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RCN helps secure thousands of pounds for wrongly paid nurses

15 May 2024

Several intensive care nurses will receive up to £36,000 each after successfully having their jobs evaluated. Many more nursing staff could be eligible.


Nurses in Northern Ireland are celebrating after rightfully having their requests for job evaluation upheld.  

13 members – employed on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts at Southern Health and Social Care Trust – had their roles moved from band 5 to band 6.  

In a case lasting 5 years, the RCN was able to negotiate with the review panel to secure backpay for some members dating back to 2013, meaning they’re owed thousands of pounds. 

RCN officer for job evaluation David McKerr said: “Job evaluation is a legitimate, evidence-based process. I’m glad we got justice, especially for the experienced retired nurses who’d returned to work; I pushed to make sure they weren’t treated differently. These are experienced ITU nurses, some with managerial experience, who were working well above band 5.  

“Gathering appropriate evidence for the review panel can be a lengthy process, so I commend them all for persevering. 

“There is a lack of knowledge around job evaluation and an idea that it’s more complicated than it is, but nursing staff need to make sure they are being valued for the work they do. Many more members could be eligible for job evaluation. This is just the tip of the iceberg.” 

Two-thirds of respondents to our latest employment survey said their current banding or pay level is inappropriate given their role and responsibilities.

All NHS staff employed on AfC contracts are entitled to challenge their job’s pay grade if they’re doing tasks beyond their band. The job evaluation scheme measures and compares jobs in the NHS to decide at what band they should be paid. It underpins the NHS AfC pay structure and is overseen by the NHS Staff Council. The scheme was designed and is maintained by employers and trade unions, including the RCN, in partnership. 

We acknowledge many nursing staff are working at pay bands that fail to match the level of competency, responsibility, accountability, and autonomy expected of them. Funding for fair pay is crucial – but so is recognition of the safety critical role of nursing professionals, reform of the nursing profiles and meaningful career progression to ensure nursing staff are paid fairly.  

We’ll be sharing more work around job evaluation aimed specifically at nursing staff, so keep an eye on our website for updates.  


Page last updated - 15/05/2024