Section 40: National bodies and procedures

Download Full Handbook Download This Section
40.1 This Section describes the roles and functions of the following national bodies:

  • the NHS Staff Council
  • NHS Pay Review Bodies

The NHS Staff Council

40.2 The NHS Staff Council has overall responsibility for the system of pay and conditions of service described in this handbook.

40.3 Its remit includes:

  • maintenance of the system of pay and conditions of service, including any variations to the national agreements;
  • the negotiation of any variations in the harmonised national core conditions of service across the NHS, as set out in Part 3 of this handbook;
  • the negotiation of any enabling agreements or variations in any enabling agreements, in respect of conditions of service which are not harmonised;
  • the content of the national agreement and the general operation of the modernised NHS pay system, including any concerns about equal pay for work of equal value;
  • the discussion of any other general issues of common concern on pay and terms and conditions of service.

40.4 The NHS Staff Council will not negotiate pay settlements. However, the Government, employers and representatives of staff organisations, may initiate consultation in the Council where they believe recommendations by the NHS Pay Review Body may have brought pay out of line, for jobs of broadly equal weight, in a way which may not be justifiable under the relevant legislation. The NHS Staff Council may then draw this to the attention of the NHS Pay Review Body to consider possible corrective action.

40.5 The four UK Health Departments, all organisations representing NHS employers and all the nationally recognised staff organisations should have the right to be represented in this forum.

40.6 The NHS Staff Council will operate in a spirit of social partnership and will have joint chairs, one from representatives of staff organisations and one from representatives of employers. When both chairs are present, the functional chair will alternate each year.

40.7 There will be sufficient permanent members to ensure representation of all the groups described in paragraph 40.5. (Irrespective of the number of permanent members, decisions may only be reached by agreement between the two representative groups). Meetings of the Council will be hosted by agreement between the two representative groups, and the expenses of individual members will be borne by the organisations nominating them.

40.8 The employer representatives will include the employer representatives’ chair and representatives of the UK Health Departments, the NHS Confederation, the Ambulance Services Association, and other employer representatives, including a primary care representative, a health authority or health board nominee and a representative of NHS foundation trusts. The employer representatives may invite one or more additional persons who appear to them to have special expertise or involvement in any of the items under discussion, to attend for the discussion of those items.

40.9 The staff representatives should both reflect membership in the NHS but also make some provision to ensure that smaller staff organisations have a voice in the system. The weighting of membership among the staff representatives will be a matter for them to determine. The staff representatives may invite one or more additional persons who appear to them to have special expertise or involvement in any of the items under discussion, to attend for the discussion of those items.

40.10 The NHS Staff Council will not consider individual cases, which will continue to be resolved at individual employer level.

40.11 The NHS Staff Council will be scheduled to meet at least twice yearly but meetings may be cancelled by agreement if there is not enough business to justify a meeting.

40.12 The NHS Staff Council may form sub-groups to discuss analysis, evidence and issues with significant implications for a particular group, or to oversee particular parts of the system and make recommendations on them to the Council.

40.13 All decisions of the Council will require the formal agreement of the Secretary of State for Health and the Ministers of Health for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the National Assembly for Wales. Decisions of the NHS Staff Council will be reached by agreement of both employer and staff representatives.

40.14 An executive committee of the NHS Staff Council will meet at least four times a year, or more frequently if agreed necessary, to take forward the day-to-day business of the Council and to hear reports from any technical working groups that may be established.

40.15 The staff organisations with national recognition for the purposes of the NHS Staff Council are:

  • UNISON
  • The Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
  • The Royal College of Midwives (RCM)
  • Unite
  • GMB
  • The Union of Shop, Allied and Distributive Workers (USDAW)
  • The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
  • The Community and District Nursing Association (CDNA)
  • The Society of Radiographers (SoR)
  • The Federation of Clinical Scientists (FCS)
  • The British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT)
  • The Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT)
  • The British Orthoptic Society (BOS)
  • The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SoCP)
  • The British Dietetic Association (BDA).

NHS pay review bodies

40.16 Changes to the operation of the NHS pay review bodies are approved by the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Health, the First Ministers for Scotland and Wales and the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland.

40.17 The NHS pay review bodies are independent.

NHS Pay Review Body

40.18 The NHS Pay Review Body will make recommendations on the remuneration of all staff employed in the NHS on the pay spine in Annexes 2 and 3.


40.19 The terms of reference for the NHS Pay Review Body include all staff employed in the NHS with the exception of doctors, dentists and very senior managers.

40.20 The NHS Pay Review Body is to have regard to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in the NHS.

40.21 It will be open to the Government, the organisations representing staff or to employer organisations to make a case to the NHS Pay Review Body for awarding differential pay increases to staff with comparable job weights, or to make a case for national recruitment and retention premia, where they consider that this can be justified by differential labour market pressures and their impact on recruitment and retention. It will also be open to the Government, the organisations representing staff or employer organisations to make a case for adjusting the differentials between pay bands.

40.22 Where, based on material factors, the NHS Pay Review Body recommends differential awards of these kinds, it should make explicit in its report the reasons for such recommendations.

40.23 Where higher awards to particular groups are justified by reference to material factors, the additional award should be separately identifiable and may typically take the form of a recruitment and retention premium. Any such additions should be periodically reviewed by the NHS Pay Review Body and may, over time, be adjusted or withdrawn to reflect changes in the relevant material factors. For instance in the scale of labour market pressures and their impact on recruitment and retention.

Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration

40.24 The remuneration of medical and dental staff on the first pay spine is recommended by the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration.

Implementation of review body recommendations

40.25 Final decisions on implementation of recommendations of either pay review body are a matter for the Prime Minister and relevant health ministers.

*1 Job evaluation handbook can be found here: http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/pay-and-reward/pay/job-evaluation 

Pay circular (Afor C) 2/2013: amendment number 28 


Latest Tweets

Why Register?

Sounds great, what next?

Not now, I will register later

Log In