Hundreds of health workers win backdated maternity leave public holidays – UNISON

Date: Thu 6 June 2013

Women health workers in Scotland are to receive backdated public holidays they were wrongly denied while on maternity leave.

NHS mums, including nurses, physiotherapists, cleaners, midwives, admin workers and other staff, could receive up to seven days if they were in full time posts. Women who have had more than one period of maternity leave since 2008 would be due backdated holidays for each period.

UNISON, the public services union, took up the case after the NHS employees, were told they could not accrue public holidays on top of their annual leave, while they were off on maternity leave.

Willie Duffy, the UNISON lead on the NHS, said that management conceded an argument first raised and won by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde UNISON branch.

He said: “As a result of UNISON’s efforts, potentially hundreds of women in the NHS will be getting back some backdated annual leave that they were refused previously.

“We knew that we were right to argue this should apply Scotland wide. The employers have agreed we were correct and agreed to implement it from April 2012. However, at first they would not backdate this any further.

“I am pleased that the employers side has now accepted that they made a mistake which they are committed to fixing and will backdate it to April 2008.”



For information please contact:
Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland lead organiser for health, 07904 342 129
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 or 07508 877000

Notes to editors:

1. UNISON is Scotland’s largest trade union representing 160,000 members working in the public sector in Scotland.

2. Health boards have been told by the NHS Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (a body of employers and unions) to implement the change from 1 April 2008.

3. Women could be due up to seven days of public holidays, per period of maternity leave, depending on their post and whether they were working full-timeor part-time..