NHS trusts in Royal wedding pay row

More than 100 health trusts in England are “stubbornly” refusing to give enhanced pay rates to staff who work on the day of the Royal wedding later this month, union leaders are complaining.

A study by the union Unite found that 115 NHS Trusts have told nurses and other medical staff they will only receive their normal pay rates if they are on duty on April 29.

NHS trusts in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all paying staff the correct bank holiday rates, ranging from an extra 60 per cent of pay to double pay, said Unite.

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The union said a “significant” number of health bodies in England were refusing to recognise the day for extra pay which officials said went against the spirit of the Government’s decision to make it a bank holiday.

Unite national officer Rachael Maskell said: “NHS staff will be saving lives, looking after the sick and prepared for emergencies while most of Britain will be taking a well-earned break or celebrating the Royal wedding.

“Despite the dedication and the huge pressure on NHS staff, a significant number of NHS trusts are stubbornly refusing to pay bank holiday rates for working during the Royal wedding.

“The Government has given the country an extra day’s bank holiday to mark the royal wedding but NHS trust chief executives on six figure salaries are refusing to recognise the spirit of the occasion. These trusts still have time to do the right thing and recognise the valuable contribution NHS staff make to this country.”

Unite said that under the national agreement for the NHS, called Agenda for Change, staff working during a bank holiday are entitled to an enhancement in their pay ranging from double to time plus 60 per cent.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said the findings showed yet another example of a lack of consistency across the NHS.

“It’s just another ingredient in making people think that they’re not valued.

“It’s really odd that staff in one of the four countries of the UK are not getting the same benefit as those in the other countries.”