NHS pay increase should be the same for all staff – NHS Employers

NHS Employers urges NHS Pay Review Body to reject variable salary increases

A pay rise for NHS staff in England should be the same for everyone, says NHS Employers. 

NHS pay rises should be equal for all, says employers’ group  Image: iStock

The body, which represents health service employer organisations, is arguing against some workers receiving more than 1%, while others receive less.

The Treasury has said variable pay awards should be used in the NHS to address problems in recruitment and retention. But NHS Employers makes the case for a uniform pay increase in its published evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body (RB) for the 2017/18 pay round. 

Universal award

The government told the RB in July it would fund public sector pay awards at an average of 1% a year up to 2019/20.

Employers support a universal increase for all staff within the average 1% cap, NHS Employers said.

It tells the RB: ‘There is not sufficient evidence to justify differential pay awards to Agenda for Change (AfC) staff in 2017/18. 

‘The common view is that an envelope of 1% would not, in practice, make any differentiation worthwhile and would have a negative impact on the morale of the workforce. 

‘We are not aware of any labour market challenges at national or local level that would be resolved by differentiated pay awards.’

Workforce costs

NHS Employers says managing the pay bill is essential if the NHS is to face its ‘unprecedented financial and service challenges’. However, workforce shortages for some professional groups are a result of a supply problem and not related to pay levels, it argues.

In its evidence to the RB, the RCN recommends removing the 1%-a-year pay restriction.

As part of a NHS Staff Side pay claim, it supported a pay award in line with the retail price index to be applied equally to all AfC staff.   

Pay supplements

RCN head of employment relations Josie Irwin said the college wants recruitment and retention premia – pay supplements applied to individual jobs or groups of jobs – to be used by organisations with staff shortages. This should be funded by the government, the RCN argues.

In its evidence, NHS Employers said there are recruitment and retention difficulties facing London employers, despite London staff receiving high-cost area supplements. It said it is working with trade unions to raise concerns about transport and housing costs with mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 

The RB will take oral evidence about the 2017/18 pay round from interested parties in November and December.  

It plans to submit its report to ministers by March next year. 

Further information

NHS Employers’ full submission to the RB