Unsocial hours payments - Section 2 (England)


What are unsocial hours payments? 

Unsocial hours payments are additions to basic pay. These apply for staff whose work in standard hours, within the normal 37.5 hour working week (section 10), is undertaken at the times, and on the days, specified in the national agreement and shown in the table below.  

The times and the rates of payment are: 

Unsocial hours payments

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Pay band

All time on Saturday (midnight to midnight) and any week day after 8 pm and before 6 am

All time on Sundays and Public Holidays (midnight to midnight)


Time plus 49%

Time plus 97%


Time plus 43%

Time plus 85%


Time plus 36%

Time plus 72%

4 – 9

Time plus 30%

Time plus 60%


  • Unsocial hours payments are worked out using basic salary including long-term recruitment and retention premiums (RRPs), but excluding short-term RRPs, high cost area supplements, and all other supplements and payments.
  • When more than half of a shift on a weekday, which is not a public holiday, falls within the times shown in column 2, the whole of that shift will qualify for unsocial hours payment.
  • This system of payment may be used to pay for unsocial hours worked in the previous month (retrospectively) when shifts and payments vary from month to month or, when shifts are fixed, prospectively, so that a fixed level of payment is made each month based on a forecast of the number of unsocial hours which will be worked in future months.
  • If the system is used prospectively there will need to be periodic checks to compare the level of payments with those produced by the system in its retrospective form.  This is to ensure that the levels of payment are broadly similar overall.

If you are an employee, please speak to your local HR team or your staff side representative.

If you are an employer and have queries about the new arrangements, please email agendaforchange@nhsemployers.org

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