NHS basic pay

Published

1. Main facts and figures

In May 2020:

  • the average (mean) monthly basic pay for all NHS staff was £3,406 for men and £2,644 for women
  • only staff from the Black ethnic group had lower monthly basic pay than White staff – Black men were paid 84p for every £1 paid to White men, and Black women were paid 93p for every £1 paid to White women
  • monthly basic pay for medical staff was highest for the White ethnic group (£6,329 for men and £5,580 for women) and was lowest for the Black ethnic group (£5,041 for men and £4,465 for women)
  • monthly basic pay for non-medical staff was highest for the White ethnic group (£2,721 for men and £2,503 for women) and lowest for the Black ethnic group (£2,324 for men and £2,361 for women)
  • women from each ethnic group were paid less than their male counterparts among medical staff. This was also true for non-medical staff, apart from for the Black and Other groups, where women were paid more than their male counterparts

Between May 2016 and May 2020:

  • monthly basic pay went up for every ethnic group – the largest increase was for the Mixed ethnic group (£3,049 to £3,412 for men and £2,350 to £2,643 for women)
  • monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White women went down for women from the Asian, Black and Other ethnic groups
  • women from the Mixed ethnic group went from being paid less on average than White women to being paid more
  • monthly basic pay for medical staff went down for the Black ethnic group (£4,798 to £4,784) but went up for the Asian, Mixed, White and Other ethnic groups
  • monthly basic pay for non-medical staff went up for every ethnic group, but the monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White female non-medical staff went down for female non-medical staff from the Asian, Black and Other ethnic groups

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data shows the average monthly basic pay for NHS staff working in NHS trusts, clinical commissioning groups, and central and support organisations in England.

Basic pay does not include:

  • overtime
  • bonuses
  • extra pay for working unsocial hours
  • geographic allowances like London weighting
  • expenses
  • sick pay
  • parental leave pay

The basic pay for part-time staff is worked out based on what their full-time salary would be. For example, if someone works 2.5 days per week and earns £12,000, their salary in this data is £24,000.

This data is based on mean basic pay, rather than median. The mean was worked out by adding all staff’s full time equivalent (FTE) pay, and dividing the total by the number of staff assignments.

Figures for average basic pay are rounded to the nearest pound. Figures for ethnicity pay gaps and gender pay gaps are rounded to the nearest pence. The data is based on the number of staff assignments, not a headcount of staff. This means that the same people may be counted twice if they have more than one role in the NHS.

‘Medical’ staff are doctors working for hospitals and community health services. ‘Non-medical’ staff include professionally trained non-medical staff (such as nurses and ambulance staff), those who support clinical staff, infrastructure support, managers and senior managers.

Although this data shows average monthly basic pay for the medical workforce as a whole, doctors’ pay varies substantially by grade. The number and percentage of staff in each pay grade and type of role (medical or non-medical) also varies by the different ethnic groups.

Read more about ethnicity in the NHS workforce.

Not included in the data

The data does not include:

  • staff working in primary care, like dentists in dental practices and GPs
  • agency staff and contractors
  • staff who did not work the full month in the months covered in the data

The ethnic groups used in the data

The data uses the 5 aggregated ethnic categories from the 2011 Census:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

NHS staff report their own ethnicity. Ethnicity was not known for 4.9% of NHS staff assignments.

Methodology

You can read about the methodology (PDF opens in a new window or tab) for the publication.

You can find additional analysis of the data by grade and detailed staff group. This also provides data on total earnings, which includes other payments such as overtime, unsocial hours and bonuses (but not geographic allowances, such as London weighting).

3. By ethnicity and gender over time (all staff)

Average (mean) monthly basic pay per full time equivalent of all NHS staff and ethnicity pay gap, by ethnicity and gender over time
All staff Male staff Female staff
Ethnicity All staff Average pay (2016) All staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) All staff Average pay (2020) All staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020) Male staff Average pay (2016) Male staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) Male staff Average pay (2020) Male staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020) Female staff Average pay (2016) Female staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) Female staff Average pay (2020) Female staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020)
All £2,590 N/A* £2,823 N/A* £3,288 N/A* £3,406 N/A* £2,379 N/A* £2,644 N/A*
Asian £3,025 £1.19 £3,224 £1.16 £3,758 £1.16 £3,946 £1.20 £2,599 £1.10 £2,836 £1.08
Black £2,289 £0.90 £2,530 £0.91 £2,521 £0.78 £2,768 £0.84 £2,215 £0.94 £2,452 £0.93
Mixed £2,542 £1.00 £2,860 £1.03 £3,049 £0.94 £3,412 £1.04 £2,350 £0.99 £2,643 £1.01
White £2,545 N/A* £2,768 N/A* £3,237 N/A* £3,291 N/A* £2,363 N/A* £2,630 N/A*
Other £2,973 £1.17 £3,248 £1.17 £3,623 £1.12 £3,929 £1.19 £2,559 £1.08 £2,816 £1.07
Unknown £2,694 £1.06 £2,950 £1.07 £3,342 £1.03 £3,605 £1.10 £2,432 £1.03 £2,684 £1.02

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (all staff)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (all staff)’ (CSV)

Summary of NHS basic pay By ethnicity and gender over time (all staff) Summary

This data shows that in May 2020:

  • average (mean) monthly basic pay for all NHS staff was £3,406 for men and £2,644 for women
  • monthly basic pay was highest for the Asian ethnic group (£3,946 for men and £2,836 for women) and lowest for the Black ethnic group (£2,768 for men and £2,452 for women)
  • men and women from the Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups had higher monthly basic pay on average than men and women in the White ethnic group
  • only staff from the Black ethnic group had lower monthly basic pay than White staff – Black men were paid 84p for every £1 paid to White men and Black women were paid 93p for every £1 paid to White women

Between May 2016 and May 2020:

  • monthly basic pay went up for every ethnic group, but not at the same rate for each group; pay increased by 12.5% for the Mixed ethnic group and 6.6% for the Asian ethnic group
  • the largest increase in monthly basic pay for both men and women was for the Mixed ethnic group (£3,049 to £3,412 for men and £2,350 to £2,643 for women)
  • monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White men went up for men from each ethnic minority group
  • men from the Mixed ethnic group went from being paid less on average than White men to being paid more
  • monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White women went down for women from the Asian, Black and Other ethnic groups
  • women from the Mixed ethnic group went from being paid less on average than White women to being paid more

4. By ethnicity and gender over time (medical staff)

Average (mean) monthly basic pay per full time equivalent of NHS medical staff and ethnicity pay gap, by ethnicity and gender over time
All staff Male staff Female staff
Ethnicity All staff Average pay (2016) All staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) All staff Average pay (2020) All staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020) Male staff Average pay (2016) Male staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) Male staff Average pay (2020) Male staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020) Female staff Average pay (2016) Female staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) Female staff Average pay (2020) Female staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020)
All £5,238 N/A* £5,674 N/A* £5,638 N/A* £5,995 N/A* £4,738 N/A* £5,291 N/A*
Asian £5,130 £0.95 £5,607 £0.94 £5,498 £0.94 £5,957 £0.94 £4,551 £0.92 £5,102 £0.91
Black £4,798 £0.89 £4,784 £0.80 £5,243 £0.89 £5,041 £0.80 £4,214 £0.85 £4,465 £0.80
Mixed £4,490 £0.83 £5,014 £0.84 £4,844 £0.82 £5,228 £0.83 £4,082 £0.83 £4,740 £0.85
White £5,421 N/A* £5,956 N/A* £5,876 N/A* £6,329 N/A* £4,930 N/A* £5,580 N/A*
Other £5,189 £0.96 £5,408 £0.91 £5,495 £0.94 £5,670 £0.90 £4,584 £0.93 £4,896 £0.88
Unknown £4,822 £0.89 £5,142 £0.86 £5,168 £0.88 £5,392 £0.85 £4,378 £0.89 £4,828 £0.87

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (medical staff)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (medical staff)’ (CSV)

Summary of NHS basic pay By ethnicity and gender over time (medical staff) Summary

Medical staff are doctors working for hospitals and community health services.

This data shows that in May 2020:

  • average (mean) monthly basic pay for NHS medical staff was £5,995 for men and £5,291 for women
  • monthly basic pay was highest for the White ethnic group (£6,329 for men and £5,580 for women) and lowest for the Black ethnic group (£5,041 for men and £4,465 for women)
  • Black men and women were paid 80p for every £1 paid to White men and women

Between May 2016 and May 2020:

  • monthly basic pay went down for the Black ethnic group (£4,798 to £4,784) and went up for the Asian, Mixed, White and Other ethnic groups
  • monthly basic pay went down for Black men (£5,243 to £5,041) and went up for Black women (£4,214 to £4,465)
  • the largest increase for men was for the Asian ethnic group (£5,498 to £5,957) and the largest increase for women was for the Mixed ethnic group (£4,082 to £4,740)
  • monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White men went down for men from the Black and Other ethnic groups, and went up for men from the Mixed ethnic group (82p to 83p)
  • monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White women went down for women from the Asian, Black and Other ethnic groups, and went up for women from the Mixed ethnic group (83p to 85p)

5. By ethnicity and gender over time (non-medical staff)

Average (mean) monthly basic pay per full time equivalent of NHS non-medical staff and ethnicity pay gap, by ethnicity and gender over time
All staff Male staff Female staff
Ethnicity All staff Average pay (2016) All staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) All staff Average pay (2020) All staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020) Male staff Average pay (2016) Male staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) Male staff Average pay (2020) Male staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020) Female staff Average pay (2016) Female staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2016) Female staff Average pay (2020) Female staff Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff (2020)
All £2,314 N/A* £2,514 N/A* £2,603 N/A* £2,648 N/A* £2,243 N/A* £2,480 N/A*
Asian £2,193 £0.94 £2,423 £0.95 £2,206 £0.81 £2,459 £0.90 £2,187 £0.97 £2,409 £0.96
Black £2,121 £0.91 £2,352 £0.92 £2,050 £0.75 £2,324 £0.85 £2,141 £0.95 £2,361 £0.94
Mixed £2,145 £0.92 £2,412 £0.95 £2,163 £0.80 £2,462 £0.90 £2,140 £0.95 £2,398 £0.96
White £2,343 N/A* £2,544 N/A* £2,720 N/A* £2,721 N/A* £2,256 N/A* £2,503 N/A*
Other £2,220 £0.95 £2,450 £0.96 £2,199 £0.81 £2,443 £0.90 £2,229 £0.99 £2,452 £0.98
Unknown £2,308 £0.99 £2,477 £0.97 £2,562 £0.94 £2,676 £0.98 £2,229 £0.99 £2,417 £0.97

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (non-medical staff)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and gender over time (non-medical staff)’ (CSV)

Summary of NHS basic pay By ethnicity and gender over time (non-medical staff) Summary

Non-medical staff include:

  • clinical staff (nurses and health visitors, ambulance staff, midwives, and scientific, therapeutic and technical staff)
  • staff working in managerial, administrative and support roles

This data shows that in May 2020:

  • average (mean) monthly basic pay for non-medical staff was £2,648 for men and £2,480 for women
  • monthly basic pay was highest for the White ethnic group (£2,721 for men and £2,503 for women) and was lowest for the Black ethnic group (£2,324 for men and £2,361 for women)
  • Black men and women were paid 85p and 94p for every £1 paid to White men and women, respectively

Between May 2016 and May 2020:

  • monthly basic pay went up for each ethnic group – the increase in basic pay between 2018 and 2019 across all ethnic groups is partly due to an NHS pay award
  • the largest increase among both men and women was for the Mixed ethnic group (£2,163 to £2,462 for men and £2,140 to £2,398 for women)
  • monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White men went up for men from each ethnic minority group
  • monthly basic pay for every £1 paid to White women went down for women from the Asian, Black and Other ethnic groups and went up for the Mixed ethnic group (95p to 96p)

6. Gender pay gap by type of role

Average (mean) monthly basic pay per full time equivalent of NHS staff and gender pay gap, by ethnicity and type of role (May 2020)
All staff Medical staff Non-medical staff
Ethnicity All staff Average pay (male staff) All staff Average pay (female staff) All staff Average pay of female staff for every £1 paid to male staff Medical staff Average pay (male staff) Medical staff Average pay (female staff) Medical staff Average pay of female staff for every £1 paid to male staff Non-medical staff Average pay (male staff) Non-medical staff Average pay (female staff) Non-medical staff Average pay of female staff for every £1 paid to male staff
All £3,406 £2,644 £0.78 £5,995 £5,291 £0.88 £2,648 £2,480 £0.94
Asian £3,946 £2,836 £0.72 £5,957 £5,102 £0.86 £2,459 £2,409 £0.98
Black £2,768 £2,452 £0.89 £5,041 £4,465 £0.89 £2,324 £2,361 £1.02
Mixed £3,412 £2,643 £0.77 £5,228 £4,740 £0.91 £2,462 £2,398 £0.97
White £3,291 £2,630 £0.80 £6,329 £5,580 £0.88 £2,721 £2,503 £0.92
Other £3,929 £2,816 £0.72 £5,670 £4,896 £0.86 £2,443 £2,452 £1.00
Unknown £3,605 £2,684 £0.74 £5,392 £4,828 £0.90 £2,676 £2,417 £0.90

Download table data for ‘Gender pay gap by type of role’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Gender pay gap by type of role’ (CSV)

Summary of NHS basic pay Gender pay gap by type of role Summary

This data shows that in May 2020:

  • women from every ethnic group were paid less than men
  • women from the Asian and Other ethnic groups were paid the least compared with their male counterparts – on average, their pay was 72p for every £1 paid to men
  • women from the Black ethnic group were paid the most compared with their male counterparts – on average, their pay was 89p for every £1 paid to men
  • among medical staff, women from each ethnic group were paid less than men
  • female medical staff from the Asian and Other ethnic groups were paid the least compared with their male counterparts – on average, their pay was 86p for every £1 paid to men
  • female medical staff from the Mixed ethnic group were paid the most compared with their male counterparts – on average, their pay was 91p for every £1 paid to men
  • among non-medical staff, women from the Asian, Mixed and White ethnic groups were paid less than men
  • female non-medical staff from the White ethnic group were paid the least compared with their male counterparts, amongst those whose ethnicity was known – on average, their pay was 92p for every £1 paid to men
  • female non-medical staff from the Black ethnic group were paid more than their male counterparts – on average, their pay was £1.02 for every £1 paid to men

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

NHS Digital

Publication frequency

Monthly

Purpose of data source

The data is taken from NHS human resource and payroll systems. This allows equality and diversity to be monitored across NHS staff.

8. Download the data

NHS basic pay - Spreadsheet (csv) 43 KB

This file contains the following: measure, time, time_type, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, geography, geography_type, gender, type_of_role, value, value_type, pay_per_pound_paid_to_White_staff_by_gender and pay_per_pound_paid_to_male_staff_by_ethnicity