Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich North, has today welcomed the news that NHS staff will see pay increases following the public sector pay restraint.
Public sector pay restraint was put in place to tackle the deficit left by the last Labour Government. However, in September last year the Government ended the 1 per cent pay award policy for public sector workforces. This was in recognition that some flexibility would be required in certain areas. Using the funds that the Chancellor allocated at the Budget, today the Government set out proposals that will see wage rises of between 6.5 per cent and 29 per cent for over 1.1 million NHS workers in England including nurses and midwives, as part of a deal to boost productivity.
As a result of pay reform, the lowest earning NHS staff such as porters, cleaners and hospital caterers will see their wages rise by 15 per cent over the next three years. A newly qualified nurse will receive starting pay 12.6 per cent higher in 2020-2021 than this year and starting pay for a midwife will increase by 18.1 per cent as a result of pay band reform.
The Government will also guarantee fair basic pay awards for the next three years to the 50 per cent of staff who are at the top of pay bands; while guaranteeing fair basic pay awards and faster progression pay for the next three years to around 50 per cent of staff that is not yet on the top of their pay band.
In addition to pay increases, the Government is working with the NHS to improve the rights of the people who work in our NHS. Today’s deal is not just about better pay for hard working NHS staff – it is also about making the NHS a better employer. Shared parental leave rights will be extended to all staff, the NHS will commit to reducing sickness absence by improving staff health and wellbeing, and all staff will receive better skills and development training.
Additionally, the Government is working with NHS employers and trade unions to boost productivity to achieve better outcomes for patients. Proposals include a framework for buying and selling annual leave which will consider the pay value of annual leave that staff may wish to sell back to their employers. This could help increase capacity and reduce spend on agencies.
Chloe comments: “NHS staff work incredibly hard, day in, day out, right across the country. Today’s announcement is only possible because of the balanced approach the Government is taking – investing in our public services like the NHS and helping families with the cost of living while at the same time getting our debt falling. Having made sure that constituents’ concerns were heard on this issue, I welcome the pay increase announcement today for constituents who work in the NHS, as well as the other measures that aim to support our hardworking NHS staff. Coming in the same week as more medical staff to be trained at UEA, this shows government commitment to the NHS in Norwich.”