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Queen urged to intervene over NHS Jubilee pay


The Queen has been asked to intervene directly to ensure the NHS treats the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June as a bank holiday.

In what might be viewed as an unusual move by a union, Unite has written to Her Majesty over what it calls “mean-spiritedness” by some NHS employers in England who are treating the jubilee bank holiday as a normal working day.

With echoes of last year’s row over pay during the royal wedding bank holiday, the union said NHS staff should be allowed a day’s holiday on Tuesday 5 June or receive nationally-agreed public holiday pay rates if they have to work.

It has been left to trusts in England to determine locally how to treat the extra bank holiday. Across the rest of the UK, the devolved governments have instructed NHS employers to give staff working on the 5 June a day off in lieu while other staff will be entitled to a day’s paid leave but at normal rates.

In her letter to the Queen, Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “I am asking if you could make an intervention to ensure that hard-working NHS staff in England will be afforded the opportunity, with the rest of the nation, to celebrate Your Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

“And for those that have to provide cover to ensure patient safety and wellbeing of the sick receive the nationally agreed public holiday terms and conditions.”

She added: “Employers across the UK are refusing to pay staff, who have to work within the service on this public holiday, the normal enhanced rates due for public holiday working.”

No response was available from the Royal press office.


Readers' comments (14)

  • I am happy to work as normal. Why would i want to celebrate the longevity of the parasitic Windsors?
    Must stick in the craw of some TU officials to fight this one...

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  • the has to be one like you? not born here go home?

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  • We are not exactly celebrating the diamond jubilee if we are on duty that day, but should get the bank holiday enhancement if we have to work just like any other bank holiday.

    Being the ultra cynical person that I now am, it won't be long before the NHS employers decide to pay all the bank holidays as just a normal day. They got away with it last year for the royal wedding so they might well try to apply it to all bank holidays if they decide to chance their luck. What a joyous organisation we work in!!

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  • if it's a bank holiday then we should be paid accordingly, there will be little public transport so many of us will struggle having to get to work anyway - absolute cheek that any NHS trust could think otherwise. I bet all the managers will be taking the day off and the patients will receive bank holiday treatment - ie few doctors, no procedures and the usual delays.

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  • Anonymous | 11-Apr-2012 2:01 pm

    I happen to agree with the post above yours! But I am puzzled as to why would you conclude that not being a fan of the royal family means that someone has not been born here? Where are you talking about when you say 'here'?

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  • Little One

    I fail to understand this at all. Surely it is fairly straightforward. It has been declared as a bank holiday. It is a bank holiday. Ergo, people who have to work should be awarded bank holiday pay? Have I missed something?

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  • Losing the NHS, now perhaps the monarchy, union jack, etc, etc........... However, we are still (proud to be!) British, because we fight for nothing!!!!

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  • " “NHS employers have raised mean-spiritedness to an art form..."

    I would say the same to the person who wrote this letter to the Queen.

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  • There is no legal requirement for Bank Holidays to be a day off or to be paid at premium rates, it depends on the contract of employment.

    AfC only counts a fixed number of Bank and Public Holidays. Our contracts are based on AfC.
    Hence last years additonal Bank Holiday caused problems as does this years.

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  • How sad that there is always someone to make a facile comment when there is a national cause for celebration.Our Queen did not choose her job,by accident of birth she was given it.I asume you choose to be a nurse and as far as i'm aware being mean spirited is not in our job description.Perhaps you should consider a career in the labour party !If you are English born then shame on you ,if not maybe you would care to return to your counrty of origin.

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