Changes to exit payments will negatively impact nurses, midwives and five million other staff in the public sector, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said.
The government’s proposals are intended to clamp down on high earners and those who receive large payments before returning to another highly paid job. However, according to the RCM, they will lead to NHS staff losing a portion of their exit payments, when they retire.
‘‘The government intends for this to hit high earners, but this will actually affect midwives and other middle-earners in the NHS with long periods of service, said Jon Skewes, RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications. ‘To treat dedicated midwives who have spent their entire working lives caring for women and their families is not only unfair, but completely unjust.’
The government has pledged to institute a number of reforms to the system. These include a maximum tariff for calculating exit payments of three weeks’ pay per year of service; a ceiling of 15 months on the maximum number of months’ salary that can be paid as a redundancy payment; a maximum salary of £80,000 on which an exit payment can be based; and a taper on the amount of lump sum compensation an individual is entitled to receive as they get closer to their normal pension retirement age.
‘It is utterly inappropriate for the government to legislate to steamroller this agreement,’ added Mr Skewes. ‘If the government wants to save money on redundancy payments it needs to stop continually reorganising the NHS and instead invest in the NHS workforce so they are able to deliver high-quality care.’
‘These reforms ensure public sector exit payments are consistent and fair, and that they are also fair to taxpayers too,’ said chief secretary to the Treasury David Gauke. ‘By applying these reforms across public sector workforces for the first time, appropriate standards will be in place for workers and public services will remain protected.’