How much is the NHS pay rise for 2024/25?

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Most NHS staff are on Agenda for Change contracts. Every year, the NHS Pay Review Body provides advice to the government on any changes it thinks should be implemented in terms of salary changes. This article provides insights and predictions relating to the pay rise expected for 2024/25.

How much will the NHS pay rise be for 2024/25?

While the final pay for 2024/25 will not be known until the government announces the results of the NHS Pay Review Body’s annual report, our current prediction (as of mid-May 2024) is a pay rise of approximately 3.5%. This is a slight increase compared to our prediction during April 2024.

Unlike 2023, we aren’t expecting any additional one-off payment in this year’s pay rise. This is because inflation has not been as severe as it was in the lead-up to the last pay rise.

Read the rest of this article to find out some of the factors which have led us to this prediction. You can also find out more about when the pay rise is likely to be announced (including details on a small change in take-home pay which did take place in April) and predicted salaries on other parts of our website.

How will politics affect the NHS pay rise?

Although the NHS Pay Review Body is positioned as an independent group, the members of the Body are chosen by government – specifically the Prime Minister (for the Chair position) and Secretary of State for Health (for the other positions). Members of the Pay Review Board do not publicly discuss their work and they are not interrogated by Parliament. Ultimately it is in the interests of the Pay Review Body and the government for the recommendations of the Body to align with what government wants.

As such, we would expect political pressures from the current Conservative government to potentially play a significant role in the recommendations that are made.

More than one million NHS staff are on the Agenda for Change contract. During a general election year, that is a million voters who might well be swayed by the pay rise granted to them by the government. Perhaps even more importantly, following a year of strikes, a significant pay rise could be used by Rishi Sunak to demonstrate to the public a willingness to invest into the NHS by the Conservative government.

We believe that the government’s ideal scenario would be a pay rise at or above the current rate of inflation (as of May inflation stands at around 3.5-3.8%). Granting a pay rise of around 3.5% could be announced as the first inflation-matching pay rise since the financial crisis of 2008 – allowing the Conservatives to appear both generous in their support of NHS staff and effective in bringing post-Covid inflation back under control.

Note: our team feel it is important to flag that an above-inflation pay rise this year would not make up for more than a decade of below-inflation pay rises. Agenda for Change pay for staff will still be much lower than it would have been if pay had kept pace with inflation over the past 15 years. Your NHS salary in 2025 will buy you comparatively less than it would have in 2007.

What pay rise can the NHS afford?

The NHS is under huge financial pressures, which will not get any easier. The government has already announced that overall funding for the NHS will not increase for the year 2024/25 (which started in April 2024). This means that whatever pay increase is announced will almost certainly mean cuts to other spending – every percentage increase in wages costs the NHS about £1 billion.

NHS England has warned that it does not think pay rises of more than 2% would be affordable unless the government gives the NHS more money at the same time as announcing the rises – which it has not done in recent years.

Because the NHS pay rise is not announced in advance by the government, regional and local NHS finance teams have to make an educated guess about what their wage bill during their yearly financial planning. From speaking to senior NHS finance leaders, we understand that most organisations have budgeted for a 4-5% pay increase. This is likely to represent the upper limit for pay rises – exceeding this level would require drastic cuts to services and plans which have already been started for the year.

What NHS pay rise do unions want?

Many NHS staff are part of unions. Some of these unions provide evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body, and all of them have the power to put pressure on the government through organising industrial action such as strikes. Last year, many NHS staff were involved in strikes in an attempt to influence the pay deal.

After a difficult year for their members and frustration that the strikes did not achieve the pay rise hoped for by some NHS staff, this year the big NHS unions have made relatively conservative demands:

  • Unison have asked for a “proper pay rise”, adjustments to banding and a shorter working week;
  • The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have asked for an above-inflation pay rise, new pay progression for experienced staff and safer staffing guarantees;
  • GMB have asked for a flat £1.50 per hour pay rise for all staff – representing a rise of up to 13% for some Band 2 staff. They have also asked for free staff parking;
  • Unite the Union have asked for an “immediate, substantial pay rise”.

Based on the above demands, we believe a pay rise at or above inflation (about 3.5%) is probably a solution which would avert the risk of strikes across most of the NHS workforce.

22 replies on “How much is the NHS pay rise for 2024/25?”

  • Given that the NHS have pledged £12 an hour to bottom band 2, 3% is an utter joke. As a bottom band 4 , I will be on a mere £1.24 an hour more despite 2 years at uni and a degree! The whole system needs relooked at! Also why do band 4 have to wait an extra year to get to the top of their band ? EVERY other band is a 2 year step band 4 is a 3 year step !! Makes no sense

    frustrated fiona
    • I agree with you Fiona, been there, don’t get it why the difference in banding, feels like they want to safe money on admin roles.

    • Totally agree Fiona, disgusting how you have to wait and the whole banding system does not reward for hard work either. I have lazy colleagues on the same, all of it is demotivating.

      Annoyed Caz
  • 3.5%? With inflation at what it’s been, at the same time as the pitiful, well-below inflation amount last year – AND all the strikes that have been ongoing. I feel like anything less than 8% would mean an immediate down-tools. And a lot of people won’t be happy with 8% – that’s about the bottom of the acceptability level I think, just to avoid mass strikes. There will be people looking for at least 15%, and others wanting to start the bidding a lot higher, to negotiate down to that. Pay isn’t going to catch up by going backwards! And there’s already a staffing level crisis.

    John Lowe
    • Lol, 15% and starting bidding higher, what planet you on. Pragmatically speaking most people would be delighted with 5%, i reality 3.5% is fair

      John High

    yasmeen sheikh
    • I totally agree with you. After my line manager ticked a pay progression at my last appraisal, I found out that Band 2’s don’t get a pay progression. Why is that only for the lowest paid people in the NHS? Totally wrong

      Bridie MacCallum
  • yes all admin, porters, reception staff, caterers should all be above the same pay as a domestic, it is a joke, supermarkets offering £13p/h it is no wonder so many NHS staff are leaving. we should be on the top of Band 3 not on the same pay as a domestic, we have to have GCSE and computer skills. Sort this out ASAP, before we loose more experienced staff. yes all admin staff, caterers, porters should strike, the whole NHS would fall down without us. It is a joke being on minimum wage. LETS ALL STRIKE, nhs would have to stop work without us. lets show them we mean business, enough is enough, we are all worn out working for minimum wage.

    • I totally agree with all you are saying, we are on a band 2 for reception office duties, the same as domestics gardeners porters etc

  • This system is an absolute joke. We all need to be moved up a band.

  • I am a band 3 CSW and what i find disgusting is admin and secretaries are paid 3 and band 4 when i have to cannulate and have loads more responsibilities than admin staff and bosses do not fight our corner. we all desrve pay rises but certain job roles really need to be reassessed and paid higher, too much pressure is put on band 3 CSW

    emma sabine
  • I agree the whole pay structure needs review. I’ve worded to improve and completed masters etc to move to 8 a but wish I hadn’t bothered as have to stay at the bottom of my band with no pay step in between until then and difference between top of 7 and bottom of 8 is tiny considering the extra clinical responsibility I now have. Fed up!!

    • Rent gone up by 9% and so as the other bills line water, phone, council tax. It’s reasonable to get between 5-6% pay rise to ease the pressure of cost of living.

  • Healthcare Support Workers are literally the backbone of our NHS frontline service, having to take on more responsibilities/duties given the lack of qualified nurses. Band 2/3s was never a minimum wage job, yet has now become one. It’s no wonder people are leaving, and the service is not attracting the quality of staff it deserves.

  • With reports of bumper pay rises (private sector) it’s going to be another kick in the teeth when NHS workers get told to be happy with a pay rise that’s likely to be exceeded by inflation yet again. Retention and recruitment are only going to get harder the longer this continues.

  • Atleast for band 2 : 23500 needed. Why government is delaying in announcing the pay increase?!

  • I feel angry and totally let down by the banging.Have been on band 2 for 12 years working in pharmacy storekeeper,huge pressure looking after dispensing robot and huge deliveries,computer and admin…I could go on,no disrespect to domestics etc but difference in pressures, environment and workload is huge,how is this fair,minimum wage joke!!!

  • It is disgusting. I was sold a dream of stability, progression and benefits in the NHS. None of which is true. I am Band 2 front facing role, doing about 4 peoples jobs. My manager delegates a lot of their tasks to me, as do other services within my clinic, and I am picking up the slack from other sites. How is that fair? The wage I am on is not sustainable.
    When you are factoring in rent, the cost of food, owning a dog, running a car and general bills, it is simply impossible to live on anything less than a band 4 (as a single person). My friend gets paid more up North (where cost of living is lower) for working as a sandwich artist in Greggs! It is beyond a joke and the Gov need to sort this out, as so many people are leaving to work in supermarkets where they get paid at least £2 more per hour.

  • When the band 1s were moved up to 2s, the 2s should have been moved to 3s accordingly, reception and clerical and hca’s are all patient facing roles, I am a receptionist and have recently been verbally attacked at the desk, these are the things we have to deal with that staff such as domestics will never have to! We don’t get paid enough for that! It’s not acceptable! The original band 2s need up banding to 3s and we all need a proper pay rise!

  • NHS Band system is absolute Joke, Working as Band 6, Other private companies pay more than double of what I am getting for the work I do. Having 14 years of experience I have to start as fresh in band 6, no wonder why people are leaving NHS and going for private jobs.

  • Why are people being so disrespectful of domestics ? If it wasn’t for them the hospitals would not be clean and patients would not be fed I get higher bands should be paid more and band 2 health cares but come on you don’t need to belittle domestics they work just as hard if it wasn’t for the others would have to clean would you like that if you were to do it yourselves

  • No one seems to be mentioning the fact that MPs themselves received a 5.5% Pay Rise this year and that Inflation was nearer 5% in March when the NHS Pay Deal should have been announced. Leaving the announcement this late gives them the ability to justify a lower pay rise whilst inflation continues to fall. It is criminal the way they do this whist we are all still living on last years wages until they announce it and actually pay it! This is happening every year now!

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