Because of the complex process behind how NHS and Agenda for Change pay rises are decided, often decisions on pay are not ready in time for the start of the new financial year in April.
Additionally, once any pay increase has been decided by the Government on the advice of the NHS Pay Review Body, it may take several weeks for NHS finance teams to calculate changes in wages and implement the pay rises in monthly payslips.
All of this means that pay rises are often delayed in terms of NHS staff actually seeing more money in their wages.
However, the good news is that this doesn’t mean staff miss out on the money they might be owed. NHS pay rises are always backdated.
For example, if the first payslip reflecting a new pay rise is in June, that month would also include extra money to reflect what would be owed for April and May at the higher rate of pay.
It is worth considering that additional pension contributions are also backdated, reducing the total take home amount in the “catch up” month. In some rare instances (for example where pay rises have moved an individual into a higher pension contribution category) this can mean that the “catch up” month actual has a significant net decrease in take home pay.