Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Unsocial hours pay deal for nurses finally tabled

  • Comment
Senior nurses working nights could earn thousands of pounds more each year, under proposals on unsocial hours.

Staff most likely to benefit are senior A&E nurses, critical care outreach and senior sisters on special care baby units, and those on hospital at night schemes.


Interim arrangements capped unsocial hours payment calculations at the top of Agenda for Change band 6. This meant nurses in higher bands were receiving unsocial hours payments calculated using senior sisters’ rates.


But new proposals, drawn up by unions and NHS Employers, remove this cap, meaning unsocial hours rates will be based on actual basic pay – excluding recruitment and retention premia and London weighting bonuses.


Unsocial hours pay for staff working in bands 2 and 3 will also change. But those for band 5 and 6 will remain the same – drawing a mixed reaction from nurses.

Mandy Motley, critical care staff nurse at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said staff on lower bands should receive more money at weekends to reflect the extra responsibility they took on. ‘The wage should reflect the responsibility when there is not support for staff,’ she said. ‘It does currently give an incentive to work but I don’t think it necessarily reflects the amount of responsibility the staff have to take.’


However, Adam McAvery, staff nurse at Central Manchester Healthcare NHS Trust, said: ‘I think the unsocial hours rates are fine for me – I am grateful for the extra pay.’

The so-called 50-50 rule remains – meaning nurses will receive unsocial hours payments for an entire shift if more than half the hours worked are unsocial.

Unison, which will begin balloting members on the proposals this week, has recommended that they should accept the proposals – papers must be returned by 15 February. The RCN and Unite are also running ballots on the proposals, closing on 18 February.


Problems finding a workable scheme that minimises the number of staff taking a pay cut and is affordable for employers, have meant the proposals have been delayed by more than three years since the introduction of the Agenda for Change pay system in October 2004.

  • Staff at early implementer sites, which were testing out other unsocial hours schemes, will see their rates change according to local agreements until 2011, when they will begin to receive the new rates.

Pay BandSatuardays, weekdays 8pm - 6amSundays and public holidays (midnight to midnight)
1Time plus 50%Double time
2Time plus 44%Time plus 88%
3Time plus 37%Time plus 74%
4-9Time plus 30 %Time plus 60%

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.