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Agenda for Change and private sector

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Nursing Times' ongoing series on Agenda for Change answers your questions about the new pay system for NHS staff.

Question

I have recently changed my job and am now nursing in the private sector rather than in an NHS hospital. I would like to know where I stand on receiving my back pay from October 2004 as the private sector is not implementing Agenda for Change.

Answer

You will be entitled to back pay from October 2004 even though you have now left the NHS. The point is that you were entitled to that extra pay from the date of 1 October 2004 until the day you left your old job. Even if you were not fully switched over (assimilated) to Agenda for Change before you left, that entitlement stands.

The problem of back pay arose because AfC took so long to be agreed between all parties that the government made a commitment that it would be effective from October 2004 even though they and everyone else knew it would take a lot longer for it start in practice and for all staff to be assimilated.

What you should do is write to your previous employer and outline what has happened with a timeline, giving details of what your job was, whether or not you were assimilated on to AfC and if so, when, and also when you left the job.

If you were not fully assimilated before you left, then you should ask to find out what your job was assimilated to or will be assimilated to, because that will help identify what extra back pay you will be entitled to, effective from October 2004.

The letter should also ask when you might receive your back pay. By doing this, you will have something on record and you will have notified them and given an opportunity for them to deal with it.

How and when back pay will be paid has not yet been decided but employers are committed to it and know they have to pay it. It is more likely that staff will receive it in one lump sum rather than in instalments.

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