The 2018 NHS Pay Offer

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What does the pay offer mean to you?

Below are tables showing the individual pay journeys for all current NHS staff over the next three years (2018/19 – 2020/21) if the government’s Framework Agreement is accepted by the members of the NHS trade unions.

Look up your current Band and Spine Point for the current pay year (2017/18) and read across to see what your salary will be each year, as well as by how much you will gain in terms of money and the percentage increase. 

This only covers basic pay. High cost area supplements will also increase in value.

For those at the top point of each pay band up to Band 8c, pay rates will be increased by 6.5% cumulatively over the three year period. The effective date for pay awards will continue to be 1 April. Members at the top of each band will also receive a 1.1% non-consolidated payment.

  • 3% in 2018/19
  • 1.7% in 2019/20 + a cash sum of 1.1%
  • 1.67% in 2020/21

You can also use the pay calculator on the combined health unions website.

Below are more details behind the pay offer, how the pay bands will change, and background about how we got to this point. This information has been sent to all SoR members as a supplement with the April 2018 issue of Synergy News. The supplement can be downloaded as a PDF in the downloads section at the foot of this page.

Changes to pay bands

Overlaps between pay bands will disappear by removing the bottom points from each band. This will increase starting salaries across all bands.

In addition, pay bands will be restructured over the three years, with most changes completed by April 2020:

  • In Bands 2-4 the number of pay points will be reduced to two.
  • In Bands 5-9 the number of pay points will be three.

As the tables show, members not at the top of their pay band will see pay increases of 9% to 29% over three years. 

The interval between each point will no longer be yearly. Overall, this means a pay structure where staff get to the top point more quickly, with higher starting and promotion pay. 

Band 1 will be closed to new entrants from December 2018 and the NHS will be a Real Living Wage Employer.

Bands 8C, 8D & 9
Pay increases at the top point will be capped at the level of the top of 8c.

Re-earnable pay will continue and will be subject to annual appraisal. In the year after reaching the top of the band, up to 5 or 10% of basic salary will become re-earnable. 

Salary can be restored the following year, subject to achieving agreed outcomes.

Staff on the top two points of these bands on 31 March 2013 have reserved rights to the relevant point; this will be retained on a marked time basis.

What does the Society think of the offer?

UK Council are recommending that SoR members accept the proposals.

The SoR believes that this proposal secures over the three years pay rises above inflation, as predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility. If the economic situation changes significantly, the unions will be able to go and make a case to the Pay Review Body for additional awards to ensure that NHS pay doesn’t start falling behind again.

The offer also meets a number of key policy objectives which were called for by Annual Delegate Conferences of the Society over the years.

We will be talking to you about these reforms to help you understand exactly what they mean. We are encouraging you to discuss the changes with colleagues and meet in your workplace. 

UK Council will table an emergency motion at the Annual Delegates Conference later this month, where the pay offer will be debated.

Much of the information has been developed jointly with the other unions to ensure staff across the NHS are getting the same information. 

If you have questions, please contact: [email protected] or go to and read the frequently asked questions (FAQs).

What’s next?

During May we will be asking members in England to respond to an online consultation asking whether you accept or reject the proposals. 

The views of all student members across the UK will also be sought. 

Members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be asked if they want the Framework Agreement to be replicated in their countries if it is accepted in England.

The results of the consultation process for the Society and the other trade unions will be announced on 8 June.

Pay progression

As is the case now,pay progression will be subject to:

  • Successful completion of the appraisal process
  • No formal capability or disciplinary action live on record
  • Statutory and/or mandatory training completed
  • If you are a line manager, you must have completed appraisals for all staff within a set three month period.

Staff are expected to progress subject to meeting the above. Funding calculations have been made on the basis that everyone who is able to progress, will progress.

There is a commitment from employers working with Staff Side to strengthen and improve the appraisal process. NHS Staff Council will be monitoring pay progression and re-earnable pay to ensure there is no equality impact.

There is a 'no detriment' clause to ensure that no member of staff is worse off from the deal.

Increasing capacity and productivity

There will be a focus on improving health and wellbeing for all staff and to minimise absence through sickness.

NHS Staff Council are looking at a collective agreement for bank and agency working, including providing incentives to encourage employees to offer time to internal staff banks.

Employers will work with trade unions to introduce local mechanisms to guarantee access to annual leave and time off in lieu (TOIL) provisions set out in the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook. The Staff Council will determine national mechanisms to buy and sell leave.

Background to the pay offer

The Society and other health trade unions have argued for years that changes to Agenda for Change are necessary to make the pay system fairer.

Whilst ensuring that terms and conditions continue to deliver ‘flexibility, capacity, fairness and value,’ there has been a need to: 

  • Maximise the contribution of NHS staff and reduce the reliance on agency employees 
  • Strengthen the AfC agreement on pay progression
  • Review further reform to the pay system, maximising value for patients and fairness for staff.

Negotiations began in earnest in December last year to come up with a Framework Agreement, combining pay and structural reform of Agenda for Change, to benefit all NHS staff.

This has come about because of four developments: 

  • The result of the June 2017 General Election
  • The trade unions campaign to remove the pay cap
  • The Joint Unions Pay Claim submitted as part of the Pay Review Body process, and
  • The Chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Budget 2017 when he said, “… My Rt Hon Friend the Health Secretary has already begun discussions with health unions on pay structure modernisation for Agenda for Change staff to improve recruitment and retention. He will submit evidence to the independent Pay Review Body in due course. But I want to assure NHS staff and patients that if the Health Secretary’s talks bear fruit, I will protect patient services by providing additional funding for such a settlement.”

For members in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, agreement would mean that budgets go through the Barnett formula, which would allow unions, devolved governments and employers to hold discussions.

Questions? Contact [email protected] or go to the combined NHS health trade unions pay website.

Confirmed pay offer for members working in the NHS

NHS pay offer: Information and consultation timetable

SoR welcomes review of Scottish NHS pay framework