Leave for supernumerary trainees
Management of leave for supernumerary trainees varies, the way in which leave is managed should be on a case-by-case basis. All trainees, including supernumerary trainees should be treated fairly and equitably with regards to the allocation of leave, taking into consideration the running of a safe and effective service.
Managing days off in lieu, ie when public bank holidays are worked
If the doctor is scheduled to work at any time on a bank holiday, or have a rest day for hours and rest purposes on a bank holiday, or if they are scheduled to work a night shift running into a bank holiday, they get a day in lieu – ie an extra day of annual leave.
If the doctor is scheduled to work a night shift running into a bank holiday and a night shift on the bank holiday as well, they will only get one day in lieu, as they have only 'missed' one bank holiday.
Designing rotas to facilitate opportunities for doctors to swap shifts to allow longer runs of leave
Where possible, employers may wish to concentrate out-of-hours duties into a small number of weeks but only where it is safe to do so. This can be beneficial as it increases the flexibility for doctors to request annual leave.
Where at all possible, the roster should be designed to have at least two, if not three, consecutive weeks without out-of-hours duties, to be able to grant requests for longer periods of leave. If this is not possible there should be a mutual responsibility to find a suitable swap for shifts and notify the rota manager.
Additionally, doctors may need time off for study leave and in some cases, a large group of doctors working on the same rota may require study leave for an exam or to attend a course at around the same time. Doctors need to submit a request to their employer of the dates as soon as the doctor is notified, to allow employers to plan – it may be that reduced amounts of annual leave can be granted in those weeks to allow maximum flexibility for study leave.
Employers should, where possible, grant time off for approved study leave purposes.
Knowing when other staff are on leave
It is helpful for staff to have sight of approved leave for colleagues on the same rota or department. This may be used to assess the most suitable times to request leave. This can be important across grades, for example so a trainee will know when their clinical or educational supervisor is on leave.
Job interviews should be considered professional leave, with time off accommodated appropriately and should not require annual or study leave for these interviews to take place. Rota coordinators should be given as much notice as possible to plan effectively.
Compassionate or special leave
Managing requests for special or compassionate leave can be challenging for both the employer and employee. Requests for any circumstances may be granted at the employer's discretion, in line with local policies. Responding positively to requests for compassionate leave will improve morale and relationships between the employer and its employees.