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to think they should have at least told us this first?

(120 Posts)
overtimewoes Wed 10-Jun-20 08:24:31

This is covid-adjacent.

I've name changed.

I work for an NHS trust. At the beginning of the pandemic my colleagues and I were asked to take on extra shifts on COVID work (i.e. not our usual job but work we are qualified to do - ENT resident working in ICU etc). These were "voluntary" (if enough people hadn't volunteered they'd have been mandatory, it was necessary work) and in addition to our contracted hours and therefore we were offered overtime, which according to the email is "time and half".

I, and my colleagues, took this to mean 1.5 times our usual hourly rate. Due to the way overtime is paid, we didn't receive any payment until the most recent wage slip. When we all received our pay, we queried it as it was A LOT less than we had been expecting (by almost half). To be told that all overtime hours, regardless of job role and seniority is capped at £16 per hour. So overtime is paid at a maximum of £24 per hour. My hourly rate is £23 per hour. So for the extra shift (12 hour per week) I am getting an extra £1 per hour.

It's not the hourly rate that has pissed me off, but that we weren't informed of the 'true' payment. I've worked well over and above my hours, for free during this pandemic, I'm not greedy and have happily been doing it, it has been necessary. But when I'm told I will be paid one thing, I don't expect to be paid another. I'd have done the shifts for my normal rate, I've worked an average of 10 hours per week for free throughout it's not the money that's the issue, it's the duplicity.

the extra money was how I sold it to DH though, who has had to work a full time job and do all the child care as I have practically lived at the hospital 6 days a week.

AIBU to be annoyed?

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BMWL Wed 10-Jun-20 08:29:42

I'm really sorry you've gone through this. I don't know what to advise as I know payroll was an absolute nightmare when I worked for the NHS. Previously was overpaid over a series of months and had to then pay it all back in one lump sum - nightmare.

Is there anyone you can speak to about this within your trust? (Payroll manager etc) Did you have anything in writing prior to agreeing to do the extra shifts?

I'm sorry I can't be of more help - I hope you get sorted and get the money you deserve xx

chochaholic79 Wed 10-Jun-20 08:31:47

I do think that is bad, and I do think you should all kick up a fuss!. If it's time and a half, you should be paid your usual rate x1.5.
I know I am, but I'm only on about £13 an hour.

Chilver Wed 10-Jun-20 08:34:10

Yea, you absolutely should have been told. I would calmly gontonyour manager and ask where the remaining monies are? If they say they are capping it, I would reply along the lines of, well we were offered 1.5 times therefore I assume the difference will be made up with TOIL (time off in lieu)?

Did you get the offer if 1.5times in writing? I hope so, as you have a stronger case then to fight it.

Undomesticgodde55 Wed 10-Jun-20 08:34:53

There must be more than just you in the trust this has happened to. I would be getting on to the union, get the e-mails originally sent out etc. and check out policies. In my experience NHS policy are open to interpretation leaving a lot of loopholes. You worked extra and deserve to be paid for the extra.

Russell19 Wed 10-Jun-20 08:36:55

I'd raise it, that's awful. Like you said it's the fact it wasn't communicated truthfully.

WowLucky Wed 10-Jun-20 08:39:21

It's not unusual for senior staff not to be entitled to enhanced overtime rates but you're absolutely right you should have been told that at the outset. Are you sure this cap isn't something that is/should be widely known. If it's contractual, I'd guess you'd be expected to know that.

IncredibleSulk Wed 10-Jun-20 08:40:44

If you have it in writing that you will be paid time and a half and no disclaimer of a cap I would absolutely fight it. I’d start with a call to HR and involve the union that we all pay a hefty fee for.

You shouldn’t be working extra hours unpaid. It is a job, not a voluntary post.

FOJN Wed 10-Jun-20 08:41:20

I'm guessing you're a nurse, might be worth contacting the RCN.
You should have been told the pay was capped but I'm not sure how they can say you are doing "overtime", this suggests hours in addition to those stipulated on your contract which also details your pay. Paying attention to your contracted hours but not contracted pay seems unreasonable.

Crazy8 Wed 10-Jun-20 08:41:28

If I were you I’d query it again. Surely the whole country should be up in arms if the NHS is deceiving it’s staff!

Coka Wed 10-Jun-20 08:42:00

YANBU. That is a shocking way to thank our NHS staff. I hope you can go public with this.

LolaSkoda Wed 10-Jun-20 08:44:54

That’s awful OP. I’m sorry you’ve been treated like that. What absolute fuckers.

overtimewoes Wed 10-Jun-20 08:45:58

We regularly work above our contracted hours, sometimes get TOIL sometimes not. It's been much more prevalent during the pandemic (colleagues not turning up due to being symptomatic and there being no cover etc) and that isn't the issue. The issue is them not informing us of the cap.

It isn't widely known, if you aren't entitled to overtime that is written in to the contract, but it was specified that this was "exceptional circumstances" and therefore ALL staff were being offered pay, those with no overtime allowed in their contract were paid differently, which they were made aware of - this doesn't include me, I'm not that senior.

A couple of my colleagues haven't even paid their normal hourly rate.

I have it on email that it is 1.5 times rate, no mention of a cap.

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overtimewoes Wed 10-Jun-20 08:54:54

I'd be interested to hear the views of those who think I'm unreasonable. I was actually expecting to get flamed.

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molifly14 Wed 10-Jun-20 08:54:55

It won't be payrolls fault, they can only pay what they are instructed to by the trust.

I'd advise speaking with the ward manager/who ever advertised the extra first and raising your concerns over the dishonesty.

It's always been well known in our trust that there is an overtime cap. For example, band 8 and above aren't entitled to any overtime.

Gazelda Wed 10-Jun-20 09:01:40

Wow, that's disgraceful! I'd be querying it again with HR then speaking with your union.

Letseatgrandma Wed 10-Jun-20 09:04:05


user1471428628 Wed 10-Jun-20 09:10:49

Escalate definitely. Hospitals have had extra covid budgets to allow for overtime. Assuming you’re a nurse I would start with your matron, immediate non-clinical manager and escalate very quickly to the head of nursing, copying in HR all the way. Then if no joy involve the union. (From experience involving the Unions too early just gets everyone’s back up - try the hospital channels first).

WitsEnding Wed 10-Jun-20 09:11:11

Yes, union - it sounds as if you have a reasonable case. Don't let them guilt trip you out of it when so many people are being paid for doing less than their usual job (not saying that is unnecessary, just that the money is being found)

ChikiTIKI Wed 10-Jun-20 09:11:51

What are your normal working hours?

From what I've seen (working as an NHS finance manager), you only get paid at an enhanced overtime rate after you complete full time hours for that week (I. E. 37.5 or 40 hrs depending on role). This is seperate from enhancements for weekends, bank Holidays etc. You should get holiday allowance for working overtime though.

You should absolutely question it however because of what they wrote in the email.

MadeForThis Wed 10-Jun-20 09:15:14

You should be paid what you were promised.

Lemonlady22 Wed 10-Jun-20 09:20:25

This has been going on for years...retired now but remember loads of times being told, promised and cajoled into time and a half, double time etc when desperately short of staff, and it not being followed through...not in writing it didn't happen attitude. Eventually the management haven't got any reliable, conscientious staff to fall back on because people stop falling for the false promises...who in their right mind would want to work in that type of environment for free...the big shame about it is they rely on people to back up the short staffed colleagues because you understand what it's like to be understaffed...'letting your colleagues down' is used to guilt trip you, but they feel no guilt about lying and not wanting to pay you!

FromTheAllotment Wed 10-Jun-20 09:21:12

😮😮 that’s shocking! Union, newspapers, BBC... go the full hog! I’m appalled on your behalf, that’s a complete betrayal.

overtimewoes Wed 10-Jun-20 09:26:16

My normal working hours are 48 hours which is usually 1 24 hour shift (12 hours on call within the hospital) and 2 12 hour shifts. I've been doing 1 or 2 extra 12 hour shifts a week, so working 5 or 6 days each week. I've been working my full 48 hours plus some extra, usually at the end of my shift, then 2 separate shifts. Due to my role, I don't generally work weekends and bank holidays except on rota to cover holidays and colleagues sickness- works out at 1 weekend in 6 usually. I worked the Easter weekend (3 shifts) and both May bank holidays. As well as other shifts. We do get holiday allowance for some of it but at the moment that isn't really useful as we are being strongly discouraged from taking it (though not actually refused).

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overtimewoes Wed 10-Jun-20 09:28:14

I'm not arguing that my usual working terms and conditions are unfair, I'm not, I don't think they are.

It's specifically the agreed overtime that I am annoyed about.

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