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NHS faces billion-pound bill if nurses win gender pay claims

first_imgNHS faces billion-pound bill if nurses win gender pay claimsOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The NHS faces paying out billions of pounds in compensation and back pay ifequal pay claims by a group of female nurses and ancillary staff aresuccessful. In the case of Wilson & Others v Carlisle Hospitals NHS Trust, a panelof expert witnesses has found that work carried out by the women was of equalvalue to that of male workers. If the employment tribunal dealing with the 1,400 claims follows its lead,the trust could be forced to pay almost £100m in back pay, according to Unison,which is backing the case. It could also open the floodgates to millions ofother claims from NHS nurses. The news follows fresh evidence from the Equal Opportunities Commission thatthe equal pay legislation is failing to close the pay gap between men andwomen. Indeed, the gap between full-time male and female workers has widened inthe past year: women earn just 81.2 per cent of full-time male earnings,compared to 81.5 per cent in 2001. Part-time workers earn 58.9 per cent of themale full-time average hourly wage, compared to 58.7 per cent in 2001. Low pay estimates released last month reveal how the national minimum wagelegislation is also failing female workers. Some 180,000 part-time jobs done bywomen pay less than the minimum wage – compared to 50,000 part-time jobs doneby men. “It’s not enough to recognise the problem, companies have to takeaction if we are to see an improvement in next year’s pay figures,” saidEOC chair Julie Mellor. The EOC is urging organisations to get their pay systems in order ahead ofthe introduction next year of statutory equal pay questionnaires which willmake it far easier for employees to bring claims, and harder for employers todefend them. The EOC has developed an equal pay ‘kit’ to help employers carry out payreviews and has also developed guidance for software producers developing ITpackages for assessing pay systems. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more