RepsDirect No 383 - 20 June 2005

Head of Health, Gail Cartmail General Secretary, Derek Simpson

AfC Matching and assimilation - Amicus advice

We are aware that many Amicus workplace representatives and AfC Project Teams are under immense pressure to cut corners in order to meet the 30 September 2005 deadline for assimilation of staff onto AfC.

In particular we have received worrying reports that it is being suggested that staff are assimilated before being matched. The NHS Staff Council Executive has not condoned this practice except in a few very specific circumstances, for example the South West Peninsula where an employer was also piloting Electronic Staff Records (ESR).

Cutting corners is likely to give rise to more work in the medium and longer term. Amicus representatives from Early Implementer sites reported high levels of staff seeking reviews where consultation on Job Descriptions did not meet the standard now set out in the Job Evaluation Handbook - namely that JDs used for matching should be agreed by the job holder and manager. Assimilation prior to matching may 'tick the box' but it will not implement job evaluation as intended and agreed by the partners.

We remain committed to ensuring that the majority of NHS staff are assimilated by 30 September 2005 but cannot accept that the agreed procedures on Job Evaluation are compromised. England has a traffic light system for monitoring progress whereas Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales do not.

Workplace representatives should contact their Regional Officer if further advice or support is required. The attachment to this Reps Direct is the agreed protocol for supporting NHS employers who are experiencing difficulties in their AfC rollout.

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