What is the NJC Pay Hourly Rate?

The National Joint Council (NJC) pay scale is used to determine the salaries of over 1 million public sector workers in the UK, including local government employees, civil servants, court staff, and more. But how does the NJC pay scale actually work when it comes to hourly rates of pay? This article will break down the ins and outs of NJC hourly pay.


The NJC pay system can seem complex at first glance. Employees are placed into set pay bands and grades, with annual salary ranges attached to each grade. While this system determines annual salaries, it does not explicitly lay out hourly rates of pay. However, hourly rates can be easily calculated from the NJC annual pay scales.

Understanding how the NJC pay system converts to hourly wages can be important for public sector workers paid on an hourly basis or working irregular hours. It provides transparency on how your rate of pay is set under the NJC system. Knowing your proper hourly rate of pay can also help ensure you are being paid fairly and accurately for time worked.

Defining NJC Pay Bands and Grades

The NJC pay structure consists of multiple broad bands, each containing a number of specific pay grades. The main pay bands are:

  • Band 1 – entry level and routine jobs
  • Band 2 – supervisory or specialist roles
  • Band 3 – higher supervisory or specialist roles
  • Band 4 – managerial jobs

Within each band there are several grades, ranging from Grade A at the lower end up to Grade I at the top end. Each grade has an assigned annual salary range. For example, Band 2 starts at £18,333 (Grade A), up to £28,785 (Grade I).

The specific grade an employee is assigned to depends on the level of responsibility and complexity of their role. More senior positions will be graded higher.

Calculating Hourly Rates

While NJC annual salaries are clearly defined, hourly rates are not directly specified. However, we can easily calculate the hourly rate for a given NJC grade using the annual salary ranges:

  • Divide the annual salary by 52 to determine the weekly pay
  • Divide the weekly pay by the standard number of working hours per week (usually 37) to determine the standard hourly rate

For example, let’s look at Band 2, Grade E, which has an annual salary range of £23,541 to £25,991.

For a salary of £25,000: £25,000 / 52 weeks = £480.77 per week £480.77 / 37 hours = £12.99 per hour

So the hourly rate for this role would be approximately £12.99.

This calculation can be applied to any NJC grade to determine the hourly rate of pay. The only variable is the specific annual salary within the range for a given post.

It’s important to note that this provides the basic hourly rate for a full-time position. The hourly rate may vary for part-time staff, or those working irregular additional hours on top of their standard hours.

Overtime Rates and Premiums

For any additional hours worked beyond the standard 37 hour week, overtime rates and premiums may apply.

The basic overtime rate is usually time and a third. So for the above example, overtime would be paid at £12.99 x 1.3 = £16.88 per hour.

In some cases, a higher overtime premium is applied, such as time and a half or double time. This is dependent on the specific workplace policies and employment contract terms.

Public holidays and weekend work may also attract additional premium payments on top of the standard hourly rate.

Understanding Employee Rights

Having transparency on how NJC annual pay translates into hourly rates is important for ensuring employees understand their pay entitlements.

By clearly determining their basic hourly rate under the NJC system, public sector workers can ensure they are being accurately paid for any additional hours or overtime worked. Knowing the correct overtime rates and premiums is also essential.

If employees feel they are not receiving the appropriate NJC determined pay, they have the right to request clarification from their employer. Accurate NJC hourly pay helps guarantee fair pay across the public sector.


The NJC annual pay scales that determine over 1 million public sector workers’ salaries do not explicitly state NJS pay hourly rate. However, with a simple calculation based on annual salary and standard full-time hours, we can easily convert the NJC grades into approximate hourly rates.

This provides an open and transparent view into how the NJC pay system translates into hourly wages. Understanding correct hourly rates of pay, along with overtime and premium policies, helps ensure public sector staff receive fair pay for all time worked. While the NJC system may seem complex, determining hourly rates is straightforward.

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