The gap between how much people are paid in businesses and in public sector work such as healthcare and education is at its highest ever, new figures have revealed, amid warnings that healthcare workers are leaving the NHS to work at Tesco because the pay is better.
With inflation topping 10 per cent, average pay in the private sector grew by a record-breaking 6.6 per cent in the three months to September, new Office for National Statistics data shows.
In the public sector, workers have seen their pay packets increase by just 2.2 per cent on average, a trend experts have warned will only worsen the recruitment crisis plaguing hospitals, schools and emergency services.
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Healthcare unions are urging the government to stump up the cash to raise the pay of NHS workers in the upcoming Autumn Budget, as the health service tackles rising vacancies.
Christina McAnea, who represents 1.3 million Unison members in the public sector, said Tesco boss John Allen apologised over supermarkets hiring ex-healthcare workers who have left the NHS to earn more.