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Dentists: £500 'gift' no substitute for decent pay

01 December 2020


The British Dental Association Scotland has said that the £500 'gift' to frontline NHS workers is no substitute for long-term commitments to above-inflation pay awards.


The pledge, made by the First Minister in her keynote speech to the Scottish National Party conference, could benefit up to 300,000 NHS and social care workers, but has received widespread criticism from healthcare unions for tokenism after a decade of pay restraint.


The one-off payment will be pro-rated for those not working full time within the NHS. BDA Scotland is now seeking details on the mechanics of the reward, particularly for the majority of dentists and team members working in 'mixed' practice.


There remains real uncertainty over whether the gift will be tax-free.


Robert Donald, Chair of the British Dental Association's Scottish Council said:


"We are pleased to see some recognition for frontline staff, but £500 will not make up for a decade of pay restraint that's hit colleagues in every NHS practice, hospital and clinic in Scotland.


"If the Scottish Government really wants to say thank you to this service it will ensure pay cuts remain a thing of the past."