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Terms & conditions

Terms & conditions

Agenda for Change is the nationally agreed UK-wide package of pay, terms and conditions for all NHS staff other than very senior managers and medical staff.

In 2004, pay, terms and conditions for NHS staff were harmonised into one package, ‘Agenda for Change’. The NHS Staff Council (and the sub groups of the staff council) negotiate any amendments to Agenda for Change.

In 2013 some changes to terms and conditions were agreed in England so there are some differences between staff in England and those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The RCM is committed to nationally agreed terms and conditions and believe that Agenda for Change is the most fair, transparent and equitable system. Agenda for Change is supported by the robust job evaluation scheme that is fundamentally based on equal pay for equal work.

The King’s Fund wrote a report in 2007, which concluded that: 'Achieving equal pay for jobs of equal value was one of the key objectives of Agenda for Change. The trust managers were generally supportive of the more standardised working hours and job evaluation based pay as providing a more transparent and fairer pay system.'

Information for members

View the most up-to-date handbook here.

Please contact your workplace representative if you have any queries about your terms and conditions.

Defending Agenda for Change

Agenda for Change is once again facing attack from employers. Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have attempted to increase the working week by 2.25 hours. The RCM believes that national pay bargaining is the best system for the NHS and the best system for midwives and maternity support workers. Nationally negotiated pay ensures a fair and transparent system and Agenda for Change is underpinned by a job evaluation system that is based on equal pay for work of equal value. If we moved to locally or regionally negotiated pay it would significantly reduce pay levels, it would weaken our bargaining position, and could lead to a fragmented system that is not transparent, fair or based on equal pay for work of equal value. This is fundamentally important when over 99% of midwives are female and nearly 60% of midwives work part time. Therefore, local staff sides must not agree to any changes that move away from the national agreement. RCM Workplace Reps should try to attend your JNCC meeting so you are aware of any attacks on Agenda for Change.

If your trust attempts to move away from Agenda for Change please make sure you:

  • inform your Regional Officer immediately and send them any documents about the proposals;
  • do not agree to any change; and
  • inform members that they must not agree to any change.

Once we are made aware of the threat we will send communications to the employer on behalf of RCM members and send communications to the members. The sooner we know about a threat the easier it is to fight it so please make sure that you inform us immediately so we can defend Agenda for Change. We have updated and refreshed our Defending Agenda for Change Guidance which you can download by clicking here