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A7.7: Main page


1. General conditions
2. Recruitment and retention allowance (RRA)
3. Shift allowance (SA)
4. On-call allowances
5. Environmental allowance
6. Local allowances
7. Responsibility review procedure

1. General conditions

1.1. Conditions for payment

If your statement of terms and conditions of employment require you to meet certain conditions and directly because of those conditions (e.g. shift working) you receive an appropriate allowance, you will keep the allowance as long as they meet those conditions. If, as a result of your own action (e.g. conduct) or some other matter stemming directly from you (e.g. health), you are no longer able to meet the conditions, the allowance will end, and will only be restored at management's discretion and if you fulfil the conditions for the allowance. However, you will be given due written notice of the change if management decide to alter the conditions so that you can no longer qualify for the allowance (e.g. ending of shift work). The allowance will remain payable for the period of notice whether or not the qualifying conditions are met.

1.2. Exclusions from payment

Allowances are only granted in exceptional circumstances. They are not awarded to junior employees doing work usually done by senior employees in the same pay band, what can reasonably be expected in their substantive pay band, or if occasionally deputising for someone in a higher pay band.

1.3. Status of allowances

Allowances are pensionable/superannuable and/or subject to deduction of Widow's/Widower's Pension Scheme (WPS) contributions in accordance with appendix A7.7ii.

1.4. Other discretionary payments

In some instances, pay of individuals, groups or bands at a particular site within an establishment may be supplemented by discretionary additions, under schemes approved by Treasury.

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2. Recruitment and retention allowance (RRA)

2.1. Introduction

The recruitment and retention (RAA) allowance is designed to assist with the retention or recruitment of employees where recognised difficulties exist. The criteria for the award of an RRA and the associated rules for its implementation and payment are set out below.

2.2. Eligibility

Subject to meeting the criteria set out below, an RRA can be paid to employees in all pay bands. However, payment of RRAs is discretionary and can therefore be withdrawn or reduced by management if there is a change in the circumstances which led to the original award. RRAs can be considered on an individual basis or for groups of posts in particular locations and\or disciplines.

2.3. Awarding criteria

  • General

    Factors affecting recruitment and retention of employees may include general skill shortages, market forces, regional factors, or the need to attract and/or retain individuals with unique or highly marketable skills whose loss would jeopardise the delivery of the organisation’s business. RRAs will not be used to compensate employees for moving to a new location, for taking on more responsibility, as a consolation prize where an individual has missed out on promotion, or to reward long service or loyalty.

  • Location

    An RRA will only normally be payable on grounds of location where there is clear evidence that difficulty is being experienced in attracting recruits to, or retaining employees in, a particular location. This may be on grounds of isolation or working conditions.

  • Skill shortage

    RRAs may be paid in situations where pay bands do not provide sufficient scope to recruit and\or retain individuals with recognised scarce skills. This can apply across disciplines or to individual posts. Skill shortages may be combined with locational factors.

  • Special skills

    RRAs may be used to recognise specialist skills which develop as an individual undergoes training and gains expertise. They may similarly be used to aid recruitment where unusual or highly-marketable skills are required.

  • Personal contribution

    Where an individual makes an exceptional contribution to the work of the establishment or possesses unique or highly-marketable skills and their loss would seriously jeopardise progress, an RRA may be paid. However, this will only be considered where it cannot be recognised through payments via the individual grading review, performance pay or the personal promotion scheme.

2.4. Status of allowance

RRAs are pensionable (in accordance with the pension rules) but not reckonable for the annual pay award or promotion increases. Thus an RRA is considered as a pay supplement, external to the pay band structure. RRAs are not portable and will be discontinued when an individual changes job, unless the criteria which led to the original award still apply.

2.5. Rate of payment

The maximum payable for an RRA is given in appendix A7.7ii. The size of individual awards is at management's discretion, but management will ensure that awards do not cause any equal pay issues. RRAs are not revalorised annually as part of the main pay agreement. They may be paid monthly or on a specific date (e.g. as a deferred payment).

2.6. Part-time employees

Part-time employees receive payment on a pro-rata basis according to the following formula:

(no. of part-time hours worked per week x full-time rate of payment) / (no. of conditioned hours (37) per week)

2.7. Awarding procedure

Approval of proposals to award RRAs will be carried out in accordance with the establishment’s delegated authority framework. Anonymous data on RRAs may be shared with the NCC on an annual basis. All parties are required to ensure that the proposal does not allow unfair discrimination to occur.

2.8. Review and withdrawal

Local management is responsible for reviewing RRAs in payment on an annual basis, to assess their on-going need, phasing out, or amendment.

The decision to award, increase or withdraw an RRA must be supported by objective evidence. The outcome should be recorded and the individual advised on the reasons for continuing, amending or removing an allowance.

RRA holders will be given at least 3 months' notice of intention to withdraw or reduce their allowance.

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3. Shift allowance (SA)

3.1. General

The conditions normally applying to SA are as set out below. However, there is limited discretion for local management to make variations where this will help achieve more effective operation. Employees seeking specific variations should consult local management.

Changes in the pattern of working involving the starting, changing and stopping of shift working will be made at management's discretion, following consultation with the NCC.

Employees under the age of 18 cannot be required to work between the hours of 8pm and 6am but may do so voluntarily.

3.2. Eligibility

Subject to the conditions set out in the rest of paragraph 3, all employees except those with no conditioned hours (known as "self-managed hours" employees), are eligible for SA if they can be defined as shift workers under the terms below and are engaged on shift work.

3.3. Definition of a shift worker

You are considered to be a shift worker if:

  1. your working hours are worked in the form of shifts; and
  2. you work to a shift roster as defined in paragraph 3.5 below; and
  3. your roster attendance pattern during the course of the shift cycle covers all shifts in the roster

3.4. Exceptions

  1. if your duties require regular attendance for at least 4.5 hours per shift between the hours of 8pm and 6am, you are regarded as a shift worker
  2. if you are not a member of a shift roster but your required normal attendance pattern varies to the extent that, if it were part of a shift roster involving more than one employee and would qualify for payment of SA, you are regarded as a shift worker. Such an individual will be known as a "singleton shift worker"

Management has discretion whether or not a particular case meets the criteria set out in 1 and 2 above.

3.5. Definition of a shift roster

A shift roster is a roster of shifts which either:

  • covers a period of 24 hours; or
  • alternates or overlaps and covers a period of not less than 12 hours in any period of 24 hours with at least 4 hours between the starting times of the earliest and latest shifts

A system of working will not be classed as shift working where the predetermined system is in operation for less than three months.

3.6. Rate of payment

You will be paid a flat rate in full for each week in which 5 or more shifts are worked, including roster shifts worked on a Saturday or Sunday (see appendix A7.7ii for rate of payment). SA is not paid for any days for which salary is not paid. SA will not be paid for any period in lieu of notice.

3.7. If you are absent from shift work

3.7.1. General conditions

Payment of SA ceases during periods when you are absent from shift work unless you are absent for one of the reasons qualifying for continued payment listed below and it is intended that you will return to regular shift duties at the end of the absence. In all other cases, absence from shift work will be dealt with under the provisions of paragraphs below covering transfer to non-shift duties.

3.7.2. Absences qualifying for continued payment of SA

You will continue to receive SA in the following situations:

  • During all periods of annual leave, rest days, bank, public and privilege holidays (or any appropriate days taken in lieu) and periods of approved absence on internal and external training occurring during shift working
  • During the following temporary absences from shift working, subject to the maximum given below:
  1. temporary transfer to non-shift work at management’s discretion, including non-shift work during temporary suspension of a shift roster
  2. temporary absences on official business
  3. official authorised training or further education occurring during shift working which has been authorised under the provisions of section A5: Performance, training and development 
  4. paid sick leave (certificated or self-certificated)
  5. paid special leave
  6. paid local absence authorised for trade union activities
  7. paid maternity leave

The total of temporary absences listed under (i) to (vii) above which can attract continuity of payment will be 60 days in any period of 12 months.

In respect of an absence caused by a permanent transfer to non-shift work where the absence from shift work does not exceed 30 days (i.e. where an employee has returned to shift work within 30 days of being permanently transferred to non-shift work). Payment may need to be made retrospectively in these circumstances. Weekends occurring within a period of absence will count towards the total for that period, but weekends occurring at the beginning or end of a period of absence will not count towards the total for that period.

3.7.3. Rate of payment during absence from shift work

The rate of allowance you can be paid in all cases of absence above is that applicable if you had not been absent. If you are temporarily transferred to non-shift work on deputising terms, the allowance is calculated on the substantive salary and not on the deputising pay in issue during the temporary period of non-shift work. SA is not paid for any days for which salary is not paid.

3.7.4. If management decides to transfer you to non-shift duties

Wherever possible, you will receive 4 weeks notice of a transfer to non-shift duties. Where it is given, payment of SA ceases immediately the transfer occurs. Where 4 weeks notice cannot be given, you will continue to receive payment of SA after transfer to non-shift duties for a period of 4 weeks less the period of notice actually given. The payment will be calculated on your rate and salary immediately prior to the transfer.

If you request a transfer to non-shift duties if the transfer is agreed, your payment of SA ceases immediately the transfer takes place.

3.8. Overtime

These provisions apply equally to shift workers and to non-shift workers. Regular overtime working will be avoided wherever possible.  When operational requirements make overtime working at short notice essential, you will be expected to co-operate in working hours other than, or in excess of, your pre-determined shifts.

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4. On-call allowances

4.1. Definition of "on-call"

“On-call” is a specific commitment by an employee to remain continuously and immediately available outside normal workplace hours and to return quickly to the workplace if required; it excludes commitments which enable the employee to leave home after merely reporting where he or she may be contacted and those which involve a liability to attend the normal workplace in an emergency, only if the employee can be contacted.

4.2. Conditions of payment

If you are in receipt of on-call allowance you will, subject to the requirements of your on-call commitment, be able to move around freely as long as you are within range of a radio pager (which will be issued to you). The use of radio-pagers is regarded as normal and no additional premium is payable if you decide to stay at home during the period on-call. No allowance is paid if you use radio pagers during normal duty hours, e.g. to complement on-site communications. On-call allowance is normally only paid to those in overtime pay bands. If your pay includes an element for on-call commitments (e.g. "self managed hours") you will not receive this allowance.

4.3. Payment during periods on call

On-call allowance relates to the commitment defined in paragraph 4.1. Further payment may be made for hours actually worked during such periods, based on overtime rules (see appendix A7.4, and shift allowance, if appropriate. The rates of the allowance are set out in appendix A7.7ii.

If you work part-time and are on-call during the times specified in appendix A7.7ii you will be paid the same as full-time employees.

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5. Environmental allowance

5.1. Qualifying conditions

You will be paid environmental allowance if you are working in conditions which are abnormally dirty, greasy and/or obnoxious or demand special physical ability, or cause considerable physical discomfort; the Health & Safety Advisor will assist in making this assessment. Consideration will be given as to whether the provision of protective clothing would remove the obnoxious element.

5.2. Rate of payment

The rate of the allowance is shown in appendix A7.7ii.

5.3. Part-time employees

If you work part-time and satisfy the qualifying conditions, you will be paid the same as full-time employees.

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6. Local allowances

6.1. General

Certain allowances are available locally and establishment management have discretion to set amounts, limits and conditions for payment (after consultation with the local NCC), and to make variations in these allowances where this will help achieve more effective operation. The main local allowances are shown below and details of these and any other local allowances are given in local rules. Before an institute agrees a new local allowance the pay team in HRG will be consulted and agreement reached.

6.2. Clothing and equipment

6.2.1. Uniforms

Employees will be reimbursed costs actually incurred by them where they are required to wear a uniform as part of their terms and conditions.

6.2.2. Footwear

The cost of footwear will be met for individual messengers and security employees provided with a uniform as part of their terms and conditions of service.

6.2.3. Tools

Payable to craftsmen and craft apprentices who necessarily supply and maintain their own hand tools.

6.2.4. Overalls

Payable to painters who provide their own overalls.

6.2.5. Dogs

Where an employee is required to keep a dog as part of his/her terms and conditions of service, the cost of all necessary expenses will be met.

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7. Responsibility review procedure

Details of the Responsibility Review Procedure (RRP) are given in appendix A7.14.

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Last updated 17/05/2017
Amendment 200 - May 2017