Disclaimer: MediOpus Ltd is not regulated to provide financial advice, the information provided below is publicly available.

Guide to your NHS Salary

When relocating to the UK, one of the essential pieces of information you will need to know is how much salary you will receive every month. This will help you make informed decisions about your monthly expenditure and mostly importantly how much you will be able to save every month.

If you want to see the full NHS Terms of Conditions (Agenda for Change) 2018/19 pay scales, please click here.

NHS Conditions of Employment

The standard full-time working week for NHS staff is 37.5 hours. Overtime and annual leave entitlements are also standardised across the NHS. Whilst you are paid a basic salary (depending on your band) you are also eligible for a high cost supplement depending on the location of your hospital to cover the higher cost of living.

If you work in London or the counties immediately surrounding London (the fringe zone), you’ll receive extra pay on top of your basic salary as follows:

+ 20% supplement on top of your basic salary if you work in inner London (subject to a minimum payment of £4,326 & a maximum payment of £6,279)


*From April 2019/20 – Minimum £4400

+ 15% supplement on top of your basic salary if you work in outer London

(subject to a minimum payment of £3,659 & a maximum payment of £4,395)

*From April 2019/20 – Minimum £3722

+ 5% supplement on top of your basic salary if you work in the fringe zone (subject to a minimum payment of £1000 & a maximum payment of £1,632)


*From April 2019/20 – Minimum £1017



Inner London Salary (Inc 20% Allowance) Outer London Salary  (Inc 15% Allowance) Fringe London Salary (Inc 5% Allowance) Outside London Area (0% Allowance
*Band 5 Salary 18/19 £27,627.60 £26,682.00 £24,174.15 £23,023
Tax Deductions £3,154 £2,966 £2,463 £2,233
NI Deductions £2,304 £2,190 £1,890 £1,752
**Average monthly take home salary £1,847 £1,793 £1,652 £1,587
***Average cost of Rent  (City Centre) £450 £450 £450 £755
Disposable monthly salary** £1,397 £1,343 £1,202 £832
****Average cost of Rent (Outside City Centre) £450 £450 £450 £524
Disposable monthly salary** £1,397 £1,343 £1,202 £1,063


*1-2 Years experience

** Excludes NHS pension deductions, where applicable

*** 1 Bedroom (City Centre)

**** 1 Bedroom (Outside of Centre)

How can I increase my monthly take home pay?

One of the ways you can increase your take home monthly salary is by working as a NHS Bank staff. An NHS staff bank (pool of Nurses) is an entity managed by the trust, or through a third party organisation who contracts healthcare professionals to take on shifts at trust hospitals.

All NHS staff in pay bands 1–7 are eligible for overtime payments if they work more than 37.5 hours a week. Senior staff in pay bands 8 and 9 are not entitled to overtime payments.

1.5x your standard hourly rate for every hour of overtime worked 

2x your standard hourly rate for working on bank holidays (8 UK bank holidays per year)

Other deductions and understanding the UK Tax system

Before you receive your first salary, you will need to understand how the UK Income tax system works. The tax fiscal year runs from 6thApril – 5thApril following year.

Income Tax

Every employee in the UK has an employee personal allowance limit, this allowance threshold is the amount of money an individual may earn before any income tax is deductible. The threshold limit for tax year 2018/19 has been set to £ 11,850.

Once you exceed this threshold limit, you will be taxed accordingly to the below thresholds:

UK basic tax rate 20% on annual earnings above £11,850 and up to £34,500
UK higher tax rate 40% on annual earnings from £34,501 to £150,000
UK additional tax rate 45% on annual earnings above £150,000
National Insurance

You will have to pay a compulsory national insurance deduction before you receive your salary, this is already deducted from your pay slip by the NHS so you won’t need to worry about this. These deductions are payable by employees (you) and employers (NHS) in the UK to provide state assistance for citizens who are sick, unemployed, or retired. The amount you pay depends on how much you earn per week:

Rate Payable Your Pay
12% £162-£892 per week
2% (Balance of Earnings above upper earnings limit) Over £892 a week
Pension Contributions

When you start your employment you will be auto enrolled into the NHS pension scheme. The amount you contribute to the scheme is based on your pensionable earnings and contributions to the scheme are made both by you and the employer. For example, if you put £50 in from your monthly salary, your employer (NHS) could add an extra £50 in as well, making your total pension contribution £100 for that month. This enhancement doesn’t come out of your salary. You can choose to “opt-out” of pension schemes, they are not compulsory, but are generally considered to be a sensible option.The  current contribution rates are as follows:


Tier Pensionable Pay (whole time equivalent) / Earnings used to assess contributions rate Contribution rate for Scheme year 2015/16 through to Scheme year 2018/19
1 Up to £15,431.99 5.00%
2 £15,432.00 to £21,477.99 5.60%
3 £21,478.00 to £26,823.99 7.10%
4 £26,824.00 to £47,845.99 9.30%
5 £47,846.00 to £70,630.99 12.50%
6 £70,631.00 to £111,376.99 13.50%
7 £111,377.00 and over 14.50%

21,044 total views, 16 views today