SAS 2021 pay progression

Employers are required to hold pay progression meetings with SAS grades on the 2021 TCS for those progressing through pay points from 1 April 2023.

12 December 2022

As agreed through negotiations, a new closed gateway pay progression process will come into effect for SAS grades employed under the 2021 specialty doctor and specialist (SAS) contracts from 1 April 2023. The new system will ensure that all SAS doctors have the appropriate knowledge and skills to carry out their roles.

This new system was agreed during the 2021 contract reform and is intended to enhance and strengthen existing processes, underlying the employers and doctors’ mutual obligations.

What employers need to do

From 1 April 2023, progression to pay points, which result in a change of salary, will be closed on the payroll system. A pay progression review meeting will need to be undertaken to ensure the doctor has met the criteria. Following this, it is the responsibility of the clinical manager to take the necessary action on the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) to open the pay point. We acknowledge this may be carried out by medical workforce functions in a number of organisations. We have created a pay progression template for employers to use to document the meetings.

All SAS doctors should progress incrementally through the pay scale each year unless they fail to meet specific criteria.

SAS doctors should not be penalised if they have not been able to meet the progression criteria for reasons beyond their control. If any element of the progression criteria is not achieved for reasons beyond the doctor’s control, the doctor will still progress onto the next pay point.

ESR has been updated to enable the recording of pay progression meetings and to take the relevant action on the employee’s pay record. 

Non-pay effecting increment

  • Where a SAS doctor has a non-pay effecting increment, ESR will automatically progress the employee to the next point on the scale on the anniversary of their incremental date. 

Pay effecting increment

  • For pay effecting increments, a pay progression meeting will need to be held and recorded in ESR. Where a successful outcome is recorded, ESR will progress the employee to the next pay effecting point on the pay scale. 

Higher threshold

  • For specialty doctors, who are due to move through the higher threshold, an additional field will need to be completed with a successful outcome to enable the employee to progress. 

The incremental date will be moved on 12 months regardless of outcome and pay impact. For unsuccessful outcomes, the employee will remain on their existing pay point. For organisations that use the self-service functionality, notifications will be sent to employees and managers to give them advance notification that a pay progression meeting needs to be held.

Further details on the functionality can be found in the, ‘Guide to Enhancements for Releases 53 and 54’ and in the ESR user manual, all of which can be found on the ESR Hub.

SAS pay progression guidance

Access our guidance for SAS pay progression.