Talks have begun between employers and NHS unions in England on a new pay progression system for staff who join the NHS from April 2019. Both sides committed to negotiate a new pay progression system as part of the three-year NHS pay deal agreed earlier this year.
The new system will not apply to existing staff, for whom current arrangements for progression on incremental dates will continue until the expiry of the pay agreement in April 2021.
A sub-group of the NHS Staff Council will meet throughout the autumn to agree on a national framework for the new system, which we be implemented by local NHS employers, together with joint union-employer guidance, FAQs and case studies to support local implementation. The group will also agree guidance and advice on how local appraisal policies will need to develop to work with the new system.
Existing staff will continue to progress on their incremental dates through the three-year pay transition “journeys” set out in the 2018 agreement. But for the estimated 16% of the workforce who have not reached the top of their band by April 2021, further progression will be subject to the terms of the new system.
Employers who currently operate an automatic progression system should continue to do so for existing staff until 2021, but will need to operate the new progression system for new starters from April next year.
MiP chief executive Jon Restell said MiP would take a full part in the national talks, but would also pay careful attention to how the eventual agreement was implemented at local level.
“It is important to make arrangements for joint review of your existing appraisal policy and its implementation,” he said. “Are all staff getting annual appraisals, and is the system working effectively and fairly for staff across different occupational groups and bands?
“It’s an opportunity to ensure that your employer understands that there will be a staff council agreement and further guidance in early 2019, which will need to be built into local arrangements,” he added.