Consultants and SAS doctors are again being asked at short notice to take on considerable extra or new clinical duties which are not in line with their agreed pre-Covid-19 job plans.
This is to respond to the increased clinical demands of the pandemic and the resulting backlog of work, the rising number of inpatients in hospital, and to cover unwell or self-isolating colleagues.
Many doctors have had to radically change their normal working pattern and job plan to ensure there is senior clinical input 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This may result in increased out of hours working.
Welsh Government, NHS Employers and the BMA and therefore have agreed an advisory notice on enhanced pay rates (November), these are detailed below.
New enhanced rates
If your hours have changed because of Covid-19 and you are now working outside Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm for consultants and 7am - 7pm for SAS doctors, enhanced rates have been agreed with Welsh Government and NHS Wales employers to recognise the contribution you are making in a new advisory note.
These enhanced rates will be backdated from 1 November 2020 and will apply until 31 March 2021.
We would expect that the rates are paid by health boards as a minimum.
Consultants' pay rates
All amended hours worked as a result of responding to the pandemic, together with work undertaken which has been displaced by COVID-19 outside Monday- Friday 9am - 5pm (including all on-call hours actually worked) will be paid at the following rates.
|Monday – Friday | 5pm – 9am||1.5 x individual’s standard hourly rate (including commitment awards)|
|Friday 5pm – Monday 9am||2 x individual’s standard hourly rate (including commitment awards)|
|Bank holidays||2 x individual’s standard hourly rate (including commitment awards)|
|Monday - Friday | 9am - 5pm (part time consultants)||Standard hourly rate. For OOH times, as set out above.|
SAS doctors' pay rates
The enhanced rates paid (or recognised in a sessional time reduction) under schedule 8 of the specialty doctor and associate specialist terms and conditions of service for out of hours work are increased as below.
|Monday - Friday | 7pm - 7am||1.5 x individual’s standard hourly rate|
|Friday 7pm - Monday 7am||2 x individual’s standard hourly rate|
|Bank holidays||2 x individual’s standard hourly rate|
|Monday – Friday | 7am-7pm (part time doctors)||Standard hourly rate. For OOH times, as set out above.|
Changes in the new advisory note
Time off in lieu as an alternative to pay
You may request to take time off in lieu on the same basis as pay ie time and a half or double time. This is as an alternative to receiving pay for additional hours worked during this time, and with prior agreement with your line manager.
SPA protection and formal support for off-site working
The notice states that 'SPA time continues to be essential and should continue at the agreed level in the original job plan. Where temporary job plans are agreed these should include SPA time at an agreed level.'
Where SPA activity can be undertaken or delivered remotely, it may be possible for this to be performed off site with prior agreement.
Standby and additional non-resident on-call
If you take on additional on-call, for example if you see an increased frequency of your on-call rota or supplemental stand-by on-calls, direct clinical care will be paid in line with the enhanced rates for the hours worked. The non-residential part of your work will be paid an 'on-call allowance' of 50% of the normal hourly rate for the period during which you are available.
If your job plan already requires you to work out-of-hours
If you already undertake routine work out of regular hours (above), you will not receive additional enhancements if your job plan remains the same.
The enhanced rates are intended to recognise amended hours where due to Covid-19, you have agreed to work a different pattern of hours. You may be asked to increase the hours of work you undertake out of hours. If this is the case, you can claim the enhanced rates for the increased hours worked.
Your existing hours may also be amended as a result of Covid-19, these will also be eligible for the enhanced rate. For example, Wednesday evening moved to a Thursday, or the existing hours now being split across different days.
If you have already changed your job plan or hours
If you haven't agreed a rate yet
Every health board has now been informed of this agreement and have been told to action it.
We will be monitoring implementation through your LNC.
If you have agreed a rate
Any existing agreements will still stand and can only be varied by both parties through agreement.
Keep a record
We would strongly recommend that you keep a diary of all hours worked during this time. You can use either the Dr Diary app or keep a paper diary of your hours of work.
All other terms and conditions and service remain the same.
Such emergency arrangements should continue for no longer than is necessary to respond to the extraordinary clinical demands posed by the current crisis.