HR directors in the NHS are being paid well below the levels of their counterparts in the private sector, research has revealed.
The survey of directors of HR in the NHS, carried out by Pay Workforce Research, reveals that the average salary of the 119 respondents was £52,000. This is 9 per cent less than average HR directors’ salaries in a recent CIPD survey and nearly 19 per cent less than those in the 1999-2000 REL management survey.
The PWR survey shows that female NHS HR directors are paid on average 7 per cent less than their male equivalents, but this is an improvement on the findings of the CIPD survey, which highlighted a gender pay gap of 17 per cent.
John Adsett, secretary of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Managers, was not surprised by the findings.
He said, “As far as I am aware, HR salaries are still counted in the NHS as being part of management costs.
“There is a drive to reduce management costs and the message we are receiving, whether it is the message intended, is that there is a huge HR agenda, but HR has got to take its share of management cost reduction.
“For the first time, I have seen some trusts advertising for HR directors offering salaries beginning with a six, but they are the result of trust mergers.”
The PWR survey also reveals that HR directors in the NHS work an average of between 10 and 12 hours a day and 60 per cent of those taking part were unable to take all their annual leave.
Nearly all HR directors responding to the PWR survey note that the move towards shared services across local health economies, implementing the NHS plan and the National HR Strategy, are the main issues they feel will affect their roles in the NHS in the short and long term.
By Ben Willmott