What does a newly-qualified midwife get paid? Figures and all!

Believe it or not, this is one of the questions I get asked most – and is a question that appears in my inbox on Instagram/Facebook/email at least once or twice a day, without fail!

I guess its one of the first things you have to consider if you are debating a career change or are interested in becoming a midwife which I know a lot of the people who follow me and read my posts are, so here we go, let’s answer this very frequently asked question!

Isn’t it a bit personal to tell us what you get paid?

As the NHS is a publicly funded service, the pay rates are public knowledge, so although talking about money and talking about what people get paid is sometimes a bit of a taboo subject, I personally feel quite conformable discussing it on here because if you really wanted to know, you would be able to find out anyway.

Currently, NHS pay scales are subject to a new policy called “Agenda for Change”, which is improving the rate of pay for NHS employees over the next few years.

Agenda for Change is going to increase our pay ever so slightly over the next few years, in addition to any yearly or promotional increments, so it’s worth bearing that in mind. It’s minimal, but every penny counts, right?!

As the rates are so fluid at the moment due to Agenda for Change, all the information in this post is based on what the rate is now – if you are reading this in the future, do check the Agenda for Change for any increases!

So, what does a Newly Qualified Midwife get paid?

NHS pay scales are divided by bands, and as a newly qualified midwife, you enter your service to the NHS as a Band 5.

Provided you haven’t worked, paid, for the NHS before, which will be the case for the majority of newly qualified midwives, a full-time band 5 salary is £24,214 per year. That is based on 37.5 hours a week.

37.5 hours a week, split into 12.5 hour shifts, for which you generally get paid for 12 hours (with a half hour unpaid break…..when it happens!) This does mean that you end up doing 3 shifts a week most weeks and then a week with a 4th shift every few weeks to make up the extra hours, which can be a pain…

A lot of people at my current hospital have 36 hour contracts, which negates the “make up shift” and means you do 3 shifts a week, every week, which to me seems much easier!

What about nights and weekends?

Yes, nights and weekends are compulsory, unless you have some kind of medical exemption to certain shifts or have a family friendly or flexible working contract to accommodate for your childcare etc.

But, you do get compensated for the loss of your Friday night gin or your Sunday roast. 🙂

Nights (and Saturdays) add an extra 30% to your pay for the shift, and Sundays and Bank Holidays add 60%, so if you work a Saturday night, you get your normal pay, plus 30% for the hours you work before midnight, and 60% for the hours you work after midnight, so for me, I get 4.5 hours at time+30% and 7.5 hours at time+60% for a Saturday night (depends on what time your shifts start and finish – for reference mine are 7.30-8, either am or pm)

When does your pay band change?

As a newly qualified midwife, you undertake a preceptorship, where you are supported to consolidate your training, whilst working the job. Different hospitals do this in different ways but it tends to be a few extra training days and skills sessions, a little bit of paperwork to do and generally a higher level of support in the workplace while you get to grips with the job once you’re qualified.

A midwife preceptorship tends to be approximately 6-24 months and varies between hospital trusts. Once your preceptorship is complete, you move up to a band 6, and with that get a nice hefty pay rice, currently sitting at £30,401 as a starting point.

I hope this has been useful – do let me know if you have any further questions – leave them in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to answer them!

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