WORKFORCE: Staff could go “several years” without incremental pay rises and some would only receive “market rate” salaries where there was a “business need”, under a foundation trust’s proposals.

A discussion paper seen by HSJ reveals changes Burton Hospitals Foundation Trust would consider under a move to local pay.

This includes allocating a single “rate for the job” for each Agenda for Change pay band, based on the market average. There would be no more than one pay point below this rate.

The paper said: “For jobs where it might take several years to become fully effective, progression to the rate for the job should take place over that period of time.”

Some staff would be unable to move to the full market rate unless the trust decided there was a “business need” to have someone working at that level.

Strong performers already being paid the market rate could be rewarded through “non consolidated related pay (or bonus) based on individual performance”.

Alternatively, staff could receive pay rises but this could slip back to the “rate for the job” if their performance slipped.

The paper also discusses the limitations of AfC, under which people are recruited at “below the market” rates and gradually progress to “ahead of the market” rates.

This means “the trust is hampered in bringing in the best people”, which could be problematic “in an increasing[ly] varied provider market” with increased competition for staff.  

AfC also inflates costs, it says. This means that with a 7.5 per cent staff turnover, the trust’s pay costs would increase by £481,000 next year if all staff progressed to the next payscale.

The paper was produced on 27 October 2011, just over a month before chancellor George Osborne announced a review of how local pay might be adopted in the NHS.