Closed petition Recognise all members of NHS nursing profession by giving them a 12.5% pay rise

Now is the time to correct the pay given to our nursing staff; people who put themselves in harm's way to keep the rest of us safe and well. For years, their pay has not kept pace with inflation and this year serves as a striking reminder of the critical work they do.

More details

The government should demonstrate that it recognises the crucial work nursing staff undertake every day, by awarding nursing staff a 12.5% pay increase.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

20,251 signatures

Show on a map


Government responded

This response was given on 22 March 2021

We have asked the independent NHS Pay Review Body to provide a recommendation on pay for nurses and other Agenda for Change staff and will carefully consider their recommendation when we receive it.

Read the response in full

The government hugely values and appreciates all our NHS staff, including our hard-working nurses. We are working hard to ensure that all health and social care workers feel supported and safe to continue the fight against Covid-19.

COVID-19 has placed a huge strain on public finances and the economic outlook remains uncertain. As such, pay must be set at a level that is both fair and affordable.

By giving an uplift to NHS staff, when uplifts in the wider public sector have been paused, the government is acknowledging the extraordinary work, not only of nurses, but of all NHS staff through the pandemic. This balances the challenging fiscal context, and the need to acknowledge the workforce.

The government has issued its evidence to the independent NHS Pay Review Body, who will provide a recommendation on pay for the Agenda for Change workforce, including nurses, for the 2021/22 financial year. The written evidence sets out that in settling the DHSC and NHS budget, the government assumed a headline pay award of 1% for NHS staff. Anything higher would require re-prioritisation.

It is important to stress that the affordability assumptions set out within the government’s written evidence do not prejudge the role of the independent pay review bodies.

The pay review bodies are independent advisory bodies made up of industry experts. Their recommendations are based on a comprehensive assessment of evidence from a range of stakeholders including trade unions. They will consider a wide range of factors, including the cost of living, recruitment and retention, affordability and value for money for the taxpayer and comparisons with wider public and private sector earnings.

We have asked the NHS Pay Review Body to report this Spring and the Government will then take time to carefully consider their recommendations before responding.

In March 2021 the multi-year Agenda for Change pay and contract reform deal, agreed with NHS Trade Unions, is due to end. As part of this deal, we have increased the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse increase by over 12% and as a result of the deal, nurses will also be able to reach the top of their pay band in a shorter amount of time, where basic pay in AfC band 5 is £30,615.

In addition to basic pay, nursing staff can expect to receive additional premium rates of pay for working during unsocial hours, through agreed overtime and for working in and around London. This can significantly increase the total take home pay a nurse receives. According to NHS Digital Data, in the 12-month period to September 2020, mean annual earnings per person for nurses and health visitors was £34,002.

The range of employment benefits available to nurses exceeds that which is available in many other sectors, and the value of the total reward package has been increasing in recent years. Total reward is not just about pay and includes access to the NHS Pension Scheme, which is one of the best available, alongside a generous annual leave allowance of up to 33 days (on top of bank holidays).

The NHS People Plan published last year also sets out practical actions for employers, as well as the actions that NHS England and NHS Improvement and Health Education England will take, to boost recruitment and retention in the NHS and invest in staff wellbeing.

Department of Health and Social Care

MPs question the Government on NHS staff pay

On Monday 8 March, MPs questioned Minister for Care Helen Whately on NHS staff pay.

The debate followed an Urgent Question from Jonathan Ashworth, asking the Minister to make a statement on the Department of Health and Social Care’s recommendations on NHS staff pay.

Read the transcript:

What is an Urgent Question?

MPs may request that the Speaker considers their application for an urgent question each day. If the Speaker is satisfied that the question is urgent and of public importance it is then granted.
A relevant Government minister has to come to the Chamber to explain what the Government is doing on the issue raised. The minister will then usually take questions on the subject from MPs.

Find out more

Find out more about the role of the Petitions Committee:
Follow the Committee on Twitter for real-time updates on its work:

MPs to debate NHS pay

MPs will debate NHS pay on Wednesday 24 March in Westminster Hall.

This will be a general debate. General debates allow MPs to debate important issues, however they do not end in a vote nor can they change the law.

The debate will start at 9.25am and last for an hour and a half.

Watch the debate:

You'll be able to read a transcript of the debate a few hours after it happens:

Find out more about how Parliamentary debates work: