Following changes made to the NHS TCS handbook in April 2021, including amendments to the pay on promotion provisions to ensure they aligned with Annex 23, these scenarios and FAQs have been developed to support employers with the interaction of unsocial hours and RRPs and pay on promotion.
Please note that the scenarios are for illustrative purposes and therefore might not account for every situation.
The scenarios below aim to provide additional support and guidance for responding to situations which may arise when employees are promoted to a new pay band (aligning with the principles of Annex 23, England of the NHS terms and conditions handbook (NHS TCS) and may face a financial detriment).
To ensure staff do not face a financial detriment where their working pattern remains substantially the same in their new role, paragraphs 1.18 to 1.20 (Section 1, England) of the NHS TCS would apply (see below).
1.18 On promotion the new starting salary (made up of basic pay and any unsocial hours payment and/or any long-term recruitment and retention premium (RRP) should produce an increase in earnings. If it does not, the previous salary (basic pay plus any applicable unsocial hours payment and/or long-term RRP) will be maintained until the combination of basic pay, any unsocial hours payment and/or RRP in the new band does produce a higher salary.
1.19 In the case of unsocial hours payments the provisions in 1.18 will only apply if the unsocial hours working pattern in the new role remains substantially the same as in the previous role. Where this is not the case, the previous unsocial hours payment will not be taken into consideration when determining the new starting salary.
1.20 The earnings calculations in 1.18 will be based on normal contractual hours excluding additional hours and will use unsocial hours payments averaged over the previous three months at work, or any other reference period agreed in partnership locally.
Example 1: band 2 to band 3 – top up needed
Meera is a band 2 clinical support worker in Accident and Emergency (A&E). She recently secured promotion to a senior clinical support worker role within the same department. Her shift pattern will remain largely unchanged on promotion, and she will continue to work a mixture of long days, twilight and night shifts.
Before promotion, Meera was at the top point of band 2. On promotion she will be placed on the entry point of band 3, aligning with the principles of Annex 23, England of the NHS TCS.
On promotion to band 3, the percentage rates applied to any unsocial hours worked will slightly reduce. The current rates can be found at table 2 in Section 2, England of the NHS TCS.
As a result of the slight reduction in unsocial hours rates on promotion to the band 3 role Meera’s take-home pay would reduce. To ensure staff affected by this do not face a financial detriment where their working pattern remains substantially the same in their new role, paragraphs 1.18 to 1.20 (Section 1, England) of the NHS TCS will apply (see above).
Using the principle outlined in paragraph 1.18, Meera will have her pay topped up until such time as her salary in her band 3 role (combination of base salary and unsocial hours) exceeds what she was previously earning in her band 2 role.
Difference in band 2 gross monthly salary and band 3 gross monthly salary = £2,093.02 - £2,060.91 = £32.11
Summary - Meera’s salary will be topped up until such time as her salary in her band 3 role (combination of base salary and unsocial hours) produces a higher salary.
NB: There may be some months when Meera earns more than £2,060.91 due to the pattern of shift work. She would not then require the top-up payment.
Example 2: band 5 to band 6 – top up not needed
George is a band 5 Nurse in respiratory medicine and he recently secured promotion into a band 6 project nurse role. His shift pattern will change substantially on promotion, and he will no longer continue to work a mixture of long days, twilight and night shifts but will work standard hours Monday to Friday.
Before promotion, George was at the top point of band 5. On promotion he will be placed on the entry point of band 6, aligning with the principles of Annex 23, England of the NHS TCS.
The current rates can be found at table 2 in Section 2, England of the NHS TCS.
The provisions outlined in Section 1, England, paragraphs 1.18 to 1.20, apply where the unsocial hours in the new role remain substantially unchanged.
As George’s band 6 role will not require work to be undertaken in unsocial hours, this would be considered a substantial change to his working pattern and therefore the provisions outlined in Section 1, England would not apply.
Band 5 Nurse
Top of band 5
Bottom of band 6
Gross monthly pay (including unsocial hours payments)
Gross monthly pay
Unsocial Hours payments
No work required
Difference in band 5 gross salary and band 6 gross salary = £2,884.69 - £2,586.00 = £298.69
Summary - As George’s band 6 role will not require work to be undertaken during unsocial hours, this would be considered a substantial change to his working pattern and therefore the provisions outlined in Section 1, England would not apply.
I have previously worked temporarily in a higher band and have now been promoted into a higher band post permanently. What pay point should I start on?
When staff are promoted into a higher band, employers should take into account any prior periods of relevant service at that higher band, including temporary positions. They should consider if the previous experience was relevant to the new substantive post and if so, the starting pay step date can take account of the relevant length of time of the previous experience.
Depending on the time spent in the higher band previously, this will not necessarily lead to a higher starting salary, but would lead to reaching the first pay step date more quickly.
What would happen if an employee was moving trusts to a band 3 post on substantially the same working pattern?
The approach taken would essentially be the same as example 1 as the principles of paragraphs 1.18 to 1.20 (Section 1, England) and the current rates can be found at table 2 in Section 2, England would be the same across different trusts.
What happens with HCAS payments on promotion? For example, an employee moving within a multi-site trust and losing the HCAS allowance due to the change to the base for the role.
HCAS payments are not protected under the principles of paragraphs 1.18 to 1.20 (Section 1, England). The HCAS allowance would need to be adjusted based on the contractual work location in line with Section 4: Pay in high cost areas and the rates outlined in Annex 8. However, local pay protection policies may apply.