When will the NHS pay rise for 2024 happen? (Updated June 2024)

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Most NHS pay is governed by the Agenda for Change (AfC) contract, which separates pay into a number of pay bands.

The rates of pay on Agenda for Change are reviewed on a yearly basis by the government, which usually means that there is a pay rise agreed for each year.

In theory this pay rise should be applied for the start of the tax year in April. However, in practice, the complex process of agreeing and implementing a pay rise for hundreds of thousands of staff often means that pay rises end up having to be backdated to cover the period between April and whenever changes in pay are actually implemented by NHS finance teams. The NHS pay rise has only been agreed twice before April in the past 5 years.

This year, the election has disrupted the pay review process. Because of rules around not announcing major policies during the run-up to an election and the need for a new government to be formed, we believe a pay rise is most likely to be announced in September 2024. NHS staff may not receive updated pay and any backdated pay due before October 2024.

How will the NHS pay rise for 2024 be decided?

To try and protect the NHS pay rise from becoming tied up in political debate, the government asks the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) to provide recommendations on what it thinks is both affordable for the NHS and fair for NHS staff. The Pay Review Body is normally made up of economists, HR experts and people who have held senior trade union roles in the past. Board members are appointed by the government.

The recommendations provided by the PRB take the form of a lengthy report including highly detailed recommendations on pay and related matters and evidence from trade unions, other industry bodies and the Treasury – you can read previous reports on the PRB website.

When will the NHS pay rise for 2024 be announced?

This year, the government delayed its instructions to the PRB by a month, which means in turn that the deadline for the PRB to return its recommendations will be a month later than usual – May 2024.

In the past, there has been some difference between the PRB’s deadline for submitting their report and the report being made public alongside agreed changes in NHS pay by the government.

Importantly, a general election also means that the NHS pay rise will not be announced until a new government has been formed and decide whether they agree with the recommendations of the PRB.

Given all the above, we expect that a pay rise is unlikely to be announced before September 2024; depending on exact timings, NHS staff may not receive updated pay in time for their September pay packets.

Will the NHS pay rise take place in June or July 2024?

Given an election has now been called for July 2024, we do not expect any pay deal to be announced until a new government is in place (probably September). In the past it has taken at least a month between the headlines of any pay deal being announced and actual pay being updated for staff, due to the complexiety of updating pay for hundreds of thousands of staff at thousands of different organisations.

When the pay deal is announced, the pay rise will be backdated to April 1st 2024 and any additional owed pay will be given as a lump sum to staff.

Will the NHS pay rise take place before the general election?

During the period immediately before an election, many government policies and decisions are delayed. This is to avoid government decisions being used to influence the political landscape in their favour. This period is often called “purdah”.

Given a general election has now been announced, we do not expect the NHS pay rise to be announced until the election is complete and Parliament restarts in September.

We’ve also written an article about how we think a Labour government would change NHS pay if they were elected.

Why did my NHS pay increase in April 2024?

Most NHS staff will have a small increase in their take home pay from April 2024 onwards. This is not a result of a new NHS pay deal; the increase is because the government has reduced National Insurance contributions. This means that most staff will take home more of their pay after tax. For most staff this will be an increase of between £25-£100 in the amount that reaches their bank account.

How much will the NHS pay rise be for 2024?

Update for April 2024: we’ve got a new article about why we’re predicting a 3-3.5% pay rise here.

Until the PRB’s recommendations are published and the election is complete, we won’t know for sure. Many unions are campaigning for an above-inflation pay rise of more than 5%.

From speaking to a range of NHS finance professionals, we understand that most NHS organisations originally budgeted for a maximum overall rise in wage bills of between 4-5% for 2024. If we assumed a pay rise of 4.5% across all bands, that would mean:

  • Pay for someone at the bottom of Agenda for Change Band 5 rising from £28,407 to £29,615
  • Pay for someone in the middle spine point of Agenda for Change Band 6 rising from £37,350 to £39,030
  • Pay for someone at the top spine point of Agenda for Change Band 8a rising from £57,349 to £59,930

However, the government’s instructions to the PRB also included specific references to affordability given the current economic climate. Some government finance contacts we spoke to believe this means the government is unlikely to be willing to match or exceed inflation, which (as of April 2024) is at around 3.5% according to most measures. This might mean a raise in the region of 3-3.5% is more likely. We’ve produced a full set of updated salaries for a 3.5% predicted pay rise here.

It is also worth noting that pay increases are not always applied uniformly across all pay bands. In recent years there has been a trend for larger pay increases for staff on lower pay bands (including the removal of Agenda for Change Band 1) and smaller increases for more senior staff (or even no increases for some senior staff, such as those on Bands 8a and above).

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33 replies on “When will the NHS pay rise for 2024 happen? (Updated June 2024)”

  • Why does pay band 4 have to wait 3 years before any increments unlike every other band?

    Dilip Hirani
    • I know waiting 3 years to go from the bottom to the top of Band 4, not going up in smaller increments as was the case before.

      Sophia Freddino
  • The band 2 issue must be taken into account, its lunacy to penalize experienced band 2 workers in the same scale as entry level band 1, ridiculous band 2 must be higher than band 1 simple, make band 2 £23,830, and with the minimum wage going up better to it now then later, the unions have been made aware since entry level jobs like stacking shelves will be paid more than Experienced NHS administration staff. Complete Lunacy

    • The wages for band 2 are criminal. I have seen bar and shop jobs offering more per hour, than what we get on an experienced band 2 job. We have lots of experence and are working beyond our grade. I know I do as I am sure many others do. I asked for a review and they refused, saying they would have to review all the admin posts.

      • Hear, Hear Kerry – I have just asked my Unison rep if we could raise this – I am a band 2 – my job share is a band 3! My daughter worked a summer in a pub at 16 and earned more than I do, even before tips. I hear the word ‘valued’ bounced around a lot…….

        • same here I asked my Union what they were going to do about it and he said not enough Admin staff had complained and they were concentrating on the HCAs

      • I’m a band 2. Basic hourly wage Mon to Friday £11.45. The new minimum wage is £11.44., weekend you get more and night. Seen a job for train cleaner £13.00

  • They know this is going to happen every year so why dont they just start looking into this in time for the 1st April and not for our August pay day.

    • The NHS are putting all non clinical roles as Band 2 now regardless of experience or length of employment. There are a lot of employees that should be on Band 3 instead of Band 2 it’s a disgrace. With no bonus or reward for hard graft and little opportunity for promotion is any wonder people are leaving the NHS in droves.

      Angela Rees
  • The minimum wage will only be 1p less than what a band 2 NHS pay is.
    Surely the NHS needs more than a 1p difference to attract much needed staff.
    Also bearing in mind the wide cross section of jobs covering a band 2 pay scale.
    Some of which should definitely be raised to a band 3 level……..

    Gail Taylor
  • Your new bills will be taking from the 1st of April in advance. And you suppose to wait for your implementing salary up till August. Who is going to pay for your overdraft ?

    Marta Kozhak
  • They need to look at band 2 pay you get more working at ALDIs

    Carol Harrison
  • MPs have just agreed a 5.5% pay rise for 2024-25, so 3 points – (1) why is their agreement on time and ours not? (2) why are we not offered 5.5%? and (3) How is this in keeping with the first of the House of Commons own published values ‘We value everyone equally’?

  • It’s as though they don’t know this happens every year like clockwork. It’s distrespectful and incompetent to staff to delay it every single year, knowing it’s coming.

  • The minimum wage for over 21 year old’s from April 2024 is £11.44. The current hourly rate for Band 2 NHS staff is £11.44. I have worked for the NHS for 15 years and feel it is so unjust to be receiving the minimum wage – I feel so undervalued. Also anyone joining in a Band 2 role receives the same remuneration as an experienced employee – so unfair.

    Joyce Fender
  • Minimum wage has gone up by 10percent, so the nhs wage should go up by just as much, or in a few years time we will end up on the same as minimum wage for extremely skilled jobs

    • I agree that the way the minimum wage is rising so quickly, we will end up on the same as minimum wage for extremely skilled jobs in the NHS. No wonder staff are leaving in work in Tesco.

      Sharon Winks
  • I have worked in nhs as a band 2 for nearly 10 years and now find myself on minimum wage. Totally wrong abd feel very under valued. No wonder nhs can’t recruit. It’s a farse and the government should be ashamed i themselves. I am 64 and can’t claim my state pension till I’m 66 so I have to continue working full time for a pittance So very angry

    Lynn maguire
  • I have worked on Band 2 for 9 years now and had to step up 7 times to get to where I am now – new employees coming in are now on the same rate as myself ?!!! Just not right – there is talk of making Bsnd 2 HCA’s up to Band 3 – however, since enhancements then go down I am loathed to listen to this as in effect I’d be worse off !! The whole Agenda for Change needs a revamp – it’s not right !

  • I’m a Band 2 receptionist in the NHS, it’s a very important role front of house and being the face of the dept and I find myself on minimum wage, very disheartening and feel quite under valued for an important role.

    Jill Yule
  • With out the band 2 employees the NHS would collapse / IF reception , domestics , hca, etc went on full scale strike NHS would no excist to operate at all.

  • I have worked in the nhs for over 15 years now. Different roles mostly band 2&3. Every single one of them I felt underpaid and overwhelmed most of the time. I now find myself on minimum wage being very experienced at my job and having to go up 7 scales on band 2 before hitting the top. The newbies come in at the same point I do and it really puts a downer on me to be honest. I also had to go to college to do my job (clinical typist) If I don’t do my job right patients dont get their meds on time! Now being on minimum wage it’s just insulting! Don’t even get me started on the scales within the banding!

    Lucy Woods
  • I have worked 26 years on band 2 with a lot of experience in Admin and find myself on the same salary as a New Starter and on the Legal Minimum Wage

  • I have worked in this industry since I was almost 17 a lifetime of experience in many different organisations, I thought going back into the NHS would be rewarding not only to help others but be valued by pay, this is not the case, I feel very undervalued and aggrieved, why can’t the powers that be just see what the lower paid members of staff are doing, we are the backbone of this organisation and should be recognised not just the high ups, they have no idea what we do down on the ground

  • I have worked in the NHS 30 yrs took the NHS pension early it’s not what I thought it would be. I’m still working as a band 2 on £11.45. The new minimum wage is £11.44 I’m on 1p more No pay Increase so far the April on my wage my pension has increased 😳😳

  • Band 2 wage

    Sandra
  • Iv been working for the NHS for 14 years and totally agree with everyone how are fuming at the minimum wage being the same as experienced staff and new staff starting, this is so unfair to long term staff.

    Sandra
  • Only just discovered this site while looking for the potential pay rise & would like to comment on a couple of recurring gripes. I’m a band 2 & agree wholeheartedly that the pay is atrocious & needs addressing urgently. People mention working for a supermarket pays better. I worked at Tesco for 4 years as a shelf stacker & then moved into management. Supermarket work is horrendous, abusive customers, seriously hard graft & off hand management. Most NHS staff I’ve come across while working here wouldn’t know what hit them if they had to work in a supermarket & the likes of Aldi & Lidl are even worse. Secondly I understand years of service in a role gains knowledge & experience but most band 2 jobs are learned within a few months especially in my role so why should a new starter get paid around £1500 less than someone who has been there for longer, that person’s living expenses are no less than anyone else’s. I think scraping the wait to reach the top
    Pay band for 2’s was the right choice as the pay is awful even at the top of the band mind at the bottom as was.

  • I have been a band 2 for 30 yrs in nhs service. I have gone from healthcare to clerical health issues. But now domestic are band 2. I’m now on minimum wage but nhs boss s. Want more productivity from band 2 staff and motivation is low. Why as it come to minimum wage the hospital as never had staff on minimum wage. And new people not even trained coming into hospital doin the same job as me. Getting the same pay as me. Yet it’s took me 30 yrs to get to top of band 2 it’s. So unfair. The system all nhs deserve a pay rise

    Maureen
  • why do we have to wait so long for a pay rise to be agreed. NHS staff shhould be compensated for every month delayed in paying us a pay rise. it might encourage them to get their act together. we could be loosing out on potential interest for those months we have not been paid for those who may be luckily enough to have a bit of spare cash unlike the majority of us.

  • I am a qualified nurse band 5. It such ashame that we are undervalued. The pay is appalling this is why they are struggling to keep qualified healthcare professionals in the post. The job it self is very challenging. They should look at other job sectors and the pay scale for these and compare the healthcare salaries.

  • I’m really hoping the pay rise will be announced soon, my sister is a nurse and the lack of recognition for their hard work is impacting morale. It’s great that you’ve updated this post to reflect the latest information, thanks for keeping us informed!

  • I am a domestic supervisor on band 2 should be band 3 for all the extra responsibilities it’s just disgusting and feel so undervalued

    Donna Roscoe

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