHS also works in the evenings on bank duties for the same employer.
The question is, does she receive overtime while working as a member of the bank staff once completing her full time equivalent hours, and would the same answer apply if she worked for another NHS organisation out with her substantive employer?
In the event the answer is not consistent with the provisions contained within Agenda for Change, I would greatly appreciate if this question can be discussed at the next available JSG.

A. Work in a bank run by either the same or another NHS employer should be treated a separate contract and should be remunerated as per the contractual arrangements agreed with the bank. Work on the bank should not be treated as overtime work.

Q2. At one of our recent road shows a member of staff asked about what she perceives as unfairness in the protection arrangements between EI Sites and Rollout. The rollout trusts will receive the 3.225% uplift in April 2005 while the EI sites won't. This will in effect mean that staff in EI sites who are on protected earnings will be 3.255% worse off for up to 5 years than their colleagues working in other neighbouring trusts. I understand this has been raised in the past, but I can't find any response in writing anywhere. Could you clarify this for me?

A. These are the agreed protection arrangements as set out in paragraph 9.14 et seq. of the Proposed Agreement. The difference described is a consequence of the Early Implementers sites introducing the new pay system 16 months earlier, with staff being able to benefit earlier than those working in other NHS organisations.

Q3. Is there any further clarification available on paragraph 46.37? Examples debated locally have been:

(a) is it Whitley if it follows Whitley in every respect, except that a fixed number of “calls” has been agreed per on-call session worked?
(b) is it only “local” if there has been consultation and agreement on a new system?
(c) is it still Whitley if it was based initially on Whitley and has moved away in terms of the rates of pay or some other details but, whenever clarification is needed, reference is made back to Whitley?

A. What is a local or national agreement must be something to be determined locally. We consider the scheme to be local if it has departed in some way from the national Whitley agreements. The manner of how it came to be implemented is not a relevant factor.

Q4. Overtime for part timers is to be paid at plain time, up to the normal full time of the post. Could it be confirmed that associated allowances should also be paid on the additional allowances, such as High Cost Areas, RRP, etc.

A. The general principle is that employment benefits for part-time staff should be applied pro-rata to the equivalent benefits for staff who work full-time. Other payments (RRPs etc) should be applied to part-time posts pro rata to the full-time rate/amount.

Q5. RRPs. Could it be confirmed that these should be paid pro rata to contracted hours?

A. Yes (see above - answer to question 4).

Q6. When a person is temporarily paid in a higher band (acting up) could it be confirmed that they receive a new incremental date?

A. Normally staff would retain their current incremental dates.

Q7. Is there a minimum period for the payment of overtime/work done (it used to be quarter hour or half hour depending on the Whitley Handbook)?

A. This is something for local determination.

Q8. Retirement age under paragraph 46.14. In Q&A 3 it was stated that if you were in one of the “Special classes” you would be able to retire at 55. “Special classes” Is a Pension Scheme provision and only those in the Scheme would be able to retire at 55. Should we extend 46.14 to all staff in the group, regardless of whether in Scheme or not?

A. Paragraph 46.14 refers to “normal retirement age” which is 60 in the National Health Service. “Special classes” should be taken to mean only those staff who are contractually able to (and intend to) retire at 55.

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