Sick NHS staff threatened with pay curb

Staff at a Manchester NHS trust who take more than an agreed number of days off sick are to lose out on annual pay rises, it has emerged.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust says it will refuse rises to workers who have taken more than 18 days off sick or have had four separate sick absences.

A statement from the trust said: “The trust will be operating in a challenging financial environment over the next few years. In order to protect the development of our services and safeguard the employment of our staff, we need to increase our productivity and efficiency to ensure we can continue to deliver quality clinical services while making financial savings of around £30 million for each of the next four years.”

The move has been heavily criticised by unions, with healthworkers’ union Unison arguing the measure could put the trust in breach of workers’ contracts. A union spokesman said it would take legal action on behalf of all affected staff. “There is nothing in existing contracts that says staff can be denied annual incremental rises on grounds of taking too many sick days.

“We are going to have infection-carrying staff dragging themselves into work to pass on their illnesses to patients,” he warned.

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