This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Changes to public sector exit payments criticised

Written by: | Published:

NHS staff are already under financial pressure NHS staff are already under financial pressure

Changes to exit payments will negatively impact nurses, midwives and five million other staff in the public sector, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said.

The government’s proposals are intended to clamp down on high earners and those who receive large payments before returning to another highly paid job. However, according to the RCM, they will lead to NHS staff losing a portion of their exit payments, when they retire.

‘‘The government intends for this to hit high earners, but this will actually affect midwives and other middle-earners in the NHS with long periods of service, said Jon Skewes, RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications. ‘To treat dedicated midwives who have spent their entire working lives caring for women and their families is not only unfair, but completely unjust.’

The government has pledged to institute a number of reforms to the system. These include a maximum tariff for calculating exit payments of three weeks’ pay per year of service; a ceiling of 15 months on the maximum number of months’ salary that can be paid as a redundancy payment; a maximum salary of £80,000 on which an exit payment can be based; and a taper on the amount of lump sum compensation an individual is entitled to receive as they get closer to their normal pension retirement age.

‘It is utterly inappropriate for the government to legislate to steamroller this agreement,’ added Mr Skewes. ‘If the government wants to save money on redundancy payments it needs to stop continually reorganising the NHS and instead invest in the NHS workforce so they are able to deliver high-quality care.’

‘These reforms ensure public sector exit payments are consistent and fair, and that they are also fair to taxpayers too,’ said chief secretary to the Treasury David Gauke. ‘By applying these reforms across public sector workforces for the first time, appropriate standards will be in place for workers and public services will remain protected.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.


This impending change is forcing my hand. I dropped a band to change posts and now feel a sense of urgency to arrange retirement based on the previous salary, to ensure appropriate exit payments. I will not use emotive words to describe my feelings in this matter. I would suggest it is unjust and - OK I will! - GRASPING of our government. Whatever level our people have worked at, they have committed themselves to the role, put the hours and efforts in, paid in to the pension pot and now ... This feels like a free-for-all. Gutted, again.
Posted by: ,

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.