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Employment lawyers, NHS consultant being paid one session less than

(32 Posts)
employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 12:21:40

This is an enquiry for my DH
He is NHS consultant and paid by the NHS trust.

Since starting in Nov 2010 he has had the same job plan, with the same caseload and resources, within the same team and office (in fact offices next to each other)as a collegue.
However he is doing the job on the basis of 10 PAs (programmed activities) and his counterpart on the basis of 11 PAs. This amounts to a difference of £9000 p/a

The only explanation he has had about why this has occurred is that he was employed by the organisation in the last 2 years whilst his counterpart started 4 years ago, and that all new comers were employed on 10Pas. They however are both at equivalent level of seniority, having qualified in the same year.

He is understandably concerned at the lack of equity and has tried proceeding through various channels within the trust with no progress.
He is now wondering if this might be discrimination issue (his family of Indian origin)
He wants to try to take this forwards on non- confrontational basis, and was thinking of contacting the BMA
Employment wise,with regards to the discrimination where does he stand in regards to this 'well , it is just different now'

StillSquiffy Wed 29-Dec-10 12:38:30

It would be discrimination if he were being treated differently on account of his ethnicity, but from what you say he is being treated differently on account of a change in procedure which presumably would affect others who have been employed recently, and would have been applied to him regardless of his ethnicity, simply by dint of when he joined?

I also assume that the 10/11 distinction also reflects a different level of work load / different stress levels? Again, that would suggest no discrimination. If however A is paid less than B despite doing exactly the same level and amount of work, then there are grounds for complaint (but not on the discrimination front)

Your DH's first job is to check if what he has been told is true; are other new joiners on the same pay band as he is? If so then they could club together to request equalisation of work loads on grounds that the change in rules means they are suffering relative to their colleagues.

But to call this discrimination without any evidence at all (unless there are details you haven't told us about) would inflame people....

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 12:38:49

ps, have namechanged, you never would have guessed

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 12:44:21

Great, thanks, very helpful
No , there is no difference between there work loads, stress etc , just the difference in pay
They are sharing the job, half way!
So grounds for complaint then
He is monitoring his hours already so will have evidence
Apart from seeking other colleagues, is there anything else he can do?

ruddynorah Wed 29-Dec-10 12:55:52

Lots of places have colleagues doing the same role on different terms and conditions based on their differing contracts due to start dates. For example where I am some are paid double time on Sundays, some time and a half, some just normal pay.

So it isn't necessarily discrimination, just different contracts.

QueenofWhatever Wed 29-Dec-10 13:15:50

He was employed on a 10 PA contract, his colleague employed on an 11 PA contract. His colleague has worked at that NHS Trust for two years longer. When they qualified as consultants is not the issue. It is a shame you are looking to play the ethnicity card.

jollyoldstnickschick Wed 29-Dec-10 13:18:44

Im a bit sad at the ethnicity card too.

What is the world coming to?

arentfanny Wed 29-Dec-10 13:22:02

Why can't you accept the explanation he has been given, which does seem very reasonable to me in the light or savings that PCT's are having to make.

Very sad paying the ethicity card.

jollyoldstnickschick Wed 29-Dec-10 13:29:48

Hes only just accepted the job if he started in Nov 10.

If he didnt want the job under those terms then he shouldnt have accepted it.

nannyro Wed 29-Dec-10 13:35:10

Having previously worked for the NHS, the pay does go up the longer you have been there, even within the same 'band'. This is why you see pay bands that can be a few thousand difference whilst within the same band.

If he started later then his colleagues then of course his payslip will read less.

nannyro Wed 29-Dec-10 13:40:33

I've not explained that very well so as an example this is the salary listed on NHS Jobs for a consultant breast surgeon:

£74,504 - £100,446 per annum

When you start on that job your pay will be £74.5kPA. Once you have been there a considerable amount of time it will raise to £100.4kPA

All consultants going in to that payband will have the same starting and ending salary irregardless of experience, year of completing their studies, etc.

thenightsky Wed 29-Dec-10 13:43:55

I think the old consultant contracts were for 11 sessions. The later/newer ones for 10 sessions.

What I recall from local negotiations here, the ones on 11 sessions will have this protected for so many years (2 or 5 years rings a bell). After that time is up, everyone will be on 10 sessions.

So yes... it will appear that everyone is doing 10 sessions, but some are being paid for 11 because that extra sessions has been protected for x number of years. Your husband wasn't there for the fighting and negotiation.

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 13:45:01

'Playing the ethnicity card' hmm

He is doing the same job as a doctor who is exactly the same as him, and he is looking for reasons as to why this is happening.

All he is doing at the moment is finding out if it is discrimination and it would seem it isn't.

It is unfair, but life is unfair, but if there is a way to level the playing field then it would be good to know about it.

Try some empathy

jollyoldstnickschick Wed 29-Dec-10 13:47:47

snigger @'golly'

arentfanny Wed 29-Dec-10 13:49:00

YOu brought discrimination into it as for some reason your DH cannot accept the explanation he has been given which has been backed up by others on here.

jollyoldstnickschick Wed 29-Dec-10 13:49:57

im no empoyment expert but read your post as 'dh accepted a job knowing the salary,now he finds his colleague with a longer time served period earns more for the same job' then you suggest its cos Dh is Indian.

Surely if the colleague is paid to do 11 PAs and Dh to do 10 at any point said colleague could be called upon to do the 11th?.

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 13:50:44

He does have the seniority nightsky
Transferred across the trust

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 13:55:27

No he is the same seniority as his colleague.
They do the same job

ruddynorah Wed 29-Dec-10 13:57:24

Empathy? I thought you wanted an answer to your question.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Wed 29-Dec-10 13:57:36

I thought it was common practice in any job to be paid more based on length of service in a particular job?

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 13:59:58

Advice really
On the employment/contract side of things

But I suppose the other stuff comes with the territory

[Dons her own hard hat]

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 14:01:20

But he has been employed by the NHS for the same length of time as colleague
Consultants move around and keep their seniority.

thenightsky Wed 29-Dec-10 14:05:32

If it was a straight transfer, keeping his original terms and conditions, then why did he not notice at the time that it was only 10 sessions? Surely he will have been on 11 in his previous post.

Having worked in the NHS for nearly 30 years, I would say they are pretty much straight down the line when it comes to discrimation etc. There will be clear policies in place. You are on a hiding to nothing with the discrimation thing and will end up looking rather silly.

employmentqueries Wed 29-Dec-10 14:19:00

No was on 10 sessions from previous job but different NHS trust prior.
It is a much much busier job now, but a nicer team so it has it's benefits
I can see that it is just how the NHS contracts come about, but he feels pretty down about it.
And I think that is the worse thing about it, to feel you are being paid less for the same job, can make you feel fairly undervalued.

He will probably continue with his requests to strive for an equitable position with regards the similar workload and steer well clear of the discrimination side of things.

thebrownstuff Wed 29-Dec-10 14:24:36

I think I'm missing something but flaming aside, the first thing he needs to do is verify the thing about consultants employed 4 years ago, vs. 2 years ago being on different contracts. Recruitment policies change all the time.

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