UK Salary and Taxation

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Salary & Taxation

This is a complex issue for many people, please seek professional advice from the appropriate authority.


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Your salary should be automatically paid into your bank account every month by your employer. You should receive a payslip sent to the ward or department where you work. This payslip will contain details of your total pay, any deductions that apply such as tax, National Insurance or pension contributions, and any adjustments such as weekend working or overtime.

 This is an overview of the salaries paid by the NHS as of 1 January 2004. Your actual salary will be determined by the Trust that employs you.



Gross Salary

Grade A

(Age 18+)Auxiliary & Assistants

 From £10,050 to £12,615

Grade B

Auxiliary & Assistants

From £11,825 to £13,920

Grade C

Enrolled & Auxiliary

From £13,465 to £16,525 

Grade D

Newly Qualified Nurses

From £16,525 to £18,240

Grade E

Experienced Staff Nurse (Midwives normally start at this grade)

From £17,660 to £21,325



Grade F

Senior Nurse

From £19,585 to £24,455

Grade G

Sister/Charge Nurse (Health Visitors normally start at this grade)

From £23,110 to £27,190


Grade H

Nurse Specialist

From £25,815 to £30,005

Grade H

Modern Matron

From £25,815 to £30,960

Grade I

Nurse Specialist

From £28,590 to £32,860

Grade I

Modern Matron

From £28,590 to £33,820


Nurse, Midwife, Health Visitor Consultants

From £35,035 to £48,185


Supervised Practice (Adaptation) Nurses

If you have to undertake a period of supervised practice, generally you will start as a B grade Nurse receiving a salary in the scale of £11,825 - £13,920 per year. (17,253 inner London)

Some hospitals (mostly in London), will appoint supervised practice nurses to Grade C where you can expect an annual salary of between £13,465 and £16,525 (£19,858 in inner London). When you qualify as a D Grade Staff Nurse (after you have successfully completed your supervise practice / adaptation – usually around 3-6 months), your salary will rise accordingly, within the scale of £16,525 to £18,240 per year (21,573 in inner London).

If you reach E Grade status, as a specialised and experienced Staff Nurse able to take charge of a ward, your pay will be up to £21,325 (24,658 in inner London) per year.

Your salary will be paid directly into your bank account in 12 monthly instalments. All salaries rise annually.

London Allowances

If you work in London, you are entitled to an allowance. The amount varies depending on whether you are working in Inner London or Outer London. Be warned that even though these allowances seem like a lot of extra money, the cost of living in London is very high.


Inner London: All staff in clinical grading structure - grades A to I and consultant grade posts - £3,333 per annum

Outer London: All staff in clinical grading structure - grades A to I and consultant grade posts - £2,604 per annum

Cost of Living Supplement

From 1st April 2002 all qualified nurses (grade C and above) working in London and the South East will receive Cost of Living Supplements. Eligible staff working in London receive an additional payment of 4% of basic salary, up to a maximum of £1,000. Outside London eligible staff receive 2.5% of salary, up to a maximum of £600.

Premium Hour Rates

When you work within certain hours, you will be paid these premium hourly rates:

  • Monday to Friday between 8pm and 6am, and all day Saturday:

  • Plain time (basic rate) + 30%

  • Sundays and Bank Holidays:

  • Basic Rate + 60%

If you have to work more than your contracted 37.5 hours in a week, in the first instance you will be given extra time off duty. Where this cannot be guaranteed, you will receive overtime pay at these rates:

  • Weekdays (other than public holidays) or Saturdays:

  • Plain time + one half

  • Sundays and Public Holidays:

  • Double basic time

NHS Pension

All staff are entitled to join the NHS Pension Scheme, which also provides life insurance and ill health retirement benefits. The scheme entitles you to:

  • Your eventual pension will be calculated as 1/80th of 'final salary' for each full year you work in the NHS.

  • A tax free lump sum on retirement equal to 3 times pension.

  • Life assurance of 2 years' pay while you are working.

  • Pensions and allowances for your husband or wife and children if you die.

  • Benefits if you have to retire because of ill-health after 2 years membership

(There are improved benefits after 5 years membership and improved benefits if you are made redundant at or after age 50)

Pension rights are transferable to other schemes and may be carried forward over any breaks in your working life.

Click Here for more information on NHS Pensions

Further NHS Benefits

The NHS will also offer further benefits such as flexible working options, maternity and paternity leave, career breaks, study leave, compassionate leave, flexible retirement and a minimum 4 weeks annual leave increasing with length of service. Paid sick leave also increases with length of service.

Private Hospitals

Salaries in private hospitals in the UK are often higher than salaries paid in the NHS hospitals. There can also be some extra benefits (such as private health insurance, yearly health screening etc.) These will vary however from job to job and in some instances the salaries may be lower and the benefits not as good as what the NHS roles are offering. You should check the salary & benefits before you accept a role.

Click Here for more information

Nursing Homes

Salaries and benefits in care homes can also vary dramatically, although they will most likely be less than in a hospital. Make sure you have all the information before you accept a job and sign your contract.

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Everybody who works in the UK is required to pay income tax. The Government will automatically deduct this tax from your pay every month and it is used to provide funding for public services.

The first £4,615 you earn in the UK is tax free and is known as a ‘personal allowance’. You pay 10 per cent tax on the next £1,920, and then 22 per cent tax on all taxable earnings up to £35,116.

If you earn over £35,116 you will pay 40% tax on all taxable earnings above this amount.

For further information on Income Tax, please Click Here.

You will also need a National Insurance number before you can start work in the UK. National Insurance (NI) is also a tax on your income and will also be deducted directly from your salary. NI ensures your health care by the NHS and also contributes towards a pension if you stay in the UK for ten years. This will also entitle you to further benefits, if you are eligible, after you have worked in the country for two years. (See benefits)

Until you receive your National Insurance number, you may initially be taxed at a higher 'emergency' rate, but do not worry, as any additional tax you pay will be refunded.

To get your NI number, contact the Department for Work & Pensions in the area in which you live. You will need a valid work permit/visa and your passport, and may have to attend an interview. Your NI number will be sent to you on a plastic card the size of a credit card, which you should keep safe.

Your employer should help you apply for your national insurance number and with any other queries you may have. For further information on National Insurance numbers, please Click Here.


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