The Government has offered health workers including nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists, porters and cleaners, a one-off payment worth 6 per cent of their salary for this financial year.
Under the deal, Agenda for Change staff in England – about 1 million people – will receive a non-consolidated award of 2 per cent of an individuals’ salary for 2022-23 and an up to 4 per cent “Covid bonus” payment. The money will be on top of the pay increase of at least 4 per cent workers received for 2022-23 last year.
What is the rise worth?
The one-off lump sum for 2022-23 rises in value up the NHS pay bands. This is worth £1,655 for staff at the bottom of band two (for example porters, cleaners and healthcare assistants); £2,009 for staff at the top of band five (nurses, midwives, physiotherapists); £2,162 at the top of band six (paramedics, health visitors, senior occupational therapists); and £3,789 for staff at the top of band nine.
It will not contribute towards an employee’s ongoing annual salary but would be subject to deductions such as tax, national insurance (NI) and student loan contributions. The payment will be calculated based on base salary and will not include any overtime, or unsociable hours enhancements. For NHS workers who are part-time, the payment will be pro rata.
There will also be a permanent 5 per cent pay rise on all pay points for 2023-24. Ministers said they could guarantee there will be no impact on frontline services as the result of the pay offer.
How will it be funded?
The offer – backed by the Royal College of Nursing, the GMB and Unison – has raised hopes that the long-running dispute could be brought to an end. But one key questions remains over how the Treasury and the Department of Health would fund the new offer. Discussions will continue as to whether or not NHS trusts in England will have to find at least some of the extra money from existing budgets.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisted that frontline services will “absolutely not” be affected by any final pay deal while Health Secretary Steve Barclay said funding for the agreement would not come at the expense of patients.
What happens now?
Union members will now vote on whether to accept the deal, with workers expected to consider the detail over the coming days and weeks. The offer has already seen planned strikes called off.
The Government has also committed to implementing a number of other non-pay changes. The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan will be published, which according to the Health Secretary will “ensure the NHS can recruit and retain the staff it needs in the future” and investigate safe staffing rules.
The Government will consider creating a new pay spine will be created exclusively for all nursing staff, taking into account their skills and experience, with the intention of it coming into force for 2024-25. It also pledged to address nursing career progression, violence and aggression at work, and make the NHS pay review body process more streamlined.
Health unions will ask their members to vote on if to accept or reject the proposed deal. You can download a copy of the full proposal. Almost all of the 14 unions involved in the negotiations said they would recommend the offer to their members. Unite, which represents fewer NHS members than other unions, is the only one that said it could not recommend the deal but that it would be up to members to decide.