Expect NHS to do right thing on pandemic overtime pay says RCM

on 29 May 2020 RCM Midwifery MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Student midwives NHS Staff NHS Unions Pay and Agenda For Change

NHS trusts should do the right thing and pay staff overtime for all extra work during the pandemic, says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) on joint health union and employer’s guidance on overtime published today.

Jon Skewes, the RCM’s Executive Director for External Relations and a lead negotiator on this agreement, said: “Midwives, maternity support workers, student midwives and other NHS staff have given their all during this crisis. Working unpaid overtime is often the norm for many NHS staff such as midwives. This was not acceptable before and it is now indefensible after the incredible efforts and sacrifices they have made during this crisis. They should be paid fairly and fully for the extra work they have done, day in, day out, night and day, throughout this period.”

The NHS Staff Council guidance sets out a basis for NHS Trusts to agree and implement overtime pay for instances like shift overruns, when a midwife stays with a woman in labour. It also calls for overtime payments to be extended to senior midwives who do not currently qualify but have been working excess hours.  It encourages employers to ensure staff health and well-being, rest and recuperation to avoid burnout, and to reduce their risk of COVID-19 infection. Local agreements should be in place and cover the entire COVID-19 period until the end of August 2020, and then reviewed depending on the situation at that point.

Jon Skewes added: “This guidance has been agreed with NHS Employers and will support NHS unions together with local employers to reach a fair agreement locally which is funded. We now urge employers to respond quickly and positively to implement the guidance locally. Our NHS staff deserve nothing less.”


To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected].


Read NHS Staff Council Guidance on overtime payments here: https://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2020/05/nhs-staff-council-overtime-guidance


The NHS staff council has overall responsibility for the pay system for midwives, nurses and other NHS staff. It has representatives from both employers and trade unions. For more information visit https://www.nhsemployers.org/engagement-and-networks/nhs-staff-council.

The guidance for NHS Trusts in England can be read at. NHS unions will also be producing advice for local staff-sides to use in discussions with employers.

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.