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Pay progression FAQs

Is it compulsory for organisations/trusts to implement the new pay progression system?

Yes, all employers are expected to implement the new pay progression system. Implementation progress will be monitored by NHS Improvement.

What benefits are there to employers and their staff?

The new pay progression system benefits are as follows:

  • Guarantee certainty of pay in uncertain times
  • Support the attraction and recruitment of staff by increasing starting pay in every pay band
  • Increase staff engagement by putting appraisal and staff development at the centre of pay progression. This will be achieved by ensuring staff are supported to develop their skills and competences. Through delivering this, the greatest possible contribution to patient care can be made
  • Supporting the health and well-being of NHS staff by looking at ways to improve attendance levels in the NHS

Is it expected that staff will successfully progress through their pay-step review?

Yes. The Trust will plan and budget on the basis that all staff are expected to progress on time.

The exception will be where an individual has not met the criteria for progressing to the next step point.

What mandatory training subjects do I need to complete to go through my pay step?

You will need to be in date for all the mandatory training subjects on the mandatory training needs analysis.

Can staff be appointed to whatever pay point we want in the new system?

The expectation would be that new staff will continue to be appointed at the bottom of their respective pay bands.

What happens if someone is off on sick leave or maternity leave when their pay step date is due?

The pay progression is designed not to inadvertently penalised staff.

If a staff member is on maternity leave at the time of their pay step, the manager will ensure that it is progressed.

If a member of staff is on sick leave, the manager will take the necessary action, dependent on the staff current performance compliance.

Could trusts let people get to top of the pay band more quickly than the minimum periods set out?

No. The intention of minimum periods at each pay point was a critical element of the design of the new pay structure. Allowing people to progress more quickly would undermine the principles of the pay system and place additional unfunded costs on to the employer. NHS Improvement will be monitoring this.

How will the new progression system work when people move employers?

The Electronic Staff Record (ESR) will ensure relevant information is recorded on the system and included in inter-authority transfer (IAT) information.

Will the new progression system be linked to individual, department, team, or organisational performance?

The new progression system is linked to individual standards, part of which is the appraisal process. Individuals may have objectives related to the wider organisation as part of their individual appraisal objectives. The system also allows any local standards agreed in partnership to be included in the process.

Further information

If you have any questions or need additional information please email the First Contact Team.


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