Information on the Marie Curie pay offer

Below you can find a number of frequently asked questions regarding the pay offer to Marie Curie staff.

If you have any additional questions, you can get in touch at

This pay offer relates to all staff employed by Marie Curie across the UK.

The RCN has been campaigning for Fair Pay For Nursing and believe it is our members who should decide on any pay offer. The consultation runs from 8th June 2021 until 2nd July 2021.

You can find more information about what this means for you in the RCN’s member briefing and the Marie Curie pay offer document. Both of these documents are included with the voting link that has been sent to all members. You can also email your questions to the RCN at

Civica have emailed the ballot to members on the RCN's behalf. These have been sent to the email address you gave to the RCN when you joined, please check your personal email address as well as your work email address. Please look for an email from ‘CES’ on Tuesday 8th June with the subject line ‘Marie Curie - pay consultation now open’. Members for whom we do not hold an email address have been written to. 

If you wish to request a replacement ballot, please contact Civica Election Services Ltd., the Independent Scrutineer and Returning Officer, at or telephone 0208 889 9203. When contacting Civica please specify that you are contacting regarding the RCN Marie Curie consultative ballot.

The RCN recommends members reject Marie Curie’s pay offer.

The RCN Trade Union Committee, which is made up of elected representatives of the RCN membership, considered the offer and the pros and cons of recommending members accept or reject. The collective view, in light of the RCN’s Fair Pay for Nursing campaign, was to recommend the offer be rejected by members.

It is important now though, that members across the UK working at Marie Curie have their say on whether to reject or accept the offer.

Nursing is a highly-skilled profession that requires the pay to match it. This is equally true for charitable, third sector and independent employers as it is for the NHS. Only by paying a fair salary for the role will all health and care settings be able to recruit adequately and provide high quality care.

The result will be considered by RCN Trade Union Committee, which are made up of elected representatives of the RCN membership. They will collectively confirm the RCN’s formal response to the pay offer, which will be reported back to Marie Curie.

If RCN members vote to accept the offer, we will notify Marie Curie that RCN members accept the pay offer. If RCN members vote to reject the pay offer, we will seek to negotiate an improved offer with Marie Curie. We would then consult with members again on any new offer once it is made.

This ballot is to decide whether members accept or reject the pay offer from Marie Curie. It is not a ballot over Industrial Action. If members vote to reject the pay offer, we will try to negotiate an improved offer on members behalf. We would then seek member views on any further offers through further consultative ballots. In the event that we are unsuccessful in persuading Marie Curie to improve their offer, or if members reject all further offers, then at that point we would seek member views on how they would like us to proceed.

It is only at that point that Industrial Action would be considered. The RCN would only ever take Industrial Action if that was what the majority of members supported through a formal Industrial Action ballot which is a separate statutory process.

The ask of the RCN Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is 12. 5% for all bands on Agenda for Change in the NHS.

The RCN’s position on any of our members employed in the independent sector, including those employed by Marie Curie, remains that registered nurses and nursing support workers employed by independent employers should be paid at least the same level as their counterparts in the NHS. We anticipate that improvements in NHS pay may have a positive effect on pay in other sectors.

Accepting the offer may mean that you have moved away from any link with NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) pay. You would receive a pay increase equal to 2% of your current salary. As the process for determining AfC pay increases for this year is still ongoing in most of the UK, we cannot advise whether you would receive more or less than 2% were your pay to remain linked to AfC. Members working in Scotland on AfC are receiving an average of 4%, so would be better off if their pay remains linked to AfC than if they accept this offer.

Acceptance of this offer would mean that you are not guaranteed to receive any future pay increases awarded to staff on Agenda for Change

If the offer is accepted, you will receive a pay increase equal to 2% of your current salary. This increase would be subject to tax and national insurance as normal and would count towards any workplace pension you belong to.

This 2% increase is more than the annual rise in the cost of living (inflation) so would mean you would be slightly better off. However this rise is significantly less than the 12.5% increase that the RCN is seeking for members employed by the NHS.

To understand what this might mean for your individual pay if the offer is accepted, you can simply divide your current salary by 100 and then multiply the result by 2. This is the additional pay you will receive if the offer is accepted.

To compare this to what it might mean for your individual pay if the ask of 12.5% was achieved, you can divide your current salary rate by 100 and then multiply this by 12.5. This will give you the additional pay you would receive following a 12.5% increase.

We do recognise that the past year has been uniquely difficult for Marie Curie and many other charities with fundraising activities temporarily reduced. However, this past year has also been uniquely difficult for our members, whether they work in the NHS, Marie Curie or elsewhere. The RCN members employed by Marie Curie are dedicated professionals working with the same skills and the same commitment to patients as RCN members employed elsewhere.

The RCN believes that nurses and nursing support workers should be valued wherever they work. We do not believe that members employed by a charity should receive worse pay or terms and conditions than those members employed in the public sector or by a private employer just because they happen to be employed by a charity. For this reason, we believe Marie Curie should be looking to improve members’ pay and terms and conditions to bring them closer to those received by nurses elsewhere, rather than making an offer that may widen this gap.

The offer is a gross figure and you need to take deductions into account when considering the pay offer.

Pay is subject to tax and national insurance contributions. Members should check the current income tax and national insurance rates to assess how the pay offer will affect their take-home pay.

Rises in pensionable pay are also subject to increases in pension deductions. Find out more about pension contributions here.

The effect on an individual’s benefit depends on individual circumstances and the type of benefit. Members who are on means-tested benefits, such as universal credit, should consider the implications of the current Marie Curie offer before voting to reject or accept it in the RCN’s consultative ballot.

To check your benefit situation, call the Citizens Advice Helpline on 0800 144 8848 (England), 0800 702 2020 (Wales), 0800 028 1456 (Scotland), Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Calls are free. There is currently no countywide helpline number for Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland, so members working there may need to search online for their local Citizens Advice service.

Part-time workers are covered by the pay offer and are being offered the same 2% increase to their current wages.

This consultative ballot is a secret ballot being conducted by Civica on behalf of the RCN. At the close of the ballot Civica will inform the RCN how many members have voted in favour of accepting the pay offer and how many members have voted to reject the offer. The RCN will then inform Marie Curie of this outcome. Neither the RCN nor Marie Curie will know which members voted in the ballot nor how they voted.

Members who belong to the NHS pension scheme will receive a pension based on either their final salary or their career average salary depending on which section of the scheme they belong to (this is called a defined benefit pension scheme). Members of most other pension schemes (called defined contribution schemes) pay a proportion of their wages into their pension, as does their employer. The pension these members receive is determined by how much is paid into this pension and how it is invested by the pension provider. For most members in any of these pension schemes, receiving a higher wage may to lead to a larger pension, but exactly what the impact of this pay offer will be will depend on individual members’ circumstances.

The RCN cannot give members individual advice on the impact of this pay offer on their pension. Members who wish to know more about their pension should consult their pension provider in the first instance and then take up financial advice if necessary.