Dependency leave victory for workers on new contracts

dependency-leaveCamden UNISON is happy to be able to announce that we have negotiated a further significant improvement for members on the “new” (post-October 2012) contracts, so now members are entitled to dependency leave even if they have not exhausted their annual leave.

We have been raising the discrepancy between old and new contracts on dependency leave for some time, and we argued that the cut in dependency leave entitlement for workers on new contracts was unnecessary and deeply unfair, particularly as it solely targets those staff who have caring commitments, and who are predominantly women.

In November management approached UNISON to hold discussions on offering a new window for members on “old” (pre-October 2012) contracts to sign over to the new contract.

Amongst other issues we raised the issue of dependency leave cuts being one of the reasons we were advising some members not to sign up. Senior management then agreed to drop the discrepancy in treatment and reinstate the same dependency leave entitlement as members on the old contracts.

We will be working with management to amend the terms and conditions which currently state:

24.6.1 If you have more than six months’ service, you are entitled to apply for up to five days paid dependency leave in any leave year. This is to enable you to make alternative care arrangements for a dependent (your parent, child or a person who lives with you and is dependent on you for care) only after you have exhausted your annual leave entitlement.

Camden UNISON would like to thank our members who have steadfastly held out and refused to sign up to the new contracts since they were introduced, as without their determination this concession would not have been achieved.

Previous improvements we have negotiated to the new contracts include:
– a 36 rather than 37-hour working week
– £250 pay rises for those earning less than £23,000 per year
– the reintroduction of the link between Camden pay and national NJC pay rises
– abolition of the discriminatory 5-point appraisal system
– the introduction of a new, fairer performance management scheme with bigger pay rises (averaging 3% rather than 2%), and more staff getting pay rises.

If members on the new contracts have any problems accessing their entitlement to dependency leave please talk to your local rep or convenor for assistance.

We will update members on the progrress of discussions on the new contract buyout in due course.

And please encourage your colleagues to join UNISON: the more of us there are, the more we can achieve together.


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