NHS Careers > Working in the NHS > Pay and benefits

Pay and benefits

Pay and benefits

The NHS - a rewarding place to work

There are few careers that are as rewarding as one in the NHS, or that give you the opportunity to work with such a variety of people.

We actively recruit people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of experience. This helps us understand the different needs of the patients and provide the best possible service.

Whichever area you join, you become part of a talented, passionate team of people, committed to providing the best care and treatment to patients. You will also enjoy one of the most competitive and flexible benefits packages offered by any employer in the UK.

Benefits of working in the NHS

Everyone who joins the NHS is guaranteed a salary that matches their ability and responsibilities, and given every opportunity to increase it through training and development.

On top of your basic salary, you will receive at least 27 days' holiday each year, plus a range of other benefits including occupational health and counselling services.

Pay and conditions

The national pay system for the NHS - Agenda for Change (AfC) - is for all directly employed staff except doctors and the most senior managers. The pay system offers real benefits including:

  • a standard working week of 37.5 hours
  • harmonised holiday entitlements of 27 days per year, plus eight general and public holidays, rising to 33 days after ten years' service
  • pay enhancements to reward out of hours, shift and overtime working
  • better career and salary progression based on the application of knowledge and skills
  • annual personal development review to support career aspirations.

Other benefits of working in the NHS include training, occupational health services, automatic membership of the NHS Pension Scheme (unless you choose to opt out) and study leave for sponsored courses.

Join one of the UK's best pension schemes

The NHS Pension Scheme is still one of the most generous and comprehensive in the UK. Every new employee automatically becomes a member and you will get an excellent package of pension benefits. For more details see the NHS Pensions website.