Thursday, 20 December 2012


Below we re-produce the text of a letter received by UNISON's Scottish Health Committee regarding PVG payments. We are please that the new Scottish Health Minister, Alex Neil has listened to the concerns that UNISON and others organisations have had around the financial impact of passing on PVG payments to already hard pressed NHS staff and came to a sensible conclusion.

Mr Tom Waterson and
Mr Willie Duffy
Chair and Secretary of
Uhison Scotland Health Committee
Unison House
14 West Campbell Street
G2 6RX

Your ref: SHC/JG/WD/WK
Our ref: 2012/0036638

December 2012

The Scottish
Thank you for your letter of 5 November about payment of the fee for membership of the
new Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme.

I am aware that the issue of whether staff or employers will be responsible for payment of
this fee has been a particularly difficult one for STAC to resolve and that my predecessor,
Nicola Sturgeon, was approached for a view on the matter at the end of 2011. She
acknowledged that registration belongs to the individual and is transferrable and can
therefore be seen as analogous to a professional registration fee, for which a staff member
· would be liable themselves. However, she was also conscious of the need to protect the
lower paid and asked STAC to progress discussions on the basis that only those earning
over £21 ,000 would pay their own registration fee.

This led to further discussions but, unfortunately, no agreement has been reached. There is
no doubt that PVG registration is a transferrable benefit which can be used to facilitate
· employment with a different NHS employer, a local councilor a private service provider.

However, I acknowledge that the situation has moved on since 2011 and have listened
carefully to the points being made around this issue. I am particularly conscious of the
significant ongoing pressures hard working NHSScotland staff face on their take home pay
and have therefore written today to the Joint Chairs of STAC asking the Committee to
· discuss an approach which would see employers cover PVG registration fees for all staff.

I hope this is helpful in clarifying the position.

Alex Neil