The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has implemented pay awards for NHS staff for 2022-23, amounting to at least £1,400 per annum for those on banded salaries covered by the Agenda for Change.
Salaried doctors and dentists, meanwhile, were awarded a 4.5% increase. Both pay awards were backdated to 1 April 2022, and should be received by employees by the end of this year.
The department implemented in full the recommendations of the NHS Pay Review Body, which covers Agenda for Change pay bands, as well as the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body.
These recommendations aimed to keep pay in line with that being offered in other parts of the UK. In England and Wales, NHS staff have been offered a pay rise of at least £1,400, while unions in Scotland are considering an offer that averages a 7.5% increase.
This followed shortly after news from trade unions Unison and Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) that NHS staff in Northern Ireland were preparing for strike action on 12 December. Unison noted that employees had so far received no pay rise for the 2022-23 year.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “The department shares the frustration of all our [Health and Social Care (HSC)] colleagues in the delays in implementing the pay recommendations for 2022-23.
“While the former Minister had accepted the recommendations in full, the lack of a public sector pay policy and budgetary uncertainty prevented any further progress. These hurdles have now been cleared for this year and the department will now move to implement these pay awards as a matter of urgency to ensure colleagues see their pay increase as soon as possible.”