NHS Employers, the body responsible for pay and conditions in the NHS, has begun a review that will introduce fairer compensation arrangements for staff ahead of next year’s age discrimination legislation.
Under current arrangements, NHS employees who are made redundant or take early retirement are provided with different amounts of compensation depending on their age.
But the new law, due to take effect from October 2006, will make it illegal to treat people differently on the basis of age.
Proposals will be drawn up by NHS Employers and then negotiated with trade unions to ensure they comply with the new legislation. The review will also look at transitional arrangements for existing employees.
Tim Sands, pensions review project manager at NHS Employers, said: “It is important that the NHS has a fair redundancy package for everyone.”
About 12,000 NHS staff have made employment tribunal claims for sex discrimination following the Agenda for Change pay programme, it has emerged.
The introduction of the pay system was designed to ensure pay equality. However, its implementation means that many female nurses believe they now have proof that they have been discriminated against.