• 05 March 2021
  • 3 min read

What The Proposed 1% Pay Rise Means For NHS Nurses

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
  • 6
  • 6708
The Government was fully behind clapping the NHS. What will NHS Nurses say about its 1% pay increase?

The Department of Health and Social Care has submitted a proposed pay rise recommendation to the NHS pay review body of just 1%. What does this mean?

Along with a number of significant announcements in Rishi Sunak’s budget, the news NHS Nurses have been waiting for has also been revealed.

Work Out What 1% Means For You!

Use Our 1% Pay Rise Calculator To Work Out Your Pay Increase

The 1% Pay Rise Calculator

The Department of Health and Social Care has submitted a proposed pay rise recommendation to the NHS pay review body of just 1%.

It’s important to note that this is only a recommendation at this point – the pay rise for the 2021-2022 year will be formally decided in May.

Until then, Nursing salaries in the NHS remain unchanged.

But nonetheless, the announcement has been met with an enormous backlash from politicians and unions, many of whom have described the rise to be ‘an insult’.

It will certainly come as a surprise to those Nurses who have been heralded for working at the very frontline of the Covid pandemic, like ICU Nurse, Emma Keane, in this article.

How Much More Would A Nurse Be Paid With A 1% Increase?

To give a sense of what a 1% rise looks like we've built a 1% NHS Nurse Pay Rise Calculator.

Here's what our calculator tells us about how much Nurses in a few different bandings would see their pay increase by each week:

• A Band 5 Nurse with a few years’ experience would take home around £4.20 a week more

• A Band 6 Nurse with between 3 and 7 years’ experience would take home around £5.10 a week more

• A Band 7 Nurse with a similar amount of experience would take home around £6.15 a week more

To explain that in terms of responsibilities:

•  Band 5 and 6 = this will include the kind of Nurses seen in PPE working on Covid wards. (You can read stories by such Nurses in this section of Nurses.co.uk)

• Band 7 = typically requiring a Master’s level degree or equivalent. Nursing job titles include Advanced Nurse Practitioners.

‘An Enormous Slap In The Face’

Unite’s assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail has summed up the mood by calling this pay rise ‘an enormous slap in the face’.

It’s also been revealed that a £35 million fund has been established to support strike action over the proposed increase.

Work Out What 1% Means For You!

Use Our 1% Pay Rise Calculator To Work Out Your Pay Increase

The 1% Pay Rise Calculator

The Royal College of Nursing had argued for a 12.5% increase, so inevitably this announcement has been heavily criticised.

However, the issue surrounding the salary increase is complex.

A Real-Terms Pay Cut?

Many public sector workers, including teachers, are about to have their pay frozen for a year, and the government’s coffers are at an unparalleled low because of the financial impact of Covid-19.

However, many critics of this proposed pay rise have highlighted the fact that this would represent a ‘real-terms’ cut in wages.

Real-terms describes the amount of money you earn in relation to average living costs, and with many living costs rising annually, a 1% rise doesn’t do enough to soften the blow.

Experts are torn on this subject, because inflation – which is a big contributing factor in rising living costs – remains extremely low.

Low inflation, they suggest, means lower living costs.

But the fallout from Covid-19 and Brexit could change that – and end up highlighting how insufficient a pay increase of 1% really is.

Whatever happens, it’s fair to say that nothing has been decided yet – and that the battle over NHS pay rises has only just begun.

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Do You Think 1% Is Enough?

Add Your Comment Below

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About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

  • 6 Comments
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    • Julie Lambert 5 months ago
      Julie Lambert
    • Julie Lambert
      5 months ago

      I am an Intensive Care Nurse and have been for 12 years, We are on our knees feeling broken and ... read more

      • Sorry to hear this Julie. It's unlikely they will stick to this given the backlash. As for an MP's pay rise... They rejected their last pay rise in December. MPs’ salary is £81,932 and the body that l... read more

        Sorry to hear this Julie. It's unlikely they will stick to this given the backlash. As for an MP's pay rise... They rejected their last pay rise in December. MPs’ salary is £81,932 and the body that looks at their salaries had proposed an increase in line with public sector pay of the previous year. That would have been a rise of £3,360 - and an annual total salary of £85,292. But many MPs called for a pay freeze - which is what happened.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Thomas Boyle 5 months ago
      Thomas Boyle
    • Thomas Boyle
      5 months ago

      I do not know why this has come as a suprise, the present goverment have form for doing this sort ... read more

    • Penny Corkerton 5 months ago
      Penny Corkerton
    • Penny Corkerton
      5 months ago

      Wow so the clapping didn’t mean anything..... front line , double shifts, separate from loved one’s, deaths and 1% really ... read more

    • Andy Bennett 5 months ago
      Andy Bennett
    • Andy Bennett
      5 months ago

      I'd rather they had not offered 1%, I'd rather have nothing and give the money to a food bank. 1% ... read more

    • Patricia Head 5 months ago
      Patricia Head
    • Patricia Head
      5 months ago

      Thanks Matt and it’s all social care... home/domiciliary care, children the elderly and all . Not just the residential homes ... read more

      • Not as much as secondary care, no. It is recognised, but isn't given the same level of coverage or celebrated with quite the same fanfare, no.

        Replied by: Matt Farrah
    • Patricia Head 5 months ago
      Patricia Head
    • Patricia Head
      5 months ago

      OK, I’m in favour of nurses getting more than 1% they deserve more but and it’s a big but.. the ... read more

      • Couldn't agree more. I think the whole of the last year has shown how imbalanced it is(in favour of the NHS and healthcare generally). But it's been a good thing - it has amplified the call for a Nati... read more

        Couldn't agree more. I think the whole of the last year has shown how imbalanced it is(in favour of the NHS and healthcare generally). But it's been a good thing - it has amplified the call for a National Care Service and that's gaining traction. There are debates about this on national radio and TV. It needs to be ALL care. Not just care home. I think home care is going to be an increasingly important sector in the coming years. Covid will leave a lasting legacy of fear around care homes for some people for some time. The cost of putting a relative into residential care is unaffordable for some. And we have an ageing population. All of these factors will increase the number of people opting for home care(care at home / domiciliary care)and therefore we will need to increase skills and interest in jobs for this area.
        read less

        Replied by: Matt Farrah