Hours of work

The standard hours for staff appointed to Agenda for Change (AfC)posts, is 37.5 hours per week.  Part-time staff will be paid pro rata based on 37.5 hours.

Most NHS 24 staff will be expected to provide round the clock services and will be issued with a rota that meets the organisational needs.

Posts categorised as office services, will normally cover the period between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

To support work-life balance, requests to change working patterns can be made under the flexible working policies.


Upon appointment staff will be placed on the appropriate point of the salary scale.  This will be determined by considering previous employments, both with the NHS and other employers, and placement will be in line with the guidance provided in the AfC handbook.  Incremental progression, to the top of the salary scale for your post, will normally occur on the anniversary of the start date for your current band.

The Scottish Government will review the salary scales annually, normally implemented each April.

All contracted NHS 24 staff are paid monthly, on the last Thursday of each month, this may move in December depending on when Christmas day falls.

NHS 24 workers who hold a bank position are paid weekly, on a Thursday.  

Overtime and Additional hours worked

Overtime is defined as hours worked over the standard full-time working week, 37.5.  Working hours are averaged across the individual’s rota period, before establishing if overtime is payable. 

Additional hours are defined as hours worked above a part-time members contracted hours, but not over the 37.5 hours of a full-time staff member.  These are also referred to as excess hours.

Staff should be discouraged from working Overtime hours, on a regular basis, and controls are in place regarding working additional/extra hours to ensure that all staff remain compliant with the working time regulations. 

Managers should only authorise overtime/additional hours where they are sure that the workload cannot be accommodated within normal hours.

Where overtime/additional hours are found to be necessary then:

  • It must be pre-authorised in advance by a Senior Manager.
  • Agree with staff if they wish to be paid for the overtime or request that this is taken as TOIL.   TOIL is taken at plain time.
  • Part-time staff will only be eligible for payment of overtime once they have worked over 37.5 hours, averaged over their rota period.  Payment for hours more than the part time contractual hours will be made at plain time rate, known as additional/excess hours.

Where overtime is approved, and TOIL not requested, it will be paid at time + ½, except for overtime worked on a Public Holiday (PH), this will be at double time.

All overtime/additional hours are paid the month after the month in which they are worked.

Round the Clock Working

NHS staff are required to work to cover services in the evening, at night, over weekends and on public holidays, and for these they will receive unsocial hours payments.

Staff will receive the following enhancements, for all hours worked.

Pay bandSaturday (midnight to midnight) Weekdays between – 20.00 & 06.00Sundays and Public Holidays (midnight to midnight)

All enhanced payments are paid the month after the month in which they are worked.

Home/Hybrid working

NHS 24 have agreed that for posts where this is possible, and the staff member has requested a desire to do so, a home/hybrid working model is available.

Continuity of Service

All NHS Boards are defined as separate employers.  When considering continuous employment, breaks in service between boards, will have different implications depending on what provision is being considered.

Time spent working in a Bank capacity is not considered as service, and therefore will not count as service.

  • Annual Leave (AL) – All verified NHS service, irrespective of all breaks, will be considered as reckonable service and will count towards AL service entitlements.  In addition to credit given for NHS service, joining staff will also be credited with AL service if they had a contractual position, undertaking a similar role, with any of the following employers
    • TUPE, Armed Forces, Scottish Prison Service, Scottish Ambulance Service, Voluntary/3rd sector providing health care e.g., Maggie’s, Macmillan, Hospices, overseas not for profit health care, GP/Dental practice, local government, Care Inspectorate/Commission and Scottish Social Services Council
  • Sick Leave entitlement – All verified contractual NHS service, when there has been a break of less than 12 months, will be considered as reckonable service and will count towards sick leave entitlements.  No other employments are considered.
  • Salary placement – If there has been a break in service of less than 3 calendar months then verified NHS service, which is at the same band or higher than the joining band, will be recognised for salary placement purposes.  The same principals will apply for staff joining NHS 24, who were previously within a UK GP/dental practice.  All other employments can only be considered if the recruitment manager precents a case, however the maximin credit given in these circumstances is 1 years’ service credit. 
  • Redundancy Service – as all Boards are separate employers a member of staff must have worked for 104 weeks with NHS 24 before they could be eligible for redundancy payment.  However, once they have reached the 104-weeks NHS 24 service than all contractual NHS service, where there has not been a break of more than 7 calendar days, will be counted as service for redundancy purposes.
    • It should be noted that the NHS Scotland stances is that no staff member will be subjected to compulsory redundancy.  Staff in a post that has been identified as a redundant position will be offered and alternative post and will receive salary protection in perpetuity. 

Annual leave

The annual leave (AL) year runs from 1 April to 31 March.  AL is calculated based on three elements

  • AL service, detailed above
  • staff members contracted hours
  • the number of days in the calculation period

Entitlements for Complete Year

Annual Leave serviceAL entitlement in daysAL entitlement in weeks
On appointment27 days5.4 weeks
After 5 years AL service29 days5.8 weeks
After 10 years AL service33 days6.6 weeks

Annual leave is normally taken as a whole, or a half, a working day.  However, AL is converted to hours, rather than in days, to ensure equity across all contractual hour and working patterns.  Contracted hours are multiplied by the weeks entitlement to establish the AL hours for the year.

It is a pro rata calculation to establish hours due for a part year. E.g., full years entitlement divided by 365, multiplied by the number of days in the calculation period.

Staff are encouraged to use all their AL each year, to ensure that they have sufficient rest and recuperation.  Only in exceptional circumstances, up to a maximum 1-week contracted hours may be carried forward, subject to manager’s discretion and operational requirements.

Public Holidays

Within NHS 24 the Public Holidays (PH) hours are added to the annual leave entitlements.  These hours can then be taken on the PH or at an alternative time throughout the leave year.

There are normally 8 PH each year, these will be designated, in advance, and normally include the following:

  • First two working days of the New Year
  • Easter Friday and Monday
  • First and last Monday in May
  • Christmas Day, or next working day
  • Boxing Day, or next working day.

The PH allocation can vary, from 6 to 10 PH days, this is dependent on whether Easter falls in March or April

PH hours are calculated based on the number of PH that fall within the calculation period and rounded up to the nearest half day.

To aid the calculation of AL & PH entitlements there is an online tool. 

Other Leave

NHS has many policies that enhance the statutory provisions and may allow an employee to take additional paid and/or unpaid leave:

  • Maternity Policy
  • Parental Leave
  • Special Leave – which includes details of Paternity & Adoption Leave, carer’s, compassionate and dependants leave.

Maximising attendance

Occupational sick pay entitlement will be calculated based on the individual’s length of service, as detailed in the Continuity of Service section above, and assessed on the first day of each absence.

Years of ServiceMonths Full PayMonths Half Pay
during the first year of service12
during the second year of service22
during the third year of service44
during the fourth and fifth years of service55
after completing five years of service66

All sickness episodes are remunerated as if the staff member had been at work, therefore will receive all payments in respect of working round the clock. 


Employees are automatically enrolled into the NHS pension scheme. The scheme is administered by the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA).  A Scheme overview is available on the SPPA website.

Contributions are calculated on a tiered basis using full-time equivalent pensionable pay as of 31 March of each year. The table used to calculate contributions is available from the SPPA website.

Relocation Expenses

A relocation package of up to a maximum of £8,000 is available to newly appointed staff who relocate to take up a position on a Band 5 or above.  If they have relocated to live a reasonable commute to their new workplace, and this is considerably closer than their previous address, then they may be entitled to relocation expenses.

If the staff member leaves NHS 24 employment, within 24 months of taking up the post for which relocation expenses were covered by NHS 24, these will become repayable.  Repayment is on a pro-rate basis and is a sliding amount dependent on the completed months of NHS 24 employment.

Personal Development

NHS 24 is committed to investing in employee’s personal development, all staff will receive protected development time.

Equality and diversity

We will treat all workers and job applicants with dignity and respect recognising the value of each individual and embracing the values of diversity.  Equality and diversity are not about treating everyone the same. It’s about acknowledging and respecting differences and changing the way we work if necessary.

We have an overall responsibility to comply with the legislation designed to protect people’s rights.

As a public sector organisation, we have additional obligations under the Equality Act (2010) (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 which is:

  • to report progress on mainstreaming the equality duty
  • to publish equality outcomes and report progress
  • to assess and review policies and practices
  • to gather and use employee information
  • to publish gender pay gap information
  • to publish statements on equal pay and occupational segregation
  • to consider award criteria and conditions in relation to public procurement
  • to publish equality impact assessments and demonstrate monitoring of impacts
  • to publish in a manner that is accessible.

Notice periods

Minimum notice periods for NHS 24 employees are as follows:

Temporary Employees:

  • All Bands – one week on either side

Permanent Employees:

  • Bands 1 to 7 – one month
  • All senior corporate and strategic roles – three months, which will be detailed in the contract of employment.

Trade Union

NHS 24 is committed to Partnership Working and supports the deduction of Trade Union

membership dues from salary. A Partnership Agreement which sets out the framework for consultation and negotiation has been agreed and adopted.

Travel Expense

Staff required to undertake travel, as part of their role, will be entitled to claim out of pocket expenses.

Organisational Development Policies

In addition to the Policies referred to above, a wide range of supportive policies and procedures are in place including:

  • Disciplinary
  • Grievance
  • Dignity at Work
  • Secondments
  • Business Travel & Subsistence
  • Salary Protection
  • Risk Assessment
  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Stress Management

Employee Assistance Programme

An Employee Assistance Programme is available to all employees, providing support via a comprehensive, confidential counselling and information service.

Associated Benefits

Blue light card discounts, and other discounts offered to NHS staff.