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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10653
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am a paramedic with the Scottish ambulance service. A paramedic

Resolved Question:

I am a paramedic with the Scottish ambulance service. A paramedic is a technician with extra training, skills and pay. Management has introduced an overtime rota that states there must be a skill mix, I can understand if the overtime shift is to work alongside a technician then a paramedic should be offered the shift as a technician does not have the skills required for the job.
The problem arises when the overtime shift is to work along with a paramedic, the rota dictates a technician should be asked first. I feel as there is already a paramedic on that shift there is no skill mix as they already have all the skills in the paramedic, and as I as a paramedic do the exact same job the technician along with some extra skills I believe I am being indirectly discriminated by being bypassed in favour of the technician regardless of my position on the rota. Can you please advise.
kind Regards
Alex.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
The law of discrimination applies to:
age;
disability;
gender reassignment;
marriage and civil partnership;
pregnancy and maternity;
race;
religion or belief;
sex;
sexual orientation.
For that reason I do not consider that your employer's overtime rota is in breach of discrimination law.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

However, that would mean in theory a paramedic may never be offered overtime to work with a technician even though the paramedic does the same job.

I was under the impression it was illegal to prevent or stop someone working overtime if they did the same work or broadly similar work.

Again could you please advise.

Thank you,

Alex.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
What the law says is that an employer can't offer overtime to some employees and not to others. There has to be a fair system, usually a rota, of selection for overtime. If it is deemed appropriate for a shift to comprise a paramedic and a technician, as opposed to two paramedics, then, subject to anything your contract of employment says, I don't think this approach would be subject to criticism.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you once again for your reply.

I don,t want to be annoying but as there are rostered shifts comprising of two technicians together and two paramedics together for years I feel it is unfair to penalise the paramedic on overtime because he/she gets paid more.

I understand your comments but could you give me a further opinion on that.

Thank you once again,

Alex

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Can you explain why the paramedic is being penalised?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A paramedic is a technician with some extra skills. Say for example a paramedic was first on the rota to be asked to work overtime then that paramedic would be bypassed in favour for the technician if it were to work with another paramedic even though he/she is doing the technician work every day and only carries out paramedic skills if and when required.

kind regards,

Alex.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Is it not the case that a paramedic and a technician work as pairs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not always, due to staffing levels throughout Scotland paramedic and technician crew is not always possible. There are double paramedic crews, double technician crews and mixed crews and I believe to be bypassed on the rota because I extended my training to be unfair.

It is recommended a paramedic should be on every ambulance where possible and if the overtime was to work with a technician then the paramedic would be asked first as the technician is not qualified to do the job.

Thank you,

Alex.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
So if the aim is that there is a paramedic on every crew, there would be no reason to pair a paramedic with a technician.
Who makes the decision and using what criteria?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I fully understand that should a paramedic be off, the shift should be covered by a paramedic as a technician is not qualified. However if a technician is off i feel that paramedics ( who are fully qualified technicians with extra training ) and carry out technician duties on a daily basis should also be given the chance of overtime to cover the technicians shift?

I believe the recommendation to have a paramedic where possible on every ambulance came from the Scottish government.

The overtime roster was imposed on us some years ago by management.

I hope this helps.

Alex.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
I take your point but I am of the view that if a technician is off, the employer is entitled to replace him or her with a technician and that at is within the boundaries of employment law.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10653
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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