Some NHS workers are trading part of their annual leave allowance for one-off payments.
Overworked nursing staff are being forced to sell annual leave days to help pay their bills.
According to the Mirror, a snap poll of 1,000 NHS workers found that 15% had sold annual leave days instead of working extra shifts.
In some NHS organisations, workers can “sell” or surrender part of their annual leave allowance, usually up to 37.5 hours, in return for a one-off payment equivalent to their hourly rate.
The scheme is designed for employees who find themselves unable to take annual leave, but it is instead being used as a way to supplement income. It also benefits employers by not having to cover annual leave gaps with agency workers.
It comes only days after the Government announced yet another real-terms pay cut for NHS workers.
Well-being is put at risk.
Nurses United UK responded to the news by encouraging nursing staff to vote for industrial action.
Lead Organiser for the group, Anthony Johnson, explained, “This year we have seen, nurses using food banks and NHS Trusts opening them. We have seen NHS Trusts encouraging staff to donate their salary to fund their Trust’s charity, instead of the Trust publicly demanding more funding.
“Why are we not surprised that our employers are trying to get us to sell our annual leave instead of demanding a real terms pay increase? We already can’t get proper ‘Time off in Lieu’ when we have to work overtime.
Mr Johnson concludes, “That’s why nurses need to vote yes in their upcoming strike ballots. Our employers are obviously not willing or able to speak out publicly when our well-being is being put at risk. We need to do it for ourselves and our patients who rely on nurses being paid a salary that makes us able to do our roles.”