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Underpayment – worth a double check!

Dr A contacted the employment team with a query over their pay.  During an annual financial check, it was brought to the Dr’s attention that they may not be on the right salary scale.  It appeared that this potential underpayment dated back to 2008 and had affected their salary to date.

In addition, Dr A had moved hospitals and this salary deficit had carried on to their new employer.

Dr A had tried to resolve the issue with the current employer but unfortunately had not been successful.

With that in mind, the MDS team requested for Dr A to send copies of the relevant contracts, CV, pay slips and relevant correspondence.  After a thorough review and analysis, it appeared that Dr A had indeed been underpaid for approximately 12 years.

MDS Advice

MDS did a complete breakdown of the salary paid to Dr A and compared this with what should have been paid.  This information was sent to both the Trust’s involved in the matter.  Trust No. 1 acknowledged the mistake and made the necessary payments in a timely manner (2008 – 2009).

Trust No. 2 would not make any amendments to the salary until they received an IAT from the previous employers.  The IAT (Inter Authority Transfer) form is how salary information used to be past between NHS employers and is used mainly to confirm continuation of service and salary etc. to the new employer.  This has somewhat been overtaken by ESR (Electronic Staff Record) which contains the same information.  Initially Trust No. 2 were reluctant to pay anything until the IAT was received but did make the appropriate calculations.

MDS were aware that IAT form was received in early March 2021 but it was not clear that payment was forthcoming.  MDS considered that the Trust had been given enough time to make a payment and considered what further formal legal steps could be taken.  It was agreed with Dr A that a Letter Before Action would be sent to the Trust to give them notice that legal action was being considered.

However, all backpay from 2009 was included in the monthly salary so no further legal action was required.

Learning Point

  • It is important to check your salary.  As the payroll system is largely automatic mistakes can happen and an employee is entitled to be paid their contractual salary.
  • All requests for underpayment should be supported by evidence
  • MDS advisors are always happy to discuss salary concerns with members – no matter how small.  If you have a concern it is better to raise this early.