NHS Payroll: Creating quick, fair, and simple payment processes for your NHS bank staff
Amidst the current cost of living crisis, supporting the financial wellbeing of our NHS workforce is of paramount importance. Prioritising the process through which clinicians get paid is not only crucial to improving staff morale, but can also support organisations in retaining top talent within the NHS.
However, a recent UNISON survey found that 70% of their NHS members reported not receiving payment for working more than their assigned shift time. Coupled with the fact that NHS staff are more likely to turn to payday loans than workers in any other industry, it’s clear that establishing a quick, easy and fair payroll process is a requirement that all NHS organisations should look to meet in the coming months.
The unique financial challenges faced by locum workers should be taken into particular consideration; NHS bank staff often face time-consuming paperwork and delays in payment as a result of cumbersome manual processes, increasing frustration and financial headaches. Our research has shown that prompt payment leads to clinicians booking a higher number of shifts further in advance, in turn contributing to increased shift fill and a reduced reliance on agency staff.
To support your workforce with an effective financial strategy, we recommend focusing on the following key areas:
Clearly communicating the payroll process can help ease the stress that clinicians may experience when there is a lack of visibility over when or how much they are due to be paid. By providing as much information as possible on a clinician’s pay schedule, any deductions, terms, or payroll changes, staff can better plan their finances in advance and maintain greater control over how they manage their pay. This level of transparency also builds trust between an organisation and its employees, contributing to a positive work culture and improved workforce morale.
Offering digital access to payroll information provides employees with the convenience of being able to view their worked hours, payments, and pending payments from anywhere, at any time. This eliminates the need for staff to chase payroll administrators and reduces the risk of errors or delays in payment. Providing a centralised and digitised platform for payroll information also promotes accountability, improves record-keeping, and increases accessibility.
By empowering employees to choose when they can access their pay, organisations can better meet the individual financial needs of their staff. For example, some employees may prefer to access a portion of their accrued pay during each pay cycle, while others may prefer a monthly or bi-weekly payment. Allowing clinicians to choose the option that works best for them can help to reduce financial stress, contribute to broader flexible working opportunities and improve job satisfaction. This level of flexibility and autonomy over pay can also incentivise employees and form a valuable component of an organisation’s retention strategy.
For organisations facing rising rates of staff vacancies, implementing these strategies can lead to reduced absenteeism, increased shift fill rates, and improved productivity. With the cost of living crisis having a significant impact on the NHS workforce, it’s important that organisations create payroll processes that support their employees and reduce financial stress. Establishing quick and fair payroll processes will not only benefit clinicians, but in doing so also retain valued staff that can continue to deliver safe and effective patient care.