The charity hopes the system will help it attract and retain quality staff to carry out public service care contracts.
Agenda for Change is intended to harmonise working conditions for staff across NHS services and introduce equal pay for work of equal value.
All Sue Ryder staff in regular contact with patients and their families, including domestic and catering staff, have been given standardised work conditions and contracts that replicate those in the NHS.
Stephen Collinson, director of healthcare for the charity, said: “For us to continue to grow and increase our standing as a provider of high-quality and innovative care, we believe we need to offer employment packages that attract and keep the best staff. That means at least matching what the NHS pays.”
The harmonisation will also enable Sue Ryder to calculate its costs more precisely when negotiating with NHS service commissioners.
The new pay system has been introduced in co-operation with the Royal College of Nurses, which signed a recognition agreement with Sue Ryder in December 2001. The package includes job evaluation and pay bands, overtime pay, a shift payment system and increased annual leave.
Collinson added: “People who work for us deserve a fair day’s pay for a day’s work. Where there were unnecessary variations in the rates we paid or the conditions of services we offered, these have been ironed out.”