Surrey Council mental health transfer sparks staff woes

    Surrey Council mental health staff fear their terms and conditions could suffer because of a planned transfer of their jobs to the NHS.

    The council is planning to transfer 240 staff to Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, along with responsibilities for delivering adult mental health services.

    Andy Pattinson, an approved social worker and council Unison representative, said staff were concerned about the timescale, with plans to complete by October, and by uncertainty over pensions, annual leave and redundancy arrangements.

    ‘Not one person in favour’

    He added: “We had a meeting with 80 staff recently and there wasn’t one person in favour.”

    Under the 2006 Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, employees retain their existing terms and conditions, except their pension scheme, following a transfer of employment. But new employers can vary employment contracts on business grounds or if they reorganise.

    Pattinson said Unison had also asked why staff were not being seconded to the trust as has happened elsewhere in the country.

    A Surrey Council spokesperson said no formal decision had been taken to proceed.

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