North Yorkshire NHS staff selling annual leave decreases

The number of NHS staff in North Yorkshire selling hours of annual leave back to their employer for cash has decreased since last year.

A response to a Freedom of Information request shows there were 42 applications to sell holiday back to the NHS this year, down by five from the previous window to apply.

This equates to 1,299.25 hours and 15 pa’s (programmed activity) for the year 2023/24.

In 2022/23, 1,464.4 hours and 17.5 pa’s were sold back to the NHS by staff at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

However, UNISON Yorkshire and Humberside regional organiser Megan Ollerhead said: “These figures highlight how much the cost of living crisis is hitting staff in the NHS in North Yorkshire.

“Staff are selling leave they are entitled to, back to their employer in order to make ends meet.

“They should be able to rely on fair pay to put food on the table, not selling leave they work hard for and deserve.”

A spokesperson for York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, however, highlighted a small percentage of staff (less than 0.5 per cent) had resorted to this.

The spokesperson said: “As a Trust we are committed to supporting our employees to achieve a healthy balance between their work and personal life, in the best interests of both service delivery and the wellbeing of individuals.

“In line with many other NHS organisations, to support this, employees have the option to request to buy an additional week’s annual leave or sell one week’s annual leave, which is designed to give them extra flexibility with regards to their working lives.

“Buying or selling holiday may appeal for all sorts of reasons, the chance to spend more time with family, special holidays, or time to complete a special project.

“The total number selling annual leave applications in the current financial year was 42, which represents less than 0.5 per cent of our overall staffing numbers.

“In comparison, the total number buying annual leave applications in the current financial year was 779, which represents over 7.5 per cent of overall staff numbers.”