What is High Cost Area Allowance?

The High-Cost Area (HCA) allowance, also referred to as London Weighting, is a payment made to employees who work in London and the surrounding areas.

The allowance is divided into 3 levels, Inner, Outer and Fringe; the table below shows the current amounts.

HCAS Allowances 
Area   2022 rate
Inner London 20% of basic salary, subject to a minimum payment of £4,888 and a maximum payment of £7,377
Outer London 15% of basic salary, subject to a minimum payment of £4,108 and a maximum payment of £5,177
Fringe 5% of basic salary, subject to a minimum payment of £1,136 and a maximum payment of £1,915

The NHS Handbook provides further information about the HCA. You can find information about HCA payment zones in appendix 8 (table 12). You can find information about HCA supplement in Appendix 9.

When is HCAS recorded in Trac, if it applies to an candidate?

The Lead Interviewer will enter the information when moving the candidate from Interview to Offer. This will be input to the  'Other salary related information' section in the Offer table.

This information will transfer to the Candidate Enrolment form (CEF) or Internal Recruitment Form (IRF). HR Shared Services (HRSS) will complete the form to ensure any allowance reflectes on the candidate's Contract and pay.

What Contract types does HCA apply to?

The payment amounts in the above table apply to those that have an Agenda for Change (AfC) Contract.

Other Contract types may pay the HCA allowance but the rate may differ to that in the above table. Those who are not employed on a AfC Contract should query the level of allowance with the NHS England (NHSE) Human Resources and Organisation Development (HR and OD) Team .

Does HCA require approval?

No, HCA can only be added to a candidates Offer if the appropriate base is listed as the location. This will not require approval when included in a candidates Offer.

The level of HCA must be added to the Offer table when this is submitted to enable the HR Shared Services (HRSS) Contracts team to include the allowance when creating a Contract of employment. 

HRSS will only transact the HCA if it is in the additional salary details of the Offer table.

For example, if the CEF has the base listed as Skipton House but the additional salary details field does not detail that the HCA is required.  The Contracts team will not add the HCA to a candidate's Contract. As this is a known HCA, the Contracts team may query this with the Recruiting Manager (RM) however they are not obliged to question whether the HCA should be included.