Government suggests a 1% pay settlement for all NHS workers

NHS workers would see an increase of just £3.50 per week. The Government has asked the NHS Pay Review Body […]

Matt Bodell
4 March 2021
Nurses wearing masks

NHS workers would see an increase of just £3.50 per week.

The Government has asked the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) to recommend a rise of just 1% for all NHS workers.


In evidence submitted to the NHSPRB, the independent organisation that provides annual recommendations on the pay and conditions of NHS workers, the Government has said they expect to give staff just a 1% rise.

In contrast, health unions have been calling upon the Government to give NHS workers an immediate restorative rise of between 12.5% and 15% after over a decade of real-terms pay cuts.

The published earlier today document reads; “The government announced a pause in public sector pay rises for all workforces, with an exception for employees with basic full-time equivalent salaries of £24,000 or under and for the NHS.

“In settling the DHSC and NHS budget, the government assumed a headline pay award of 1% for NHS staff.” It goes on to explain that anything higher “would require re-prioritisation.”


The justification for this figure is ongoing pressures on the public purse due to COVID-19, the spiraling cost of occupational sick pay due to the pandemic, and the 2018 multi-year pay deal.

Pitiful and bitterly disappointing.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said that in real terms this would be an increase of just £3.50 per week.

Responding to the news, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair, said: “This is pitiful and bitterly disappointing. The government is dangerously out of touch with nursing staff, NHS workers and the public.

“It is not a done deal but the government has revealed its hand for the first time. With the time remaining before the Pay Review Body recommendation, the government can expect a backlash from a million NHS workers. Taxpayers are supportive of a significant and fair pay rise for NHS workers – this year of all years.


“If the Pay Review Body accepts the government view, a pay award as poor as this would amount to only an extra £3.50 per week take-home pay for an experienced nurse. Nobody would think that is fair in the middle of a pandemic and it will do nothing to prevent the exodus from nursing.

“Nursing staff would feel they are being punished and made to pay for the cost of the pandemic. It is a political decision to underfund and undervalue nursing staff.

“Nursing deserves a 12.5% increase. Our members will be making sure the Pay Review Body understands their reality and how the award would be received.”

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