MiP Logo for MiP the Union for Health and Care Managers

The union for health and care managers

Home  >  News & Campaigns  >  News Articles  >  News: Unions take action on payroll errors
Thursday 30 November 2017

Unions take action on payroll errors

By MiP

NHS England's Helen Bullers has apologised for payroll errors affecting hundreds of NHS staff.

MiP and other health service unions have formally complained to NHS England about mistakes by Shared Business Services (SBS), the public-private partnership which provides payroll and pensions services to 40% of NHS employers.

The move follows a string of complaints from members about errors by SBS which, in some cases, have left NHS staff with unexpected bills running into thousands of pounds. Over 300 staff are believed to be affected by mistakes in calculating tax and pension deductions, and errors in pension banding.

In its initial response to the unions' complaint, NHS England agreed to extend the repayment period for staff who have been overpaid from 11 to 24 months, with a maximum repayment of £146 a month. Staff facing "financial hardship" would be able to request longer repayment periods, NHS England said.

SBS denied responsibility for the mistakes in pension banding, blaming "ambiguity" in the guidance from NHS Pensions. But the company did not explain why it had taken several months to obtain clarity from NHS Pensions since the issue first surfaced in December 2016.

"It's disgraceful that SBS has refused to accept liability for their own mistakes. It was only after unions repeatedly requested further data checks that the full number of affected staff was revealed," said MiP national officer Jo Spear.

"We are pleased to hear that the organisation is taking a much more reasonable and flexible approach to repayments, but we still believe individuals should not be asked to cite financial hardship as a reason to repay over a longer period of time," she added.

In a letter to NHS unions, Helen Bullers, NHS England director of people and organisational development, said: "Having staff affected by pension banding errors is a deeply regrettable situation, for which we are sorry. We are committed to resolving this for each person affected in the most sensitive, supportive and pragmatic way possible."

If you think your pay or pension contributions have been miscalculated, contact your MiP rep or national officer for advice.

If you'd like to read more from MiP, sign up to receive our free monthly emails – we’ll keep you up to date on news and events in health and care management

Fuel guage showing empty

Under pressure from political demands and relentless organisational change, many board-level NHS managers are feeling the effects of burnout and contemplating leaving the NHS, according to MiP’s ’Sounding Board’ of senior members and the union’s evidence to the pay review body.

22 April 2024 | By Rhys McKenzie
Caroline Lamb, NHS Scotland head office, March 2024

Joining the Scottish health department weeks before the pandemic struck, Caroline Lamb found herself head of NHS Scotland within a year. She talks about the “intense and scary” experience of managing through the Covid crisis, her plans to integrate services and tackle staff shortages and why Scotland needs more money for health and care.

12 April 2024 | By Matt Ross
Christine McAnea addressing striking NHS workers in Belfast

After months of industrial action, NHS workers in Northern Ireland have accepted a 5% pay offer for last year negotiated by health unions and the Department of Health.

05 April 2024 | By MiP
Man in street looking up at office buildings

Three-quarters of MiP members say NHS England's new hybrid working policy is more likely to damage productivity than improve it, according to a recent survey. Half say there isn't enough office space for staff to return to the office.

03 April 2024 | By MiP
English currency in notes and coins

MiP alongside 13 other health unions have called for an above inflation pay rise for all NHS staff.

12 February 2024 | By MiP
trolley in busy hospital corridor

MiP responds to government proposals on introducing a separate pay system for nurses in England.

15 January 2024 | By MiP
Press Release

Help MiP and UNISON prepare for the 2024 pay round by taking part in our survey on NHS pay. It only takes a few minutes.

18 December 2023 | By MiP
Group of men in suits with heads buried in the sand

The last party conference season before the general election showed that UK politicians still have to get their heads round what the NHS needs and what it can be expected to deliver.

07 December 2023 | By Craig Ryan
Analysis & opinion
Transformation programme manager, NHS South West London CCG Prince Obike

Meet Your Reps: Prince Obike works at the forefront of change in the NHS while supporting MiP members as a union MiP rep and National Committee member. He talks to us about his incredibly varied career and the real value of management jobs.

06 October 2023 | By Craig Ryan
MiP at work
Oonagh Monhouse pictured at her desk in August 2023

As joint chair of the NHS Staff Council, Oonagh Monkhouse negotiates with unions on behalf of hundreds of NHS employers. But she’s also a working manager as director of workforce at the Royal Papworth, the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital. She talks to Matt Ross about boosting staff morale, building management capacity and why it’s important to try walking in someone else’s shoes.

27 September 2023 | By Matt Ross
Copyright © 2022 MiP