What's the current situation?
While some NHS employers have responded to our calls to increase rates, others have not. And the situation is different depending on where you live. Learn more about the situation in each of the UK devolved nations below.
Mileage for NHS staff is nationally agreed as part of NHS terms and conditions (often referred to as Agenda for Change). NHS organisations should be paying staff either national NHS mileage allowance rates or rates locally negotiated and agreed with the RCN and other health trade unions.
The cost of fuel has increased significantly. Yet reimbursement rates have not increased since 2014. This has left NHS staff considerably out of pocket. While the RCN and other health trade unions tried to secure a national agreement through the NHS Staff Council, it has become clear that there is no prospect of central funding or a mandate to support a nationally negotiated solution in England.
In these circumstances, any temporary changes to the current national reimbursement rates in England, as set out in the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service handbook, will need to be considered and made at the local employer level. Some NHS employers have already done this. But others have resisted calls to increase rates. Some NHS employers are still paying less than either HMRC or Agenda for Change.
The current nationally agreed NHS mileage allowance rates from January 2023 are:
- 59p for the first 3,500 miles for business purposes
- 24p for each business mile after the threshold of 3,500 miles
- 30p per mile for a motorcycle.
The UK Government HMRC Approved Mileage Allowance Payments approved (tax free) rates:
- 45p for the first 10,000 miles for business purposes
- 25p for each business mile after the threshold of 10,000 miles.
In Northern Ireland, there has been a temporary increase to Health and Social Care national mileage rates in place since 1 April 2022. This increase expires on 31 July 2022, when it will be reviewed and possibly extended.
- Car standard rate – 5p increase per mile to 30p per mile beyond 3,500 miles per year
There has been a temporary increase to NHS Scotland national mileage rates in place in Scotland since April 1 2022. This increase expires on 30 November 2022, when it will be reviewed and possibly extended.
- Car standard rate – 5p increase per mile to 61p and 25p.
- Motorcycle and reserve rate – 3p increase per mile to 31p.
In Wales, there has been a temporary increase to national NHS mileage rates in place since 1 April 2022. This increase expired on 30 June and is now being reviewed for possible extension. The NHS in Wales use the UK HMRC Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (see above).
- Car standard rate - 5p increase per mile to 50p.