Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
Earlier this year I accepted the recommendations from the independent NHS pay review bodies and rewarded our hard working NHS staff a 3% pay rise, I have now, after extensive discussions with trade unions in social partnership, agreed a number of important enhancements to the pay award.
After a ballot from the Welsh Partnership Forum trade unions, I am pleased to announce the following package of enhancements, which demonstrate Welsh Government’s ongoing appreciation for NHS staff.
These are focused on some of the lowest-paid NHS staff and have been developed with careful consideration of financial affordability to ensure patient care and recovery from the pandemic can continue to be prioritised. They will be funded from existing Welsh health budgets – no additional funding from the United Kingdom Government has been made available.
The enhancements are:
- A one-off, non-consolidated additional payment of 1% for all those on Agenda for Change pay bands one to five. This will benefit in the region of 61,000 of our lowest paid staff, including porters, cleaners, support staff, healthcare assistants and newly-qualified nurses, midwives and allied healthcare professionals. Newly-qualified doctors will also benefit from this payment.
- All NHS staff will receive an additional annual leave day in their contractual entitlement. This will be pro-rata for part-time staff.
- All NHS staff will be given the opportunity to sell back a proportion of unused annual leave. It is important we continue to recognise that staff need to ensure they take sufficient time to rest and recuperate as their wellbeing is paramount. Parameters will be set around the amount of leave eligible for the sell-back scheme.
I am also putting project management resource into a social partnership group to look at staff welfare. This group may consider areas such as staff health and wellbeing at work, working environments, training and development, career development, flexible working and child care. I look forward to hearing how this important work progresses and receiving future recommendations for Welsh Government to consider supporting.
Finally, I am amending the bottom spine point for those on Agenda for Change band two and the pay point for band one from April 2021 to £18,731.
This will provide a 3% award on the previous salary level for 2020-21 of £18,185 (which included a Living Wage top-up) rather than the substantive salary of £18,008. This, in particular, will support the lowest paid workers in the NHS, which includes porters, cleaners, cooks and many others.
I am pleased this offer has been accepted. However, I am disappointed no additional funding has been forthcoming from the UK Government to support NHS pay.
NHS staff have gone over and above to protect people in Wales throughout the course of the pandemic and again are making exceptional efforts over the holiday period to deliver urgent care and help deliver the booster programme to protect the nation.
My heartfelt thanks go to all our wonderful NHS Wales staff.