Save NHS Workers! Protect Healthcare Workers Employment Rights!

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Your NHS Doctors and Nurses need your help.

Across NHS Trusts there is a shortage of over 100,000 staff. These shortages are taking a huge toll on the health and well-being of NHS staff (38% have felt unwell during the previous 12 months due to work-related stress), and it's going to get worse! Until these roles are filled, agency workers are vital to keep the NHS operating but a new change will force agency workers out of the NHS.

We, who work for the NHS as agency workers, need your support in stopping a negative change being implemented that could make it impossible to fill these vacancies. We undertake the same duties as our employed NHS colleagues with exactly the same professionalism and dedication. However, as we are agency workers, to get paid we have no choice but to rely on what are called umbrella companies. The benefit of this is at least it ensures that we have full employment rights.

Certain NHS frameworks and agencies are now trying to force individuals to leave their current umbrella company and to utilise only very specific umbrella companies, limiting choice and increasing costs for all agency workers. All of this is being pushed through on the pretence that it’s necessary for compliance, whilst showing complete disregard for our rights and effectively making us second class workers. 

We believe forcing individuals to move employer is not only morally wrong, but in fact illegal. After a defined period, with our chosen umbrella employer, we as agency workers gain the same employment rights and benefits as our permanent NHS colleagues relating to maternity, paternity, adoption, pensions, annual leave as well as protection against unfair dismissal. Forcing us to transfer to another employer diminishes these rights. Some recruitment agencies are allowing their consultants to actively move candidates between umbrella companies, sometimes multiple times a year, again using the pretence of compliance.   

One of the organisations capitalising from this exploitation is the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), a consortium of big business umbrella companies forcing out the smaller umbrella companies who we work for and with which we gained our employment rights.The FCSA is a self-regulating, supposedly non-profit organisation designed to allegedly ensure a payroll providers’ compliance and award them with an accreditation.

Who are the FCSA accredited by? They have no HMRC accreditation! The FCSA was originally set up by members of the three largest umbrella companies; Brookson, Parasol and Giant to protect their dominance (with their current Chair being under the employment of yet another huge umbrella, JSA). How can they be objective and independent? There are over 1,000 compliant umbrella companies available, and less than 30 currently have accreditation.

We do not accept the FCSA’s accreditation as the only proof that an umbrella is operating compliantly as we are more than happy with our choices of employers who do not have the FCSA "badge". 

What is even more disturbing is that one of the FCSA founding members is currently involved in a VAT dispute with HMRC: ‘One of the biggest promoters of VAT avoidance in the NHS is the financial consultancy Brookson, based in Warrington, Cheshire.’ – The Times.

If the FCSA ensures compliance, why have they allowed Brookson to remain on their list? Furthermore, if this is the FCSA’s version of ensuring compliance, have they not already failed in their duty?

We want you to join us in taking a stand! The NHS is under resourced and cannot afford to lose its hard-working agency workers too. Agency workers need to be allowed to work with their current umbrella companies and not be forced to surrender their employment rights!

We are a group of agency workers covering temporary roles for the NHS and are looking at the possibility of taking legal action against the likes of HTE and CPP, frameworks and those agencies who we believe are currently mandating exclusive use of the FCSA.

Should you want more information please join our mailing list:

http://www.savenhsworkers.org

or email us at help@savenhsworkers.org

Should anyone have information or emails from their agency or NHS Trust relating to being forced away from their current payroll provider and towards the FCSA approved lists please send it to us at the above address.

We will provide details over the coming weeks of the various forums you can join.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please vote and promote accordingly.

Your NHS workforce

#Savenhsworkers