The agenda for change agreement included an interim regime for unsocial hours that had some early implementer and some Whitley provisions. It included an agreement that the NHS Staff Council would work toward developing a new harmonised unsocial hours arrangement. These arrangements were agreed in February 2008, with an effective date of 1 April 2008.
Responsibility for communication to individual members of staff rests with the employing organisation. However, changes to the unsocial hours arrangements were discussed, developed and agreed in partnership with the unions and NHS Employers represented on the NHS Staff Council. NHS Employers have written to employing organisations to ensure they are aware of the changes and have provided information on their website, which may be used by managers to support local briefing.
NHS Employers lead the negotiating machinery for changes to the terms and conditions for staff covered by the agenda for change terms and conditions. Any meetings to discuss unsocial hours with the 14 unions that represent these staff, including Unison and the Royal College of Nursing, were held by NHS Employers.
The old arrangements were related to Whitley staff groups and pay scales, and there is no easy read-across to agenda for change pay bands. The changes to the unsocial hours payments have an effective date from 1 April 2008, the impacts will vary but in headline terms:
any time on Saturday (midnight to midnight) and any week day after 8 pm and before 6 am is time plus 50 per cent. for band 1, time plus 44 per cent. for band 2, time plus 37 per cent. for band 3 and time plus 30 per cent. for bands 4 to 9; and
all time on Sundays and public holidays (midnight to midnight) is double time for band 1, time plus 88 per cent. for band 2, time plus 74 per cent. for band 3, time plus 60 per cent. for bands 4 to 9.
It is not possible to identify what this means by role; payment depends on their band. However, it is important to note that all staff employed in ambulance organisations will remain on the original prospective agenda for change system, as it has worked well in early implementers and for national roll-out.