NHS holiday working over the Christmas and New Year period 2021/22

What you need to know about NHS pay arrangements over the 2021/22 winter holiday season.

Working over Christmas or New Year

England and Wales

The following national arrangements are laid out in the NHS Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions handbook.


This year Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on a Saturday 25 December and Sunday 26 December.  As these days fall on the weekend Monday 27 is an alternate public holiday for Christmas Day and Tuesday 28 is an alternative public holiday for Boxing Day.

The following pay rates should apply:

  • Saturday 25 - Bank Holiday Rates + time off in lieu (TOIL)
  • Sunday 26 - Bank Holiday Rates + TOIL
  • Monday 27 - Bank Holiday Rates + TOIL
  • Tuesday 28 - Bank Holiday Rates + TOIL

If you work more than two days over the period 25 -28 December you will paid the usual rates for the additional day(s) worked,  unless local arrangements are in place.

New Year

New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday and the designated bank holiday day is Monday 3 January.  The following pay rates should apply:

  • Saturday 1 January - Bank Holiday Rates + TOIL
  • Monday 3 January - Bank Holiday Rates + TOIL

If you work both of these days under Agenda for Change you will be paid for one bank holiday and the other day at the usual rate for the day worked.


Local Trust arrangements for On-call will apply, but these should be not less than the pay and TOIL set out above.

Local Agreements

The above arrangements are set out in the Agenda for Change Handbook, however some trusts or local services will have local arrangements in place to manage and support members working over this period and these will apply.  

More information:

See the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook for more information:

  • Section 2:  Round the Clock Services, Paragraph 2.28 sets out the pay arrangements and TOIL when Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve fall on a weekend day.   Pay rates for other forms of working e.g. Unsocial Hours are given in this section.
  • Section 13: Annual Leave and Public Holidays.  Paragraph 13.4 sets out entitlement for TOIL and appropriate rates of pay for work on a public holiday.   
  • Annex 25:  When 25 December and 26 December fall on a weekend.  


All-Scotland arrangements are in place for members working over the Christmas and New Year Period.    Details can be accessed here.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is expected to issue all-Northern Ireland guidance for NHS staff working over this period.  The link will be added once it is available. 



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