Staff Council publishes guidance on new pay progression system for England

Agenda for Change Pay UNISON News

The NHS Staff Council has finalised a package to support implementation of the new system for pay progression, in line with the provisions in the England Framework Agreement on pay.

The package covers England, with Cymru/Wales currently finalising details for pay progression implementation under the similar provisions contained in their Framework Agreement.

The package can be viewed here and includes:

New annex 23 – pay progression (England)
The new annex will be incorporated in the terms and conditions handbook on 1 April 2019. It sets out the progression system that will apply to new starters and those promoted from 1 April 2019.

Current arrangements continue for existing staff until 2021
Existing staff will continue to have incremental progression under their current arrangements until 31 March 2021. If increments currently happen automatically then, for staff employed before 1 April 2019, that should continue.

Most existing staff will have reached the top of their band by April 2021. But if not – or if they get promoted – they will be covered by the new system rom 1 April 2021.

Final annex reflects feedback from staff side reps
The new annex has now been agreed by the Staff Council. The joint unions sent a draft of the annex to local reps in November and as a result of the feedback received we put forward a number of amendments and improvements.

A big thank you to all branches who took the trouble to respond.

Changes to the draft included:

  • Removal of subjective terms and reference to additional ‘local standards’
  • Greater clarity on:
  • what constitutes a formal disciplinary sanction or formal capability process
  • applying pay progression as soon as the reason for deferral is resolved
  • not deferring pay-steps due to factors outside the individual’s control

We also used the feedback to inform and strengthen the supporting guidance materials.

Guidance documents

Guidance documents have been produced for organisations, line managers and staff. These include a summary of how the new system works, the relationship with local appraisal policies, and checklists to help with planning.

Scenarios, flow-chart and template

A comprehensive set of scenarios has been produced which should help illustrate what should happen – both for existing staff during transition – and for staff hitting their pay-step reviews starting in April 2021 when the first pay-step dates become due.

There is also a flow-chart to summarise the pay-step submission process, and a diagram to show the pay-steps in each band under the new pay structure.

Finally, there is a simple template that will sit in the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) to capture the outcomes of pay-step reviews so that monitoring, including at national level, can take place.

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