COVID-19 terms and conditions: SAS doctors and consultants

Pay rates for consultants and SAS doctors in Wales

Audience: Consultants SAS doctors
Last reviewed: 31 May 2021
Topics: COVID 19, Contracts

Many of you have substantially changed your working patterns during the course of the pandemic. 

Welsh Government, NHS Employers and the BMA and therefore have agreed an advisory notice on enhanced pay rates (November), these are detailed below.


Enhanced rates

If your hours changed because of Covid-19 and you are worked outside Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm for consultants and 7am - 7pm for SAS doctors, enhanced rates were agreed with Welsh Government and NHS Wales employers to recognise the contribution you made in an advisory note.

These enhanced rates were backdated from 1 November 2020 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) were paid at the following rates.

Times Pay
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 were increased as below.

Times Pay
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 was informed of this agreement and told to action it.

We have been 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.

Need help? For questions about any aspect of your working life, our advisers are here to help you. Opening times: 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday (excluding UK bank holidays) and 9am - 12pm on Saturdays.