Call for privately employed staff to get increase

A ward being cleaned at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, LiverpoolCleaners, porters, catering assistants, security guards and other health staff employed by private companies should receive the same pay rise as NHS staff, union leaders have said.

The government has announced a 3% pay rise for most NHS workers in England. But Unison said those working in the NHS but employed by private contractors were at risk of missing out.

It is calling for companies running health contracts to offer their staff the same increase. The union said private firms and subsidiary companies owned by individual NHS trusts should increase hourly pay to at least match new NHS rates.

Unison has written to the largest private employers in the health service saying their staff “have worked hard and under incredibly challenging circumstances across the NHS throughout the pandemic”.

General secretary Christina McAnea said: “NHS staff have the benefit of a national pay system, but those not directly employed are missing out, often because of complex contracting arrangements, penny-pinching practices and the hard-nosed pursuit of profit.