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Nurses And Midwives

Volume 87: debated on Tuesday 26 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement about the changes that have been made in the payment of overtime for unsocial hours worked by nurses and midwives.

The 1985–86 report of the independent pay review for nursing staff, midwives and health visitors recommended that special duty payments for working unsocial hours (that is, percentage additions to basic pay rates for night and weekend working) should, for qualified nursing staff, be calculated on 1984–85 pay scales, whilst for unqualified staff 1985–86 pay scales should be used. The review body said that the purpose of this recommendation was to prevent any significant increase in the substantial amount of money being paid under this heading whilst the nursing and midwifery staffs negotiating council considered what is the right balance between basic pay and additional payments for a profession such as nursing. The review body took account of this adjustment in judging levels of basic pay and recommended higher increases for qualified than for unqualified staff.The Government are implementing the review body's recommendations in two stages: five per cent. on the paybill from 1 April 1985 and the balance, giving total rises of up to 14·3 per cent. in the main clinical grades, from 1 February 1986. The recommendations in respect of special duty payments took effect from April.The review body did not recommend any change in the basis for calculating overtime payments (that is, for hours worked in excess of 371½ per week). No change, therefore, has been made.