NHS test-and-trace units run by G4S have cut the pay of some workers by up to 5% in the wake of a new contract from the government that specifies they
NHS test-and-trace models run by G4S have lower the pay of some staff by as much as 5% within the wake of a brand new contract from the federal government that specifies they need to obtain the true dwelling wage.
The affected staff are a part of a bunch of 1,000 who work at cell Covid-19 testing models at about 100 websites across the nation, and are employed by G4S through the HR GO recruitment company.
Some had been advised their hourly pay fee would drop from £10 an hour to a most of £9.50 an hour exterior London, a lower of 5%. Those in London will drop from a most £11 an hour to £10.85, a 1.4% lower.
In a notice despatched to workers, G4S mentioned the pay change was the results of a brand new 12-month contract with the federal government, beneath which it was required to pay all workers the true dwelling wage, an independently verified minimal of £10.85 in London and £9.50 elsewhere.
While it will end in a pay rise for some staff, who earned as little as £9.30 an hour, others contacted the Guardian to say their pay has been lower from £10 an hour.
The letter to staff mentioned the beforehand greater charges of pay mirrored “uncertainty around how long [the government] would require sites to operate”.
“The longer-term nature of the [new one-year contract] provides more certainty and therefore the real living wage is more appropriate for the longer term role,” it mentioned.
Sara Gorton, the pinnacle of well being on the Unison union, mentioned: “Living wage clauses are designed as a minimum – not an excuse for some greedy contractors to reduce pay.”
Workers are additionally involved at not being paid for travelling time or petrol bills to attend the testing centres.
Some mentioned they had been requested to report back to a wide range of websites every week which might be as a lot as an hour’s drive away from residence or from their primary testing centre, they usually weren’t reimbursed for petrol prices.
Some staff mentioned they usually travelled for 2 hours a day, and their each day fee solely allowed for one hour of travelling time after working at the very least seven-hour shifts on the testing centres. If an hour’s further journey time had been taken under consideration, they had been left with solely £8.44 an hour in contrast with the authorized minimal for over 23-year-olds of £8.91.
If the price of petrol was taken under consideration, staff had been left with even much less.
Workers had been warned they must drive as much as 50 miles a day after they took on the job. Employers aren’t legally obliged to pay odd commuting time or bills.
However, one mentioned: “The reduction in pay for temporary test-and-trace staff, who are currently expected to travel long distances at their own expense, means that thousands of workers at mobile sites are effectively being paid less than the minimum wage while exposing themselves to symptomatic members of the public.”
Another mentioned: “I’m having to be more careful with money, especially having to travel so far some days. The change in pay doesn’t sound like much but you do notice the difference. I am having to dip into savings to cover life expenses.”
G4S mentioned staff’ claims about low pay had been unfounded. It mentioned they had been paid for an eight-hour shift and had been on web site for a mean of six hours.
“These claims are unfounded. All our workers are paid the real living wage for all hours worked, including overtime, in accordance with the law and government guidelines,” a spokesperson for the corporate mentioned.
“The only travel that our workers do is their commute to and from their place of work. In line with general market practice in the UK, we do not pay employees for commuting time. For our mobile testing unit (MTU) workers, which is an area-based role with no fixed location, the average journey is less than half an hour each way.
“Our MTUs complete thousands of journeys across the country each month and 99% of round journeys in the last month were less than two hours.”
Michael Newman, an professional in employment regulation at Leigh Day, mentioned that the set-up for cell testing staff was “quite removed from the standard situation where a person has one workplace, or even the travelling worker who is constantly on the move”.
He mentioned that by transferring the work web site daily, or week by week, G4S didn’t allow staff to organise their commute and have any management over their journey prices.
“Employers are responsible for paying the expenses of their employees, and any journey that is not an ordinary commute, and is necessary for the work, should be reimbursed,” he mentioned.
A spokesperson for HR GO mentioned: “HR GO has paid our staff according to the phrases of our present contract with G4S.