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No ‘COVID bonus’ – ministers dash nurses’ hopes for one-off payment

Government insists it has no plans to pay staff in England £500 as gesture of thanks
Government in England says it will not pay nurses a COVID bonus

Government insists it has no plans to pay health and social care workers in England £500 as one-off gesture, despite petition calling for England’s staff to get pay-out seen in the rest of the UK

Ministers say they do not plan to award NHS or social care staff £500 ‘COVID bonuses’, despite a petition to parliament.

Unless they change their mind, this means nurses in England will not receive the financial recognition for their work during the pandemic afforded to their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

Petition calling for health service bonus in England

A petition that calls for the bonus is open until 4 June and had more than 14,800 signatures at time of

Government insists it has no plans to pay health and social care workers in England £500 as one-off gesture, despite petition calling for England’s staff to get pay-out seen in the rest of the UK

Government in England says it will not pay nurses a COVID bonus
Picture: iStock

Ministers say they do not plan to award NHS or social care staff £500 ‘COVID bonuses’, despite a petition to parliament.

Unless they change their mind, this means nurses in England will not receive the financial recognition for their work during the pandemic afforded to their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

Petition calling for health service bonus in England

A petition that calls for the bonus is open until 4 June and had more than 14,800 signatures at time of writing. It needs to reach 100,000-signatures to considered for parliamentary debate.

‘Yet again the government has shown that, behind the rhetoric, they truly do not value our hard-working nursing staff’

Pat Cullen, acting general secretary, RCN

A government statement said a 1% pay rise recommended for NHS staff in the 2021-22 pay round acknowledges their efforts during the pandemic.

It reads: ‘By planning for an uplift in pay to NHS staff at a time when uplifts in the wider public sector have been paused, the government is acknowledging the extraordinary service of NHS staff through the pandemic. We believe this balances the challenging fiscal and economic context and the need to acknowledge that NHS staff have gone the extra mile.’

Agenda for Change 2021-22 pay round

acting RCN general secretary Pat Cullen
Pat Cullen, RCN acting general secretary

RCN acting general secretary Pat Cullen said: ‘Yet again the government has shown that, behind the rhetoric, they truly do not value our hard-working nursing staff,’ she said.

‘Our nurses deserve a significant pay rise and they shouldn’t be kept waiting. Ministers must end the delay and rethink their 1% plan.’

The RCN’s Fair Pay for Nursing campaign aims to secure a 12.5% pay rise for all UK nursing staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) terms.

The government is due to make a final decision on the 2021-22 pay round for NHS staff after the independent Pay Review Body delivers its recommendations to ministers in May.


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