NHS reviews pay after sex bias award

NHS chiefs have agreed to a review of staff pay after an out-of-court settlement with one of England’s most senior nurses.

The settlement resulted in a substantial award for Margaret Buttigieg, who claimed equal pay with other senior regional male staff.

Buttigieg was employed as the regional director of nursing in Bristol from March 1996 to June 1999 and submitted an application last year for equal pay for work of equal value.

The case went to a preliminary tribunal in March and was listed for a further hearing on 18 and 19 September.

But after pressure from the MSF union the NHS Executive agreed to settle the case under the guidance of Acas on 12 September.

Buttigieg demanded compensation and an equal pay review from the NHS Executive – which will be completed in June 2001 – as terms of the agreement.

MSF head of health Roger Kline said, "This agreement drives a coach and horses through the current pay arrangements for all staff in regional offices of the NHS executive.

"We have demonstrated that current pay arrangements cannot withstand equal pay challenges.

"We are delighted that the NHS Executive has agreed to review the entire pay structure for these staff as we are confident many other women will find they have been discriminated against."

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