Preparing for the new pay progression system

NHS Terms and Conditions of Service - 2018

The new pay progression system will come into effect on 1 April 2019 for new starters or those promoted to a new role on or after 1 April 2019. 

For all other staff who were in post before 1 April 2019, current organisational pay progression procedures will continue to apply until 31 March 2021, after which time they will also be subject to the new provisions.

To prepare, the NHS Staff Council established a sub group to negotiate details of the new system and produce guidance materials. The sub group is working to ensure that all documentation relating to pay progression changes will be published in January 2019. This will include: 

  • check lists (manager, employee and organisation) 
  • guidance (manager, employee and organisation)
  • transitional information 
  • a newly revised annex 23 (England) 
  • pay step submission sample templates. 

The NHS Terms and Condition of Service Handbook will also be amended with a revised annex 23.

Electronic staff record

We continue to work closely on the detailed policy requirements with our colleagues on the NHS Electronic Staff Record (ESR) programme so that ESR can be updated to support the delivery of the new pay progression framework and appraisal system.  

Transitional arrangements

Staff in post before 1 April 2019 will retain their existing pay-step date (previously referred to as incremental date) and move automatically through their pay journey during transition. On their pay-step date, (if they have not already benefited from deletion of a pay point) it is expected that they will automatically move to the next pay point reflecting their additional complete year of experience. The ESR system is able to progress existing staff automatically. Pay progression during transition will continue to be subject to any existing locally-agreed arrangements for managing pay progression, which may have been implemented locally, in accordance with the Staff Council’s 31 March 2013 pay progression agreement, these may continue to be applied.

Pay-step points will be closed on the payroll system for new starters or those promoted to a new role on or after 1 April 2019 and for all staff from 1 April 2021. The new pay progression arrangements will apply.

System functionality

A key objective of the new system is to increase staff engagement by putting appraisal and personal development at the heart of pay progression, so that staff are supported to develop their skills and competences in each pay band and are rewarded for this. The new system is underpinned by a commitment from employers to strengthen and improve the existing appraisal processes within organisations.

The pay-step submission process, including the national set of reasons for non-progression, will be confirmed in the guidance materials. The outcomes of this process will be recorded via the appraisal functionality in ESR Self Service for those organisations that use this, and on a form against individuals assignments in ESR to be input by central users (HR/payroll) for those that do not currently use the appraisal functionality. The ESR system is able to support both processes. Regionally based NHS ESR account managers and functional advisors can provide further information and guidance about  best practice use of the appraisal functionality within ESR Self Service.  

Further details will be included in the guidance materials that will be published in January 2019.
Further information can be found on our pay progression web page and FAQs.  

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