Health secretary Andy Burnham has warned trusts not to use contractual loopholes to pay nurses’ less in response to budget pressures.
Mr Burnham was asked at UNISON’s annual health conference what he planned to do about trusts that attempted to make savings through Agenda for Change, for example by downgrading nurses’ job bandings.
In response, Mr Burnham said the pay framework must not be “subverted” by organisations looking for savings.
He said: “We didn’t introduce it [Agenda for Change] so it could be subverted.
“We introduced it because we wanted that new system to be part of how we drive up quality of standards across the NHS. That remains part of our vision.
“If you have a properly motivated workforce we’re more likely to get the quality of services we need.
“We will give you a commitment to work through the social partnership forum to make sure it’s not undermined in any way by organisations facing financial pressure.”