Health and social care workers to receive 3% pay increase – Minister

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Robin Swan has confirmed that all Agenda for Change employees working in health and social care will receive a 3% pay increase.

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The wage increase as recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body will be refunded on 1 April 2021.

The award represents an estimated increase of approximately £88.24 million on the Agenda for Change pay bill.


Health Minister Robin Swan said: “I want to once again register my gratitude and appreciation to all those working in our health and social care system.

“So many employees have worked very long hours under enormous pressure during the pandemic.

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“Staff are the backbone of our health and social care services and I want to recognize their continued professionalism in providing high quality effective care to people in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Swann said the increase would ensure “pay parity remains with England”.

He said he would like to see the pay hike and related backpay payments “progress as quickly as possible”.

Mr Swan also accepted the unions’ call for an increase in the wage award for 2021 and 2022.

Departments and trade unions have been discussing in recent weeks a possible increase in the salary award for 2021/22.

He added: “Any additional non-consolidated awards would need to be approved by the Finance Department.

“Like all my executive colleagues, I have to operate within the budgetary constraints set by the Treasury.

“While there are many conflicting demands on health spending, I am clear that rewarding employees fairly is an important priority.”

The 3% increment will be in addition to the HSC special recognition payment that was announced at the beginning of the year.

This one-time payment of up to £735 acknowledges the efforts put in by staff in the HSC workforce during the pandemic.

Mr Swan has also committed to holding a joint summit with trade unions and employers to examine pay and retention issues at the start of the new year.


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