News

Nurses need 5% pay increase to reach 2010 standard of living, study reveals

​​​​​Four in ten nurses are living in households where earnings are below what is considered a reasonable living standard, think tank NatCen reveals.
Nurses standard of living

​​​​​Four in ten nurses are living in households where earnings are below what is considered a reasonable living standard, a new study reveals.

Social research think tank NatCen looked at how nurses, police officers and teachers have fared following seven years of salary freezes and pay caps.

It found that in 2016, 41% of nurses were living in households where weekly wages were insufficient to meet the minimum income standard.

This is up from 27.3% in 2010, the year pay restraint began.

Necessary choices and opportunities

The minimum income standard, a term used by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is a minimum standard of living in the UK today, which looks at more than just food, clothes and shelter.

​​​​​Four in ten nurses are living in households where earnings are below what is considered a reasonable living standard, a new study reveals.


According to NatCen, 41% of nurses are living in households where wages
are insufficient to meet the minimum income standard. Picture: iStock

Social research think tank NatCen looked at how nurses, police officers and teachers have fared following seven years of salary freezes and pay caps.

It found that in 2016, 41% of nurses were living in households where weekly wages were insufficient to meet the minimum income standard.

This is up from 27.3% in 2010, the year pay restraint began.

Necessary choices and opportunities

The minimum income standard, a term used by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is a minimum standard of living in the UK today, which looks at more than just food, clothes and shelter.

‘It is about having what you need in order to have the opportunities and choices necessary to participate in society,’ the study states.

The findings come after health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced in parliament on 10 October that the pay cap had been scrapped for NHS staff. Details are yet to be confirmed on what level of pay rise nurses and other health service staff will see.

NatCen estimates that nurses would require a 5% pay increase to get them back to 2010 standard of living.

Channel 4 Dispatches

The research was commissioned for an edition of the Channel 4 series Dispatches – called Who Deserves a Pay Rise? – which airs tonight.

Other findings included:

  • 34% of police officers were living in households where weekly wages were insufficient to meet the minimum income standard in 2016 (up from 22.4% in 2010).
  • 30% of teachers were below the minimum income standard in 2016 (up from 16% in 2010).

Who Deserves a Pay Rise? airs on Channel 4 at 8pm tonight.

Further information


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs