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Background

NHSP (NHS Professionals) is a job agency which offers zero-hours contracts for NHS workers. In many trusts, this is the only way to be employed without having a fixed contract.

I am a student employed by an NHS trust to complete an internship. The trust was happy with the work and asked if I could continue on an as and when basis. They made it clear that, due to trust rules, the only way this would be possible is via NHSP.

NHSP has a "milestone" process where you can work straight away (based on previous NHS employment) but need to complete a new set of employment checks such as DBS and occupational health. They also provide 15 hours of online training plus a half day session. If you don't complete one of these things within a certain timeframe then you get emails threatening to withdraw your application. The milestone process is outlined in some of the paperwork but nowhere does it mention the huge quantity of online training (15 hours is a non-trivial amount of time to spend at a computer answering primary school questions) and nowhere does it mention that you will not be compensated for the time spent. I've been told that this would have been communicated verbally, which I don't remember but don't want to refute.

Question

Are they obliged to pay for the time spent training? If so how can I go about claiming compensation for this?

NHSP has now made it clear that they do not intend to pay me for the time spent. I find this very surprising since the training is effectively mandatory.

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They have to pay you for all hours "worked".

If you are an intern, it would come down to whether you are an unpaid intern and therefore agreed to that or if you are a paid employee.

I noticed your post said you were an intern and then were asked to stay on, so I don't know if you stayed on as an intern or employee. Employees should be compensated for their time and effort, so if you are an employee you should get some compensation.

As for how you claim it, you are going to have to talk to them. If it bothers you that you won't be paid for the training and they won't agree to pay you, your best bet is to find a different job.

This article lists how to take them to a tribunal or talk to a union, if you do not want a different job and wish to pursue the matter: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/pay/problems-getting-paid/#ifnotgettinganywhere

  • The initial job was full time employment lasting for 9-10 weeks. I was employed directly by the trust and have no complaints. The second employment was a zero hours contract with NHSP. The training relates to this second employment period. – anon Apr 5 at 22:24
  • Then yes as long as you are employed they should compensate you for your work. I would talk to them, if I were you. – Putvi Apr 5 at 22:26
  • Thanks, the information and link are helpful. I'll try to escalate it up the chain of command..... I still feel pretty shocked that such a mainstream organisation has pulled such a cheap manoeuvre, maybe someone higher up will feel similarly. – anon Apr 5 at 22:39
  • For this kind of money you could just threaten to sue NHSP in the small claims court. It sounds like you don't need to worry about retaliation because the decisions about your work are actually taken by the Trust. – Paul Johnson Apr 6 at 9:36

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