The National Health Service does not routinely hire staff on zero-hour contracts. However, many trusts operate local staff banks to help fill shift gaps, for example to cover staff leave. Those who are registered with the bank can choose to work the hours to suit their personal circumstances. The majority of people who are registered to work on trust banks will also have substantive Agenda for Change (AfC) employment contracts.
The eligibility criteria for funding under the AfC pay and contract reform deal was published on 13 July last year. The criteria requires that organisations must employ their existing and new staff dynamically on the AfC contract. Those organisations that meet these criteria are obliged to implement the entire deal, pay and non-pay reform, not just head line pay, and should be compensated for the costs of doing so.
The funding envelope for the multi-year AfC pay and contract reform deal included staff employed on the NHS staff bank. However, the terms and conditions of employment, including pay rates for bank staff are set locally by the NHS trust.