This guidance has been developed by NHS Employers and trade union representatives, and is intended to be used by local partnerships to support the implementation of the pay offer.
The NHS Staff Council has endorsed the pay offer that was agreed between the government and trade unions. This will now be implemented for staff employed on the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service. This offer includes two non-consolidated additional payments for the year 2022/23, that eligible staff can expect to receive as part of their pay in June 2023.
It is recognised that it may be preferable for some individuals to receive the totality of these payments in multiple instalments (i.e. paid across several months), rather than together in a single month’s pay. An example of this might be where individuals receive Universal Credit payments, where any changes to monthly income will directly impact the value of these payments.
Employing organisations have the flexibility to pay these additional 2022/23 payments in multiple instalments. As part of discussions around the implementation of the pay offer, local employer and staff side partnerships should work together to ensure that staff are aware that this option exists for the 2022/23 payment, and that the process to follow is clearly communicated (including the cut-off date for making a request, and who a request should be made to).
The below process should be followed:
Step 1: Any member of staff considering making this request should access appropriate advice (for example through the Universal Credit helpline or Citizens Advice) to understand how receiving these payments in multiple instalments may impact their personal situation.
Step 2: Any requests should be made as soon as possible, and before the cut-off date communicated by the employer.
Step 3: The timeframe over which payments should be spread should be agreed between the employer and the member of staff. Staff should make sure they understand how much their monthly payment would be, and how it would appear on their payslip.
Step 4: Employers should process the request as soon as possible, and no later than 5 June to ensure payroll deadlines are met.
Further points to consider:
- Staff would need to consider the potential impacts of spreading the payments out across multiple months. For example, if an individual is claiming Universal Credit, any lump sum or backdated earnings may affect how much Universal Credit received in the month they are paid. Please see the this Universal Credit guidance for further information.
- If an individual wishes to spread the payments beyond 31 March 2024, employers should consult finance colleagues within their organisation to confirm that this would not be an issue.
- Employers would not be expected to agree to requests from staff to change the nature of the payment once it has already been paid as a single lump sum.
- Any plans for paying multiple instalments may need to be revisited in the eventually of a member of staff leaving the organisation or changing employer part way through receiving the payments. The logistics of this would need to be decided locally, however staff in this position would still be entitled to receive the full value of the payments.
Where a member of staff has agreed with their employer that the 2022/23 payments should be paid in multiple instalments, the employer will need to set this up on the electronic staff record (ESR) system. The following points should be taken into consideration:
- The two non-consolidated payment elements that have automatically been applied by ESR will need to be removed from the assignment with a date tracked date of 1 June 2023.
- To make the payments over a number of periods, two locally agreed non-pensionable elements will need to be set up. One for the 2022 non-consolidated payment and another for the NHS backlog payment, both effective from 1 June 2023.
- These elements should be applied to the assignment with the value agreed to be paid each period, and should be ended in line with the timeframe agreed with the employee.
- Further guidance on managing elements can be found in the ESR user manual on the ESR website.