A campaign has been launched to highlight the unpaid hours done by nursing staff.
The Royal College of Nursing's (RCN) Excess Hours Campaign encourages nurses within selected trusts to claim for the actual hours they work including overtime and breaks.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary said:
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When did the culture begin that you do not claim for the overtime incurred from a busy stressful shift? Where is the paperwork to claim your time owed? No one has claimed for so long the paperwork does not exist! No other organisation would enforce this culture of emotional blackmail and make you feel it is wrong to request fair pay for the actual hours worker.
with constant pressure in the community we are expected to keep system one up to date and with staffing levels and pressure we are under in the community we are unable to complete the admin side in our working hours and how much we complain it falls on deaf ears and point out has nmc code of conduct we must complete admin document is required and they dont pay extra hours just say time owing in which unable to take back I am well aware that this need to be completed however I constantly have no break in the morning or a lunch break to see patients in the community and still expect to stay late unpaid to complete admin and we are not allow to claim for lunch break has time owing even though we are not paid for our lunch break start at 8 suppose to finsh at 4 and most days a 8 hour shift although paid for 7.5 shift
A few years ago I changed departments within a trust and had over 60 hours accrued where I had worked through breaks or had needed to stay late due to safe working numbers/time for paperwork.
Had I stayed on the ward I would have been allowed to take the time as TOIL. As I was transferring, I asked for the time to be paid at overtime rates and was advised to put it in as bank shifts - this was refused and they asked the new department to pay me the hours owed. Obviously they refused (and rightly so - it wasn't their department's bill to pay) but I never saw any payment for the almost TWO WEEKS extra work.
I would very much welcome being able to claim those hours and the payment owed to me.
Where I work now are very supportive and any additional hours are paid in accordance to the overtime policy.
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