Final reforms to Agenda for Change pay structure completed

Each NHS pay band to include either two or three steps

Published: 31 March 2021 Government & NHS

As of 1 April 2021, structural reform to all pay bands will be complete and each pay band will have either a two or three pay-step structure.

The pay structure is underpinned by the Job Evaluation Scheme which enables employers to determine which pay band a post should sit in and the pay progression arrangements, and ensures staff have the appropriate knowledge and skills they need to carry out their roles.

There has not yet been an announcement on NHS pay rates for 2021/22. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a remit to the NHS Pay Review Body on 18 December 2020 outlining his expectation that the report would be completed by May 2021. The government will make its announcement on pay following the publication of that report.

Once the value of the pay award is known, changes will be applied to the pay values shown at Annex 1 of this guidance. This pay structure will also be replicated in Annex 2 of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook from 1 April 2021. Any back pay due to staff will be made to 1 April 2021, subject to approval from the Secretary of State.

Reform of the pay structure 2018-21

In 2018, the NHS Staff Council agreed to reform the NHS pay structure over a three-year period covering April 2018 to March 2021. The key objectives of reform included:

• Support the attraction and recruitment of staff by increasing starting pay in every pay band.

• Support the retention of staff by increasing basic pay for staff at the top of their pay bands.

• Simplifying the pay structure and speeding up progression to the top of most pay bands.

Further information on these reforms and the transition arrangements in each year can be found in the framework agreement.