Agenda for Change amendments 2013

Hospital staff

In February 2013 the NHS Staff Council agreed changes to the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook which covers staff on Agenda for Change contracts in England.

The agreed changes came into effect on 31 March 2013 and contribute to ensuring that the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook remains sustainable for the future, fit for purpose, fair to staff and will continue to be used by NHS organisations.

The NHS Staff Council will continue to work together in partnership to ensure that the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook is kept under review to ensure that it remains supportive of quality patient care and maximises job security for staff.

Summary of the amendments to the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook

  • progression through all incremental pay points in all pay bands to be conditional on individuals demonstrating that they meet locally agreed performance requirements in line with Annex W (England) of the handbook
  • for staff in bands 8C, 8D and 9, pay progression into the last two points in a band will become annually earned, and only retained where the appropriate local level of performance is reached in a given year
  • the removal of accelerated pay progression associated with preceptorship for staff joining pay band 5 as new entrants
  • the scope to put in place alternative, non AfC, pay arrangements for Band 8C and above
  • Annex X (England) - new guidance on the principles to be followed regarding workforce re-profiling, including the need to follow the processes set out in the NHS Job Evaluation Handbook and the application of local organisational change policies to protect staff in cases of redeployment into lower grade posts.
  • Section 14 (a) (England) - pay during sickness absence will be paid at basic salary level and not including any allowance or payments linked to working patterns or additional work commitments. This change will not apply to staff who are paid on spine points 1 - 8 of Agenda for Change, or to those whose absence is due to work-related injury or disease.

Find out more

Sections and annexes in the new NHS terms and conditions of service handbook with the suffix "(a)" applied in England from 31 March 2013 (Pay Circular (AforC) 2/2013). Annex A2 (a) (England) has some additional guidance on FAQs in relation to the changes for England.

In January 2014 the NHS Staff Council jointly agreed some supplementary FAQ guidance to support the implementation of local pay progression policies.

The NHS Staff Council has also published the Equality Impact Assessments for the changes in England for employers to consider in the context of their own equality duties when implementing the changes locally.

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