All Agenda for Change staff working in Health and Social Care will receive the 3% award which was recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body.
The award will see HSC pay points increase by 3% and will be backdated to 1 April 2021. This award represents an estimated increase of approximately £88.24million on the Agenda for Change pay bill.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I want to once again place on record my gratitude and admiration to all who work in our health and social care system. So many staff have worked extremely long hours under enormous pressure during the pandemic. Staff are the backbone of our health and social care services and I want to recognise their continued professionalism in delivering high-quality effective care to people across Northern Ireland.”
The Health Minister continued: “Following receipt in recent weeks of additional funding, I can now confirm that I will implement this year’s recommended pay award for Agenda for Change staff. This will be a 3% increase on all AfC pay points, backdated to 1 April 2021, and ensures pay parity with England is maintained. I will impress upon BSO the importance of ensuring this award and the payment of associated back pay is progressed as quickly as possible.”
The Department and Trade Unions have been in discussions in recent weeks about possible enhancements to the pay award for 2021/22.
The Minister continued: “While the Department’s budget this year remains under considerable financial pressure, I wish to further recognise the hard work and dedication of AfC staff during 21/22, and subject to the Department’s wider budget position easing, I am willing to prioritise a bid, as part of January monitoring, for additional resource to support a further non-consolidated award for most AfC staff in 2021/22.
“Any additional non-consolidated award will need to be approved by the Department of Finance.
“Like all my Executive colleagues, I have to operate within budgetary constraints set by the Treasury. While there are many conflicting demands on health spending, I am clear that properly rewarding staff is an important priority.”
The 3% pay increase will be made in addition to the HSC Special Recognition Payment which was announced early in the year. This one-off payment of up to £735 acknowledged the efforts made by staff across the HSC workforce during the pandemic.
In addition, the Health Minister has committed to holding a high-level Joint Summit with the Trade Unions and Employers to look at key issues of Pay and Retention, early in the New Year. This Summit will be used to identify our collective priorities ahead of detailed engagement on a 2022/23 pay award.