The Government has distanced itself from “inappropriate” adverts for “very lucrative" local nursing roles promising a "working holiday” in which candidates stand to “make more money than working on the UK mainland”.
The adverts, which the Government has asked to be removed, were placed on a number of UK websites by Non-stop Consulting, with roles spanning several specialisms including theatre and ICU work.
Both the theatre and Intensive Care postings said the nurses were needed “as soon as possible”, going on to state: “This role is very lucrative, paying £40 an hour, you could stand to make more money than working on the UK mainland!”
They described Jersey as a “sunny paradise” and said the role “could be the ideal working holiday for many!”
Further perks listed included telephone interviews “saving you a costly commute”, flights to and from the island being covered, and “very cheap accommodation of £50 a week.”
Pictured: Nursing in Jersey was described as a "ideal working holiday".
The ad also promised a “referral fee of £200 in high street vouchers” for those who can source a successful candidate, adding: “You could make a friend very happy and have some extra cash for yourself!”
Contacted by Express, the Government confirmed that it had asked for the adverts, which it described as “inappropriate”, to be taken down.
A spokesperson explained: “The Government was made aware that a number of adverts for nursing roles were published by a recruitment agency in the UK.
“The Government neither authorised the agency to advertise these roles, nor approved the text accompanying the adverts.
“The agency has been used from time-to-time but is not currently on the corporate supplier list."
Among those to question the adverts while they were still live was Constable Andy Jehan.
He raised concerns about the apparent discrepancy between the £40 per hour rate being offered and a local candidate he was aware of who he claimed was being paid £23 per hour on a zero-hour contract.
A very interesting piece in @bailiwickxpress about recruitment. Aware of a local @GovJersey job being advertised for £40 per hr. in UK. Currently paying a local £23 per hr on a Zero Hr contract. https://t.co/Z28E5yDPCr— Andy Jehan ???????? (@AndyJehan) October 25, 2021
On pay levels, the Government declined to confirm if the figure suggested by Constable Jehan was accurate, but commented: “Jersey’s government pays consistent rates for bank nurses, who come from the island and elsewhere.
“Jersey’s vacancy rate for registered nurses has been reduced, and is half the vacancy rate of the UK.”
A £40 per hour salary would equate to an annual salary of nearly £80,000, according to Government payscales, and sits in the second to top pay bracket. Around £23 per hour would result in an annual salary of just short of £45,000 – six pay grades lower.
A job posting on the Gov.je site for bank-registered nurses is currently being advertised at £21.48 per hour.
Discussions about the job postings come as health recruitment comes under intense scrutiny due to an emerging departmental staffing crisis.
Between July and September, elective surgeries were cancelled due to an apparent mix of retirements, holidays and non-covid-related sickness.
This month, Express revealed that operating schedules were being scaled back once more due to challenges with theatre staffing. An independent report leaked to Express linked this to a high number of unresolved bullying cases resulting in some staff unable to work in the same theatre and a high level of stress and anxiety-related absences.
A senior member of medical staff lamented to Health managers in an email chain seen by Express that the service should be honest about its staffing “crisis” and that politicians should be working harder to find solutions.
Speaking on the Bailiwick Podcast recently, Health’s Group Managing Director Rob Sainsbury described many of the bullying and morale issues at the heart of staff absences as “historic”.
He said that the Department was working hard to improve the culture of the organisation through team-building activities and initiatives such as the recent Wellbeing Week.
He also said work was underway to tackle recruitment problems and agency spend by ensuring that Jersey's hospital can offer an appealing package, and create pathways into leadership roles for talented individuals to encourage them to stay.
The Health Department went more than £7m over budget last year on recruiting and employing agency staff - an overspend of 6%.
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