FCS Briefing: Operation of revised pay progression system during the COVID-19 pandemic
• Operation of revised pay
progression system during the
05 February 2021
Following implementation of the 2018 pay deal to reform AfC pay scales, a new pay
progression framework was agreed, these details can be found in Annex 23, England of the
NHS terms and conditions of service handbook. (The handbook can be found at https://www.nhsemployers.org/tchandbook)
As part of the framework, it was agreed that, with effect from:
• 1 April 2019, all new starters to the NHS and existing staff who were promoted would
come under the new pay progression arrangements.
• 1 April 2021, all staff would come under the new progression arrangements.
Annex 23, England sets out that staff who fall under the new pay progression arrangements
and who are approaching a pay step date will require a “pay step review meeting” to
facilitate the move to the next pay point in ESR.
Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some organisations have had limited capacity
to undertake staff appraisals during the 2020/21 appraisal year. As a direct result of capacity
pressures, some staff may have been unable to complete their statutory or mandatory
training. Similarly, for those staff who were subject to a local capability process, there may
have been little or no time to progress their capability improvement plans.
Consequently NHS Staff Council has issued jointly agreed guidance on the application of the
pay progression system from 1 April 2021 to ensure that staff are not adversely impacted.
The guidance can be downloaded from: https://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2021/02/nhs-staff-councilpay-
A comprehensive list of special Covid-19 terms and conditions including FAQs can be found
M Cornes & G Lester