Clocks are going back – but where’s the extra hour’s pay?
We asked Nursing Standard readers whether the extra hour on shift for some nurses should mean extra pay – and the responses were predictably forthright
This weekend marks the end of British Summer Time, which means the clocks will go back one hour overnight on Saturday. While that means an extra hour in bed for some, it means an extra hour on shift for nurses.
That also means an extra hour of work many won’t be paid for. We asked Nursing Standard readers what they thought of the prospect of working an extra hour for free – and it is no surprise that an overwhelming majority said they should be compensated.
Strong consensus among nurses online
In a poll of readers on X (formerly Twitter), 96% of 1,553 respondents said nurses should be paid for the extra hour. On LinkedIn, 96% of 537 respondents also agreed the extra hour should mean extra pay.
Intensive care nurse Michael Hurst said: ‘You should get paid the hours you work, end of story.’
Nurse Abigail Johnson had this to say:
Our readers on Instagram also agreed, with 98% of 723 respondents saying the hour should be paid.
We also asked readers on Instagram if they will be getting paid for the extra hour. Of the 579 respondents to this question, 80% said they would not be getting paid for the work, while 20% said they would.
Does the spring clock change balance things out?
The clocks going back marks the official end of daylight savings and British Summer Time and occurs on the last Sunday of October. This year, the clocks will go back at 2am on Sunday 29 October, meaning we get an extra hour overnight.
While in theory the clock change in spring would mean nurses working the overnight shift would be able to work an hour less, many pointed out that it does not work that way in practice.
Clinical applications specialist Rebecca Gates said on LinkedIn: ‘I didn’t find it balanced out, it often worked against me and I worked the extra hour (13.5hrs), definitely classed as the short straw of a shift.’
The rules around unsocial hours payments
According to NHS Employers, staff working shifts are paid for the hours of the shift. NHS staff working weekends and overnight shifts are entitled to unsocial hours payments, which is a percentage based on pay bands. For example, those on bands 4 to 9 receive their usual pay plus 30%, whereas those earning less on lower bands receive a higher percentage of unsocial payments.
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