Northern Ireland health and social care staff receive 3.3% pay rise

Agenda for Change employees in Northern Ireland will receive a 3.3% pay rise, backdated to 1 April 2019.

The pay rise is part of the Agenda for Change pay frameworkwhich was announced by Robin Swan, minister of health, in January 2020, in a bid to restore pay parity with England.

Agenda for Change is the terms and conditions pay framework for most health and social care employees which includes nurses, paramedics, health professionals, social staff and social care staff.

Additionally, subject to approval, medical and dental staff will receive a 2.5% increase in line with pay rises in England, backdated to 1 April 2019.

Swan said: “When I took up office in January, my first priority was to resolve the Agenda for Change industrial dispute. The formal framework agreement of 15 January 2020 set out a number of commitments to trade unions. These included a promise to restore pay parity with England, and a timetable for payment of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 pay awards.

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“I also take this opportunity to thank the many HR, finance and payroll staff in the HSC (Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland) who have pulled out all the stops to process two large and complex awards in such a short period of time. I would also like to thank the minister of finance who expedited his approval of the award. The work of our admin, clerical and management staff is done behind the scenes, but they are unsung heroes and they really keep the system going. This is particularly apparent as we face the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis.

“Unfortunately payment of this award has been delayed, in part due to payroll employees having to focus on Coronavirus work. But I hope that this confirmation will provide some reassurance to our medical and dental staff, and the award will be processed as soon as possible, fully backdated to 1 April 2019.”