East Lancashire hospitals blasted for use of zero-hour contracts

Zero-hours contracts mean staff do not know how many hours a week they will be able to work

Zero-hours contracts mean staff do not know how many hours a week they will be able to work

First published in News

THE Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals have been criticised for their use of controversial zero-hours contracts, which have increased nearly five-fold in the last three years.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) had 531 staff on zero-hours in 2013, which was up from 110 in 2010.

The contracts, which have been heavily criticised by unions, mean employees work only as and when they are needed, often at short notice, and are paid only for the hours they work.

Employers argue they offer vital flexibility and the potential to make cost savings.

Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said: “I don’t like these contracts.

“They’re not good for the hospital and it’s not good for patients.

“Patients need to have confidence that the people treating them are being treated fairly themselves.

“Morale is at an all-time low and staff are trying very hard to turn things around, but it’s very much an uphill struggle.

“And if you’re not able to offer staff excellent terms and conditions, you won’t get the best people.

“This shows they still need to take on more permanent staff.”

Lynn Collins, regional secretary of the Trade Union Congress, said: “The figures we have seen here are disgraceful. Hundreds more workers, in just one area of East Lancashire, face the insecurity of not knowing how many hours they will get and how much money they will have to live on from week to week.

Steve Flanagan , regional director for the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Any flexibility in an employment contract must go both ways and employees must not be locked into contracts which leave them unsure of how much they will earn in any given week without having the flexibility to earn more if they need to.”

There were 331 staff on zero hours at ELHT in 2012 and 250 in 2011.

ELHT did not respond in time for our deadline, although a number of the trust’s zero hours workers are thought to be temporary staff such as ‘bank’ nurses, who might hold a permanent contract, but do extra work on a zero-hours basis.

Comments (11)

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4:06pm Fri 7 Feb 14

StopDeludingYourself says...

Great journalism! The majority of these zero hour contracts are those who are bank or have another job within the Trust, which the article states at the end! Which means all 531 could be in that position, which is acceptable, but yet LET want to hatch on to something when they do not have all the facts.

You gave a deadline to ELHT? I am glad ELHT did not meet your stupid deadline
Great journalism! The majority of these zero hour contracts are those who are bank or have another job within the Trust, which the article states at the end! Which means all 531 could be in that position, which is acceptable, but yet LET want to hatch on to something when they do not have all the facts. You gave a deadline to ELHT? I am glad ELHT did not meet your stupid deadline StopDeludingYourself
  • Score: 1

4:45pm Fri 7 Feb 14

shytalk says...

Russ McLean is absolutely correct. What people do not realize is that money is being paid to employment agencies to employ people in the NHS.
Money that could be used to pay NHS workers full time on 40hrs per week.
It just smells of Tory privatisation and corruption.
Just remember if you are a tory supporter, that it could be you if you fall on hard times and are left to die on the street, because you can't afford medical insurance provided by Camerons friends.
Russ McLean is absolutely correct. What people do not realize is that money is being paid to employment agencies to employ people in the NHS. Money that could be used to pay NHS workers full time on 40hrs per week. It just smells of Tory privatisation and corruption. Just remember if you are a tory supporter, that it could be you if you fall on hard times and are left to die on the street, because you can't afford medical insurance provided by Camerons friends. shytalk
  • Score: 5

5:25pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Copperhead says...

Zero hours contracts.
Nothing, but nothing, sums up the decline of our civilisation like these modern day slave owners.
Britain has now officially attained the status of a third-world country.
Our owners have been working to this end ever since the days of industrial unrest in the 60s and 70s.
They closed our industries in the name of globalisation - in reality, to get rid of unions because the unions gave workers a voice, which our owners could not tolerate. They want their slaves to be totally subservient with no power or voice.
All industries gone, or owned by foreigners, and everyone now having to rent, home ownership a thing of the past. You work for the bastards. and rent your home from the bastards and when you die you have to pay the bastards to bury you and pay the bastards for a bit of land in which to place your coffin. There are no guaranteed holidays or pension. Work till you die.
The revolution is over - and we lost.
Zero hours contracts. Nothing, but nothing, sums up the decline of our civilisation like these modern day slave owners. Britain has now officially attained the status of a third-world country. Our owners have been working to this end ever since the days of industrial unrest in the 60s and 70s. They closed our industries in the name of globalisation - in reality, to get rid of unions because the unions gave workers a voice, which our owners could not tolerate. They want their slaves to be totally subservient with no power or voice. All industries gone, or owned by foreigners, and everyone now having to rent, home ownership a thing of the past. You work for the bastards. and rent your home from the bastards and when you die you have to pay the bastards to bury you and pay the bastards for a bit of land in which to place your coffin. There are no guaranteed holidays or pension. Work till you die. The revolution is over - and we lost. Copperhead
  • Score: 6

6:18pm Fri 7 Feb 14

noddy57 says...

how can you survive with a system like this if you have a mortgage to pay?
how can you survive with a system like this if you have a mortgage to pay? noddy57
  • Score: 3

6:30pm Fri 7 Feb 14

mayor07 says...

shytalk wrote:
Russ McLean is absolutely correct. What people do not realize is that money is being paid to employment agencies to employ people in the NHS.
Money that could be used to pay NHS workers full time on 40hrs per week.
It just smells of Tory privatisation and corruption.
Just remember if you are a tory supporter, that it could be you if you fall on hard times and are left to die on the street, because you can't afford medical insurance provided by Camerons friends.
Tory privatisation and corruption?

What the hell you on about and how is that relevant?

As has been pointed out it seems many of these staff may already have permanent contracts and topping up their earnings as bank staff.

Of course if these numbers genuinely reflect the number of staff only on zero hour contracts then this would be a great concern.
[quote][p][bold]shytalk[/bold] wrote: Russ McLean is absolutely correct. What people do not realize is that money is being paid to employment agencies to employ people in the NHS. Money that could be used to pay NHS workers full time on 40hrs per week. It just smells of Tory privatisation and corruption. Just remember if you are a tory supporter, that it could be you if you fall on hard times and are left to die on the street, because you can't afford medical insurance provided by Camerons friends.[/p][/quote]Tory privatisation and corruption? What the hell you on about and how is that relevant? As has been pointed out it seems many of these staff may already have permanent contracts and topping up their earnings as bank staff. Of course if these numbers genuinely reflect the number of staff only on zero hour contracts then this would be a great concern. mayor07
  • Score: 2

8:43pm Fri 7 Feb 14

shytalk says...

http://www.theguardi
an.com/society/2013/
dec/31/nhs-staff-lai
d-off-amid-savings-d
rive Have a look at this mayor07
http://www.theguardi an.com/society/2013/ dec/31/nhs-staff-lai d-off-amid-savings-d rive Have a look at this mayor07 shytalk
  • Score: 0

11:36pm Fri 7 Feb 14

mayor07 says...

What's that link got to do with this article and your comment about tory privatisation and corruption. Before you say those things in such a tunnelled vision way, perhaps consider that practice based commissioning was introduced under Labour, Labour initiated the £20b NHS efficiency savings and had they have won the last General election they would have cut health spending by more than the current government. Now I'm not saying any of those things would have been wrong when you consider the huge econmic crisis and a truly unsustainalble health system, but look at the picture with a degree of balance rather than making irrelevant and one sided statements.
What's that link got to do with this article and your comment about tory privatisation and corruption. Before you say those things in such a tunnelled vision way, perhaps consider that practice based commissioning was introduced under Labour, Labour initiated the £20b NHS efficiency savings and had they have won the last General election they would have cut health spending by more than the current government. Now I'm not saying any of those things would have been wrong when you consider the huge econmic crisis and a truly unsustainalble health system, but look at the picture with a degree of balance rather than making irrelevant and one sided statements. mayor07
  • Score: 2

8:09am Sat 8 Feb 14

happycyclist says...

noddy57 wrote:
how can you survive with a system like this if you have a mortgage to pay?
You can't. They're not interested in your survival. That's the point.
[quote][p][bold]noddy57[/bold] wrote: how can you survive with a system like this if you have a mortgage to pay?[/p][/quote]You can't. They're not interested in your survival. That's the point. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Copperhead says...

happycyclist wrote:
noddy57 wrote:
how can you survive with a system like this if you have a mortgage to pay?
You can't. They're not interested in your survival. That's the point.
Absolutely correct - if native Brits can't afford to take jobs like this, then immigrants, sleeping 10 to a house, working here for just a few years to send money home WILL do the job. They can afford to do so because they have no long-term commitment to the UK. To live here all your life costs a lot of money - mortgages or rent, transport, dental care, education, all cost big money that a short term economic migrants doesn't have to factor into his wages equation.
VOTE UKIP, VOTE BNP, in fact vote for the Devil himself if you want to - anyone or anything has got to be better than the shower of **** who run this ruined country today.
[quote][p][bold]happycyclist[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]noddy57[/bold] wrote: how can you survive with a system like this if you have a mortgage to pay?[/p][/quote]You can't. They're not interested in your survival. That's the point.[/p][/quote]Absolutely correct - if native Brits can't afford to take jobs like this, then immigrants, sleeping 10 to a house, working here for just a few years to send money home WILL do the job. They can afford to do so because they have no long-term commitment to the UK. To live here all your life costs a lot of money - mortgages or rent, transport, dental care, education, all cost big money that a short term economic migrants doesn't have to factor into his wages equation. VOTE UKIP, VOTE BNP, in fact vote for the Devil himself if you want to - anyone or anything has got to be better than the shower of **** who run this ruined country today. Copperhead
  • Score: 1

10:47am Sun 9 Feb 14

phil kernot says...

StopDeludingYourself wrote:
Great journalism! The majority of these zero hour contracts are those who are bank or have another job within the Trust, which the article states at the end! Which means all 531 could be in that position, which is acceptable, but yet LET want to hatch on to something when they do not have all the facts.

You gave a deadline to ELHT? I am glad ELHT did not meet your stupid deadline
Take it your one of the bosses exploting low paid cleaners
[quote][p][bold]StopDeludingYourself[/bold] wrote: Great journalism! The majority of these zero hour contracts are those who are bank or have another job within the Trust, which the article states at the end! Which means all 531 could be in that position, which is acceptable, but yet LET want to hatch on to something when they do not have all the facts. You gave a deadline to ELHT? I am glad ELHT did not meet your stupid deadline[/p][/quote]Take it your one of the bosses exploting low paid cleaners phil kernot
  • Score: 0

10:58am Sun 9 Feb 14

phil kernot says...

You pay and give zero contracts to cleaners to stop out breaks of infection , you have a corrupt agency meridian that gives managers that ask for temp workers back hand incentives , shopping vouchers Argos mark and Spencer's vouchers so the incentive for manager to get rid of temp workers and take on direct is not there , and before you say , I'm lying , I've seen it myself and if the let want to follow this up and see the proof and have meridian shaking in there boots il be in touch , and you can make your own mind up when it all comes out ...:)
You pay and give zero contracts to cleaners to stop out breaks of infection , you have a corrupt agency meridian that gives managers that ask for temp workers back hand incentives , shopping vouchers Argos mark and Spencer's vouchers so the incentive for manager to get rid of temp workers and take on direct is not there , and before you say , I'm lying , I've seen it myself and if the let want to follow this up and see the proof and have meridian shaking in there boots il be in touch , and you can make your own mind up when it all comes out ...:) phil kernot
  • Score: 0

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