Some UNISON members covered by the 2023 NJC pay settlement for England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be in receipt of Universal Credit. The pay award may result in a reduction in the amount of Universal Credit individuals receive as earnings will rise.

The April 2023 pay award is for a consolidated pay increase of £1,925 on all NJC pay points. The pay rise will not be paid as a one-off lump sum – it will be consolidated into basic pay will be spread across twelve months.

However, the 2023 NJC pay settlement is backdated to 1 April 2023 which means that employers will also be making a one-off payment of back pay owed to their employees. It is expected that the pay rise is likely to be implemented in December 2023. This means that in December 2023 employees are likely to receive their new rate of pay, plus eight months of backpay (for April to November). Please remember that pay – including the pay rise – is pro-rata for part-time/term time only employees and that all pay is subject to tax and national insurance deductions.

For the month in which the pay rise is implemented the amount of take-home pay will be significantly higher due to the backpay element. This may have an impact on universal credit payments in the following month/s.

As Universal Credit is based on individual members’ own personal circumstances,

UNISON does not know exactly how individual members may be affected and cannot provide advice to individuals. UNISON is advising members to contact their Work Coach who can help people with universal credit claims. Members should explain to their work coach that whilst there has been a pay rise that increases basic monthly income, there has also been a one-off back-payment that will not form part of regular monthly income.

You can contact your Work Coach online Universal Credit: Contact Universal Credit – GOV.UK (  or call the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644.


UNISON’s Benefits Calculator and further support

UNISON’s There For You charity provides a range of services to support low paid

members. Members can access the Online Benefits Calculator


Members can find out more about the full range of support provided by There For You on our website There for You (UNISON Welfare) | Member support and services | UNISON National.