A Birmingham hospital trust has scrapped ‘unfair and inappropriate’ parking fees for staff – after some workers were forced to fork out upwards of £100 each month.
‘Hard-pressed’ staff at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Trust could receive refunds of up to £800 after a campaign by Unison.
The U-turn by the Trust – which runs Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull hospitals and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham – follows a challenge on behalf of 6,000 health workers by the union against the charges.
Some employees could now get up to £800 each, backdated to last August.
In March 2020, the UK Government announced financial support for all trusts to provide free car parking for staff during the coronavirus outbreak, while councils were encouraged to also provide free spaces.
However fees were then reinstated at some trusts – including University Hospitals Birmingham, where charges were reintroduced back in August last year.
Unison claims UHB has also agreed in principle to suspend further deductions until June.
This is when the government is expected to lift all Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The union said the parking fees were an unfair levy on hardworking staff who were paying upwards of £100 a month.
UNISON West Midlands regional organiser Chanel Willis said: “These charges were unfair, inappropriate and essentially a tax on staff who have given their all during the pandemic.
“UHB shouldn’t have been charging employees for coming to work so everyone else could stay safe. UNISON is glad the Trust has seen sense and promised to refund the money.
“Hard-pressed staff should have been due a pay rise today and will appreciate the extra cash in their pockets.”
BirminghamLive has approached University Hospitals Birmingham for a comment.