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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Low income NHS staff “not paid properly” since transfer to outsourcer

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Low income, non-medical staff at a hospital in Brighton have not been paid properly since they were transferred to a private outsourcing company, according to a union.

The GMB told the BBC that the workers who include cleaners, porters and caterers at the Royal Sussex County Hospital have experienced payment problems since being taken on by contractor, Sodexo.
 
Although employees should be paid weekly, some have not yet received their basic wage, while others are missing payment for additional overtime hours.
 
Mark Turner, GMB branch secretary for Brighton and Hove said that, for the last two paydays, personnel, who were already low paid, had had to queue at the company’s office to receive emergency cash.
 
“It’s been horrendous – there’s no other word for it. There has not been one week since the company took over where all the staff have been paid,” he said. “Payments used to be made fortnightly. The company wanted to pay them weekly and were confident they could do that.”
 
Workplace health champions
 
But a Sodexo spokeswoman said that the firm remained “committed to resolving any pay issues as quickly as possible” through its on-site payroll clinic and was “communicating directly with our employees to keep them informed”.
 
“We have made cash and BACS payments available at all times and have made immediate payments based on individual preferences,” she added.
 
The hospital said that it was “monitoring the situation” closely and was in regular contact with Sodexo.
 
Elsewhere, meanwhile, the Royal College of Physicians and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine led a call today for the appointment of board-level workplace health ‘champions’ to take responsibility for staff health and wellbeing in NHS Trusts.
 
According to trade publication PersonnelToday, proactive leadership at board-level, combined with the communication of strong organisational values that explicitly linked staff health, engagement levels and the quality of care that they provided, were considered crucial if public health guidance for the workplace from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence was to be implemented successfully.
 
The findings came out of the Staff Health Improvement project undertaken by the College and Faculty’s Health and Work Development Unit and were endorsed by NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett
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