What an NHS Nurse has to say about monthly pay

We sat down with Molly, a Clinical Nurse Specialist, who gave us her thoughts on the monthly pay cycle and why she’d like to get paid her own way.

Would you like more flexibility in the way you get paid?

Having the option of being paid a certain amount of money weekly would make organising my money a lot easier. Practically it seems simpler; I don’t have a consistent shift pattern therefore waiting for a month between getting paid can be confusing and it makes life harder than it needs to be.

I think it would also help motivate me and other NHS nurses. After a week of working hard and earning money, it would be nice to get an incentive of getting the money almost immediately. 

What do you think about the monthly pay cycle?

A long wait between getting paid makes budgeting more difficult. And it’s a challenge to plan for such a long timeframe. It’s impractical, especially when you have different bills going out at different times, like utilities, gym memberships, and various subscriptions.

How do you think flexible pay would benefit you?

I think it would be a positive step to be able to have more control over the money I earn. Right now, my ‘overtime’ is paid through a different agency which is set up to be paid weekly. So when I do overtime I get a more consistent amount of money in my bank account, which I like. This gives me more flexibility and means that if I want to do something ‘extra’ like go to a social event, I don’t have to wait till the end of the month to ensure I have the money or have to work out if I can afford to do it.

Working across a 24hr period means I can’t know exactly what I am earning due to weekend and unsocial hours pay. This would be easier to manage and keep a track of if I had 7 days to work out, rather than the complexities of 4 weeks.

What about bank shifts? If you could access the money earlier, would you take more?

I already have this and it makes me do them more. I struggle to be organised sometimes due to my hectic shift pattern, therefore generally can’t plan along time in advance. This means that my social life, which is important to me, is often organised last minute. I know I have something coming up in the next few weeks, I don’t have to worry because I can book a bank shift to cover it. It also means that if I’m tight on money one month, there is always the option to work more and get a little bit more money.

In my old nursing job, this wasn’t the case and I really struggled to find the motivation to do overtime because the money I had earned would go into my standard monthly salary.

Would the Track feature in Wagestream make you feel less stressed about your finances?

Yes. I think it would enable me to feel as though I had more control over my budget. I could also plan things every week with a good understanding of my in and outgoings. Having more control over finances is something I think everyone would want. However, I think it’s particularly important when your hours are not standard and can fluctuate weekly.

Do you think this a good solution for the NHS in general?

Money is the first thing on most people’s minds. However, working in an industry which can be extremely physically and emotionally demanding, the sense of reward at the end of the week would be a real incentive to continue working hard.

I think it’s important for any industry to give their employees flexibility and autonomy over their wages. It also shows the employer is working and supporting them to make their life easier.

What elements of the solution do you think nurses will care about the most?

The simplicity. It seems like a really basic concept and nurses who often lead hectic and confusing lifestyles would welcome that. I know roughly how much I will get paid each month but due to the nature of shift work, the amounts differ slightly. This isn’t easy to keep a track of on a standard monthly basis.

The gratitude. After a week of hard work, the idea of being paid seems as though it would be a great reward.

The control. After a week of working hard in an industry which is all about putting other people first, it would be nice to have the choice to make the money I earn benefit me and my lifestyle.