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FAQs: new provisions 

 
This page contains frequently asked questions on the draft
provisions.

Under the new provisions, shifts starting on week days would be paid at the rate which applies to the majority of the hours worked as part of the shift, while Sunday enhancements would apply to the twenty four hours from midnight to midnight.  The effect of this for shifts starting at 7.00 pm and ending at 6.00 am, for example, would be:

  • shifts starting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday: - all of the shift would be paid at the enhanced rate;
  • shifts starting on Friday and ending on Saturday morning:- all of the shift would be at the enhanced rate;
  • shifts starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday morning:- the Monday to Saturday rate of enhancement for the hours 7.00 pm to 12.00 midnight and the Sunday rate of enhancement for the rest of the shift; and
  • shifts starting on Sunday and ending on Monday morning:- Sunday rate of enhancement for the hours 7.00 pm to 12.00 midnight and Monday to Saturday rate of enhancement for the rest of the shift.
  • Would this new system apply to overtime?
  • What would happen if I was promoted to a pay band with a lower percentage premium?
  • What would I get when I was away from work because I was sick?
  • What would I get when I was on annual leave?
  • Would my incremental date change?
  • Would my long-term recruitment and retention premium be included in my basic pay for calculating my unsocial hours payments?
  • Would my high cost area allowance be included in my basic pay for calculating my unsocial hours payments?
  • What would happen if I did overtime in unsocial hours?
  • What would happen to other shift allowances?
  • If I was in pay protection as a result of this change how long would this last?
  • My shifts change a lot. How would this affect my unsocial hours earnings?
  • Would on-call, standby and sleeping-in payments be part of these new provisions?
  • Why has it taken so long to produce a new system of payments?
  • When would payments under the new system start?
  • Would payments under the new system be backdated?
  • What happens for pathology and other staff who, before the implementation of AFC, did not receive unsocial hours payments (USH) for work in standard hours that fell within an USH period?
  • Are other groups of staff who might have had similar on-call arrangements to pathology, covered by the protection offered in 2.7?
  • Would this new system apply to overtime?

    No - the new unsocial hours payments would apply to work done in standard hours between the hours specified.  Unsocial hours payments at time plus one half and at double time on general public holidays would be unaffected.

    What would happen if I was promoted to a pay band with a lower percentage premium?

    So long as your working pattern remained substantially the same in the higher pay band you would go to the first pay point which produced an increase in pay when your basic pay, any long-term recruitment and retention premium and the unsocial hours enhancement were combined.  If your working pattern changed the normal Agenda for Change rules for pay on promotion in Section 6 would apply.

    What would I get when I was away from work because I was sick?

    The level of unsocial hours payments you normally receive when you are at work would be used to calculate your pay while you were sick.

    What would I get when I was on annual leave?

    Your pay would be calculated on the basis of what you would have received had you been at work.

    Would my incremental date change?

    No.

    Would my long-term recruitment and retention premium be included in my basic pay for calculating my unsocial hours payments?

    Yes.

    Would my high cost area allowance be included in my basic pay for calculating my unsocial hours payments?

    No.

    What would happen if I did overtime in unsocial hours?

    You would receive overtime pay at time plus one half or double time if it was work on a general public holiday.

    What would happen to other shift allowances?

    These would be replaced by the new system of payments.

    If I was in pay protection as a result of this change how long would this last?

    The system and its introduction is being designed so that few staff should need pay protection.  In the few cases where this would be necessary the protection would last until the overall level of pay overtakes the protected pay or until 31 March 2011.

    My shifts change a lot. How would this affect my unsocial hours earnings?

    The system would be retrospective and payments would be made for each hour worked.  Every hour or part of an hour which you worked after 8 pm and before 6 am would be paid at time plus the appropriate percentage.

    Would on-call, standby and sleeping-in payments be part of these new provisions?

    No.  We will be looking at these later and separately from unsocial hours payments.

    Why has it taken so long to produce a new system of payments?

    The Agenda for Change agreement stipulated that we needed to develop a new system which was consistent with the principle of equal pay for work of equal value, created the incentives necessary for the provision of a high standard of service to patients, avoided staff protection and was affordable. In addition the interim arrangements include a wide range of different and complex payments based upon former Whitley Council provisions.  It has been difficult to meet all of these requirements in one harmonised system for all Agenda for Change staff.

    When would payments under the new system start?

    The proposals are subject to approval by the Department of Health and trade union consultation.  Depending on the outcome of these processes the earliest practicable implementation date is 1 April 2008.

    Would payments under the new system be backdated?

    No.

    What happens for pathology and other staff who, before the implementation of AFC, did not receive unsocial hours payments (USH) for work in standard hours that fell within an USH period?

    Under AFC all staff who work unsocial hours within their standard working week, will receive USH payments under the provisions.

    Are other groups of staff who might have had similar on-call arrangements to pathology, covered by the protection offered in 2.7?

    In paragraph 2.7 the protection of on-call arrangements during the 'interim regime' are described as a 'particular feature of NHS pathology departments'. All out of hours working in pathology is defined as ‘on-call’.  However, other staff groups (including radiographers, physiotherapists and clinical scientists) may also work similar 'out of hours' arrangements which have also been regarded as ‘on-call’.  Where this has occurred, these arrangements are protected until new AFC on-call arrangements are negotiated.

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