No forfeits for late delivery of new NHS pay programme

The Department of Health (DoH) has admitted that there are no penalties planned for NHS trusts that fail to meet the September deadline for switching staff to the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system.

Under the terms of the agreement, 100% of NHS staff should have switched over to AfC by the end of September. However, Andrew Foster, head of HR in the NHS, recently confessed that the health service will miss this target. As of the end of April, just 21% of staff had been assimilated, but the original target was 50%.

A DoH spokesperson said no decisions had been taken at this stage on what might happen to those organisations that fail to achieve full assimilation by September.

“We are pleased that continuous progress is being made, and support is now focusing on organisations that are making slower progress,” she said.

Health service union Unison said the original deadline was too ambitious, considering the complexity of the AfC.

“We anticipate the deadline will slip considerably. Pressure needs to be kept up on employers to carry on assimilating staff,” it said.

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