Public sector employees suspended on full pay cost taxpayers £46m

During the past three years, over 5,000 public sector employees have been suspended on full pay AND the true figure could be more!

According to a recent investigation, over the last three years, around £46 million of taxpayer’s money has been spent on public sector employees who have been suspended on full pay.

ITV’s Tonight programme, discovered that over 5,000 public sector members of staff were suspended on full pay during this time period within our NHS trusts, police forces and county councils across England and Wales AND this figure could be a lot higher, as less than half of these public sector’s provided the programmes researchers with complete answers to freedom of information questions.

Public sector employees suspended on full pay cost taxpayers £46m

NHS staff among those suspended on full pay over the past three years

The investigation found that in a number of cases, some employees were suspended for over a year and one individual was suspended for nearly three years.

Of those suspended for over one year, nineteen were NHS workers, costing the taxpayer over £1 million and fourteen were police officers, also costing the taxpayer around £1m.

Alarmingly, the most costly individual case that was reported concerned a police inspector, who was suspended for over two years but still received £120,000 in pay.

The programme was told by workplace dispute experts, that suspension on full pay is more often than not used as a way of avoiding an Employment Tribunal case, which could result in an expensive compensation pay out.

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The controversy surrounding the new junior doctors contract

Junior doctors in England strike following outcry at the newly released junior doctor contract

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued a warning to health authorities following the release of the controversial new contract for junior doctors, which contains some rules that could apparently result in discrimination against women and single parents.

The new contract for junior doctors working in England was published on March 31 and has since been severely criticised for containing points which could indirectly discriminate against women working part-time; single parents; and women taking maternity leave.

A Government analysis of the contract claims that some of the new points may place women and single parents at a disadvantage and may also result in “adverse impacts regarding maternity [leave]”.

Junior doctors strike following anger at new contract

Junior doctors strike following anger at new contract

However, the analysis goes on to add that there are both advantages and disadvantages for these groups and that the government does “not consider that this would amount to indirect discrimination as the impacts can be comfortably justified.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has come under fire for the contract and two groups of junior doctors have already sent him letters before action, threatening court proceedings against the imposition of the new contract.

There have been four days of protests on the streets of London on behalf of junior doctors, supported by some British TV personalities, including the cast of Green Wings and actress Vanessa Redgrave. Junior doctors have been striking since negotiations with the government broke down and more strikes are planned for the coming weeks.

The junior doctors’ leader at the British Medical Association, Dr Johann Malawana, said: “Any future action is wholly avoidable, but the government must get back around the negotiating table and end this dispute through talks.”

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