The British Association of Dental Nurses, the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, welcomes the survey by the NHS Business Services Authority on pay concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic in England.
As the introduction to the survey states “The expectation from NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) during the Covid-19 pandemic is practice owners are required to ensure that all staff including associates, non-clinical and others are continued to be paid at previous levels prior to the pandemic.”
This expectation was also made clear in the various Letters published by the Office of the CDO England during the lockdown period.
However, many dental nurses were not paid at all during the March-July lockdown period; many were forced by their employers to take annual or unpaid leave for the whole period; and some who were paid are now being told they have to pay it back or work unpaid. “There are innumerable variations on employers not having paid their dental nurses ‘at previous levels prior to the pandemic’” said BADN President Jacqui Elsden. “Many decent employers, who have done the right thing by their dental nurse employees, find it hard to believe that some employers have behaved in such an unethical and unprofessional manner towards the lowest paid members of the dental team. We are delighted that, after much lobbying of the OCDO and NHS England by BADN, the BSA is conducting this survey to discover the extent of the problem. We hope that similar steps will be taken by the other three home nations.”
Dental nurses working in NHS or mixed practices who have not been paid their usual salaries during the pandemic can complete the survey here.
Mixed practices were able to furlough an appropriate number of staff proportionate to their private practice. This survey is for those dental nurses working in mixed practices who were not furloughed.