Barts NHS Trust facilities staff receive special leave equivalent to payment

Barts NHS Trust
Credit: Kam Hus /

Nearly 700 employees at Barts NHS Trust have received ‘special leave’ to the equivalent value of a Covid-19 lump sum payment to which other NHS employees were entitled.

The employees, who are members of trade union Unite, work as porters, cleaners and facilities at the trust. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they worked for outsourcing firm Serco before transferring back to the NHS just after the imposed deadline for staff to receive a Covid-19 payment.

Following their request for a lump sum worth around £1,600 for working during the pandemic, they took part in months of strike action, demonstrations and negotiations. The workers overwhelmingly voted to accept the deal in a ballot earlier this week.

Unite also represented members at outsourcing firm Synergy, responsible for cleaning linens and preparing bedding for Barts patients. They have also received a cash payment worth £1,600. Employees at Yorkshire Ambulance Trust, Dudley Group NHS Trust and East Kent NHS Trust have additionally received post-Covid-19 pandemic lump-sum payments.

Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, said: “This is a brilliant and incredibly hard-fought victory that our members should be incredibly proud of. They stood firm against their employer to get paid what they were rightfully entitled to. This shows yet again the power that the union movement has and how Unite’s unrelenting focus on jobs, pay and conditions means our members continue to win victory after victory across every sector of the UK economy.”

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Tabusam Ahmed, regional officer at Unite, added: “Our members at Barts are some of the lowest paid staff in the NHS who turned up for work when they were most needed and put themselves in danger during the pandemic. They never waivered in their fight for what was right and they should be lauded for their determination. This victory will resonate across the NHS.”

Barts NHS Trust was contacted for comment prior to publication.