NHS Staff Council agrees changes to national pay terms and conditions

Letter hand over

26 / 2 / 2013 Midnight

The NHS Staff Council today agreed changes to the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook, which covers the Agenda for Change contracts used by almost one million NHS staff in England. They will come into effect from 1 April 2013.

Employers and trade unions recognise the unprecedented challenges faced by the NHS, and the benefits of maintaining a national pay system that is modern and responsive to the needs of both local employers and their staff. 

Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation said:

"This is an important step. The revisions ensure the national pay framework is responsive to the needs of the service, supporting compassionate patient care and maximising job security.

"This will increase the health service's confidence in the usefulness of the national pay arrangement, which continues to help the NHS support and manage an effective workforce."

Speaking on behalf of the NHS trade unions Christina McAnea, Staff Side Chair said:

"In reaching agreement on changes to national terms and conditions for NHS staff today, we expect this agreement to provide security for staff, that their pay terms and conditions will continue to be agreed nationally and prevent further moves towards local pay. 

"We now expect employers locally to work in partnership with staff sides to implement these proposals fairly and equitably."

The agreed changes to the contract are:

  • Progression through all incremental pay points in all pay bands to be conditional on individuals demonstrating that they meet locally agreed performance requirements in line with a proposed new Annex addition to the handbook. 
  • For staff in bands 8C, 8D and 9, pay progression into the last two points in a band will become annually earned, and only retained where the appropriate local level of performance is reached in a given year. 
  • The removal of accelerated pay progression associated with preceptorship for staff joining pay band 5 as new entrants. 
  • The scope to put in place alternative, non AfC, pay arrangements for Band 8C and above. 
  • New guidance on the principles to be followed regarding workforce re-profiling, including the need to follow the processes set out in the NHS Job Evaluation Handbook and the application of local organisational change policies to protect staff in cases of staff redeployment into lower grade posts. 
  • Pay during sickness absence will be paid at basic salary level - not including any allowance or payments linked to working patterns or additional work commitments. This change will not apply to staff who are paid on spine points 1 - 8 of Agenda for Change, or to those whose absence is due to work-related injury or disease.

The NHS Staff Council parties will work together to ensure that terms and conditions continue to be responsive to the needs of the service, are supportive of quality, compassionate patient care and maximise job security. It will continue to have timely discussions that maintain a sustainable national pay and conditions agreement used across the NHS. 

Notes to Editors

Nearly one million NHS staff are on the Agenda for Change framework, including nurses, midwives, administrators and other staff groups.

The NHS Employers organisation is the recognised body for employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first. See www.nhsemployers.org for more information.

Follow NHS Employers on Twitter at @nhsemployers or follow Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation, at @NHSE_Dean.

A full list of NHS Employers press releases and statements can be accessed at our Media Centre.

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