Key points of the 2018 pay deal

Understand the key points of the 2018 pay deal framework agreement.
Agenda for change

8 June 2018

Read the key points of the framework agreement for the 2018 pay deal for all staff under the NHS terms and conditions of service.

This page shows the key points at a glance from the framework agreement:

At a glance

  • Three year deal covering 2018/19, 2019/20, and 2020/21.
  • Covers all NHS employers in England (covered in Annex A of the terms and conditions of service handbook).


  • Starting salaries increased across all pay bands.
  • New pay structure with fewer pay points – overlapping pay points removed initially followed by further pay points.
  • New system of pay progression.
  • Top of pay bands to be increased by 6.5 per cent over the three years (apart from band 8d and 9 which will be capped at the increase of band 8c).
  • Minimum rate of pay in the NHS to be set at £17,460 from 1 April 2018 – ahead of the Living Wage Foundation Living Wage rates.

Structural changes

  • Band 1 to be closed to new starters from 1 December 2018. The NHS Staff Council to agree a process for this including upskilling band 1 jobs to band 2 roles during the 3 years of the pay deal.
  • Bands 2 to 4 and 8 to 9 will only have two pay points in the new structure. Bands 5 to 7 will have three.
  • Staff below band 8 will have the opportunity to reach the top of their pay band more quickly than under the current pay system.
  • The time it takes for bands 8 to 9 to reach the top remains unchanged.
  • Re-earnable pay remains for those staff that have reached the top of their pay band in bands 8c to 9

Other changes

  • Terms and conditions amendments to:
    - include enhanced shared parental leave
    - child bereavement leave
    - a national framework on buying and selling leave.
  • Unsocial hours payments while off sick to be paid only to existing staff earning at or below £18,160.
  • Unsocial hours percentage rates for Band 1 – 3 to be adjusted in line with increases to basic pay.

Ambulance sector

  • New entrant ambulance staff, and those changing jobs or moving roles internally or moving to a new employer, to be paid unsocial hours under Section 2 rather than Annex 5.
  • Voluntary move to Section 2 terms will be offered to all existing ambulance staff.

Future NHS Staff Council work programme

  • Programme of work to improve health and wellbeing to support better attendance levels and reduce sickness absence.
  • To explore the alignment between Agenda for Change and other senior NHS pay arrangements.
  • NHS Staff Council to negotiate provisions for apprenticeship pay as a matter of urgency.
  • NHS Staff Council to undertake work on exploring the scope for a collective framework agreement on bank and agency working.
  • Monitoring the impact of any deal.

NHS Pay Review Body

  • NHS Pay Review Body retains its standing remit and will look at the progress of implementation and its impact.
  • This monitoring role will also consider the future use and values of RRPs and High Cost Area Supplement (HCAS) payment.