Pay Progression Update

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Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the date for the new pay progression framework go live has been paused and will no longer occur on 1st April 2021. 

Following implementation of the 2018 pay deal, a new pay progression framework was agreed. The details can be found within Annex 23, England of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook. 

As part of the framework, it was agreed that:

  •  With effect from 01 April 2019, all new starters to the NHS, and existing staff who were promoted, would come under the new pay progression arrangements.
  •  With effect from 01 April 2021, all staff would come under the new arrangements.

This would have been a significant change to how staff progress to the next pay step point. For instance, a pay step review meeting, to facilitate the move to the next pay point in ESR, would have been required and the following key criteria would have had to be demonstrated:

  • The appraisal process has been completed within the last 12 months and outcomes are in line with the organisation’s standards
  • There is no formal capability process in place
  • There is no formal disciplinary sanction live on the staff member’s record
  • Statutory and/or mandatory training has been completed
  • For line managers only – appraisals have been completed for all their staff as required

However, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some organisations will have had limited capacity to undertake staff appraisals during the 2020/21 appraisal year, and as a direct result of capacity pressures, some staff may have been unable to complete their statutory or mandatory training. Similarly, for those staff who were subject to a local capability process, there may have been little or no time to progress their capability improvements plans.

In recognition of the pandemic, and limitations on capacity, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed that the requirement for staff to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for the role will be paused. 

To ensure staff are not adversely impacted, a manual setting of pay progression set to ‘YES’ in ESR reporting will be utilised, to ensure that pay steps are opened when they are due, and staff receive their pay progression on time.

As the NHS continues to manage its response to the pandemic, the DHSC guidance on arrangements for pay progression, as stated above, is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

We shall, of course, keep you informed if the process changes are re-introduced.

If staff have any specific queries related to their pay progression, please contact the Terms and Conditions Group via email.

 Published 25th March 2021