Nurses are among 3,000 staff likely to receive compensation after NHS Scotland reached a deal with unions over historic discriminatory pay claims.
The deal relates to unfair pay practices which existed before the introduction of the current pay and conditions system in 2004.
“It is right that disadvantaged staff are compensated”
It means around 3,000 staff will get between £350 and £850 before tax and National Insurance is deducted. Those involved may also include a small number of nurses and nursing assistants.
A Scottish government spokeswoman confirmed nurses may well be among those getting compensation. She told Nursing Times that the claims were gender-related, so recipients were women, and confirmed there were nurses with claims already underway.
“We have claims from claimants who are nurses, but the details of the settlements have yet to be finalised, so we can’t say for certain whether nurses will be among those compensated,” she said.
“This has been a long time coming”
The deal was welcomed by Scottish health secretary Shona Robison.
“The current pay system in NHS Scotland ensures all staff are reimbursed fairly,” she said. “But where there have been discriminatory practices in the past, it is right that disadvantaged staff are compensated. This settlement achieves that aim for these employees and allows all parties to move forward.”
The agreement recognises there were inequalities in the old Whitely Council pay arrangements, which were superseded by Agenda for Change.
The union Unison, which raised the claims, said it was pleased to have finally struck a deal.
Scottish nurses may be in line for pay compensation
“This has been a long time coming and I am pleased to have achieved it without further prolonged employment tribunal proceedings,” said Unison regional organiser Willie Duffy.
“We will now discuss the detailed payment arrangements with NHS management,” he said.
Suzanne Craig, Unison’s legal officer, hoped NHS employers would be able to pay the sums owed as soon as possible. Those eligible will receive individual letters outlining their settlements.
A representative for NHS Scotland’s chief executives said they would do their “best to make payment as soon as practicable”.