06 October 2017
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for proposing an Uber-style app for nurses one year after Uber was shamed at tribunal for its shady employment practices.
In a speech to the Conservative Party Conference this week, Hunt said nurses “need to be able to work flexibly, do extra hours at short notice, get paid more quickly when they do and make their own choices on pension contributions”.
He announced that 12 trusts will begin piloting a “new app-based flexible working offer to their staff” next year.
GMB National Secretary for Public Services Rehana Azam said: “As if NHS staff don’t have enough on their plate with real terms pay cuts, stress on the job and ever-increasing workloads – now Jeremy Hunt wants to force them into the gig economy as well.
“Public sector workers are already putting in £11 billion worth of unpaid overtime every year and many of our NHS members already take on bank work to make ends meet.
“The idea that there is some untapped reserve of labour in the NHS that can be unlocked with an app is pure fantasy.
“Having our overworked, underpaid NHS staff being told via an app they are not needed at the last minute is a terrible idea and the start of a slippery slope.
“You only have to look at this model in health and social care where zero-hours contracts and 15-minute slots to look after the elderly have left the system on the brink of collapse.
“Instead of wasting money creating Uber for the NHS, why doesn’t the health secretary give all NHS staff the pay rise they desperately need?”