The NJC Pay Scale for 2021/2022

The National Joint Council (NJC) for local government services is responsible for determining the pay scales for the majority of non-teaching staff in local government. This includes roles such as administrative assistants, grounds maintenance staff, cleaners, and many more. The NJC pay scale is reviewed annually, with new pay scales typically being implemented from April 1st each year. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the key details of the NJC pay scale 2021/2022 financial year.


The NJC pay scale provides a standardized system of pay grades and salary ranges for local government staff across the UK. This helps ensure that pay is fair and consistent for similar roles, regardless of geographical location. The pay scales are agreed upon each year following negotiations between trade union representatives and councils. For the 2021/2022 financial year, the NJC pay scales were uplifted by 2.75%. This was an increase on the previous year’s uplift of 2.25% and reflected the rising cost of living. In total, the NJC pay scale covers over 1.6 million local government workers across the UK.

Pay Spines

The NJC pay scale consists of multiple pay spines which group roles of similar skills and responsibilities into set salary ranges. For 2021/2022, the main pay spines are:

  • Spine 1 – For basic, routine tasks (salary range £18,933 – £19,312)
  • Spine 13-17 – For administrative and clerical roles (salary range £22,183 – £28,672)
  • Spine 21-25 – For technical and supervisory roles (salary range £26,999 – £31,346)
  • Spine 26-36 – For managerial roles (salary range £32,910 – £43,857)
  • Spine 40-49 – For senior managerial roles (salary range £46,922 – £55,949)

Within each pay spine, there are several incremental pay points that reflect increasing experience and development within a role.

Regional Pay Variations

While the NJC sets out the national framework of pay spines, each local authority can determine their own regional pay points within these ranges. This allows councils to account for variances in the cost of living across different parts of the UK. Most councils choose to apply the national pay spines without regional adjustments. However some areas, particularly London and the South East, have higher pay scales.

Allowances and Pay Progression

In addition to the pay scales themselves, the NJC agreement also sets out guidelines for allowances and pay progression:

  • The NJC agreement continues to pay overtime, shift work, standby and call out pay at defined rates.
  • The NJC agreement consolidates experience-based pay progression, with employees reaching the top of their pay scale typically after around 4 years.
  • The NJC agreement specifies a minimum additional payment for employees working on call or standby duties.
  • The NJC agreement introduces a new allowance for lead care workers from April 2021.


The NJC pay scale 2021/2022 aim to provide fair and transparent rates of pay for local government staff across roles of all levels of responsibility. The 2.75% uplift for 2021/2022 reflects an increased cost of living. The annual review helps keep pay aligned with wider economic conditions and cost of living changes.

Leave a comment