Agenda for Change

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Anger is mounting as nurses, and other NHS workers continue to protest their exclusion from the recent pay rises that teachers and doctors received. The government claim that nurses were left out on this occasion because they are due for a pay rise next year under the Agenda for Change agreement. But what do we know about this Agenda for Change agreement? Read on to find out more.

Agenda for Change Explained

Back in 2004, pay, terms, and conditions for all NHS staff collaborated into one package, the Agenda for Change.

Quite simply, the Agenda for Change is the primary system for all NHS workers, except for doctors, dentists, and some senior managers. Also known as NHS Terms and Conditions of Service, the Agenda below sets out the annual pay scales for NHS workers, including nurses. Spine points are null as from 2018 but are depicted in this table for reference.

The table below illustrates the agreement.

 

Band Previous spine pointMinimum years of experience2020/21 annual value (£)
Band 1 2 < 1 year 18,005
3 1+ years 18,005
Band 2 2 < 1 year 18,005
3 1 - 2 years 18,005
4 2 - 3 years 19,337
5 3 - 4 years 19,337
6 4 - 5 years 19,337
7 5 - 6 years 19,337
8 6+ years 19,337
Band 3 6 < 1 year 19,737
7 1 - 2 years 19,737
8 2 - 3 years 21,142
9 3 - 4 years 21,142
10 4 - 5 years 21,142
11 5 - 6 years 21,142
12 6+ years 21,142
Band 4 11 < 1 year 21,892
12 1 - 2 years 21,892
13 2 - 3 years 21,892
14 3 - 4 years 24,157
15 4 - 5 years 24,157
16 5 - 6 years 24,157
17 6+ years 24,157
Band 5 16 < 1 year 24,907
17 1 - 2 years 24,907
18 2 - 3 years 26,970
19 3 - 4 years 26,970
20 4 - 5 years 27,416
21 5 - 6 years 27,416
22 6 - 7 years 30,615
23 7+ years 30,615
Band 6 21 < 1 year 31,365
22 1 - 2 years 31,365
23 2 - 3 years 33,176
24 3 - 4 years 33,176
25 4 - 5 years 33,176
26 5 - 6 years 33,779
27 6 - 7 years 33,779
28 7 - 8 years 37,890
29 8+ years 37,890
Band 7 26 <1 year 38,890
27 1 - 2 years 38,890
28 2 - 3 years 40,894
29 3 - 4 years 40,894
30 4 - 5 years 40,894
31 5 - 6 years 41,723
32 6 - 7 years 41,723
33 7 - 8 years 44,503
34 8+ years 44,503
Band 8a 33 <1 year 45,753
34 1 - 2 years 45,753
35 2 - 3 years 45,753
36 3 - 4 years *45,753
37 4 - 5 years *45,753
38 5+ years 51,668
Band 8b 37 <1 year 53,168
38 1 - 2 years 53,168
39 2 - 3 years 53,168
40 3 - 4 years *53,168
41 4 - 5 years *53,168
42 5+ years 62,001
Band 8c 41 <1 year 63,751
42 1 - 2 years 63,751
43 2 - 3 years 63,751
44 3 - 4 years *63,751
45 4 - 5 years *63,751
46 5+ years 73,664
Band 8d 45 <1 year 75,914
46 1 - 2 years 75,914
47 2 - 3 years 75,914
48 3 - 4 years *75,914
49 4 - 5 years *75,914
50 5+ years 87,754
Band 9 49 <1 year 91,004
50 1 - 2 years 91,004
51 2 - 3 years 91,004
52 3 - 4 years *91,004
53 4 - 5 years *91,004
54 5+ years 104,927

 

Source: www.nhsemployers.org  

 

The Agenda for Change system allocates posts to set pay bands as illustrated in the table above. A job evaluation scheme is then used to match the posts with the pay grade. The rationale behind this payment system is:

  • To ensure equality of pay – to be fair in paying staff for the job done rather than the person doing it
  • Provide for improved links between pay and career progress using a Knowledge and Skills Framework
  • Coordinate terms and conditions of service such as annual leave, sick leave, etc

All staff are placed in a specific pay band (between 1-9), depending on their responsibility, skills, knowledge, and effort required for the post. An evaluation system is used known as the Job Evaluation Scheme to assess the post. This scheme assesses the correct pay for the specific post. Within each pay band are pay points. As skill and knowledge increase so too do pay.

When will nurses receive the next rise under this deal?

The next rise due for the nurses will be in 2021, but nursing unions want the UK government to bring that pay rise forward in its appreciation of the heroic work of the nurses during this pandemic.

Currently, the deal sees the nurse receive an average increase of 4.4% this year, but nurses claim this is hardly noticeable in their pay packets. Money aside, nurses generally feel like they have received a kick in the teeth by being left out of the recent pay rises.

Advantages of the Agenda for Change

  • A fair and transparent system
  • Unified terms and conditions of service
  • Reward and recognition for acquired skills and knowledge
  • Benefits for clients include- new innovative ways of delivering quality service, focus on core skills the client wants staff to develop, supports the recruitment and staff retention measures.

Conclusion

The Agenda for Change is a definite pay pathway for many NHS workers. While it appears to have many benefits and pay scales that increase incrementally, nurses feel the recent pay rise given to almost 900,000 public sector workers should not have excluded them.

It looks like the nurses have been forgotten by the government, going from hero to zero almost overnight. However, they don't plan to stand by quietly, as nursing unions plan more protests to fight for a pay rise that now has huge backing from the British public. We haven't heard the last from our heroes just yet!

 

Further resources

If you are an NHS worker and want more information on the Agenda for Change, check out  www.nhsemployes.org

Source

https://www.nhsemployers.org/pay-pensions-and-reward/agenda-for-change/pay-scales/annual

24 Aug 2020
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