Do NHS staff get paid overtime?

Posted by: admin - Posted on:

With pressures on NHS services higher than ever, many staff are working longer hours or being asked to pick up extra shifts. As with many issues related to pay, what this means in terms of financial compensation depends on a number of different factors, including the role and contract relevant to you.

It is also important to note that these details are only relevant to overtime worked. Overtime is time not originally scheduled for you to work. Scheduled work which takes place at evenings, weekends or on public holidays is managed differently, with different hourly rates.

Agenda for Change overtime

Most NHS staff, including nurses and administrative staff, are on Agenda for Change contracts. Agenda for Change defines clear expectations around overtime payments depending on seniority:

  • Bands 1-7: 1.5x your normal hourly rate for all overtime worked, increasing to 2x your normal hourly rate if working bank holidays
  • Bands 8-9: staff are not entitled to overtime payments (although they may be entitled to time off in lieu)

The Agenda for Change contract also suggests that staff should be entitled to take time off in lieu instead of overtime payments, i.e. if you worked an extra half day you would be eligible to take an extra day of annual leave.

Do junior doctors get paid overtime?

Junior doctors do not receive traditional overtime pay. If their hours worked (including time to complete training or essential qualifications) exceeds that which is set out in their contract, junior doctors are asked to complete exception reports. Exception reports are submitted to the employing organisation and should normally result in the reporting doctor receiving extra pay (at their usual hourly rate) or time off in lieu. Exception reports are also used by the employing organisation to inform better rotas and improve working conditions.

Additionally, junior doctors may choose to pick up locum shifts. Locum shifts are shifts that are unfilled in an organisation, for example if there are not enough doctors to cover the operating requirements of the organisation for a particular day.

The rates of pay for locum work are agreed between staff and the organisation; as such it is not unusual for rates to be higher for public holidays or other days where most staff prefer not to work. In theory, the British Medical Association’s rate card should be used to guide minimum hourly rates for junior doctors. However, in practice, some hospitals negotiate lower rates with staff.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *