Junior doctor Contract

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Rotas and working patterns

FY2 Adele Flowerdue and George Allan at work in the emergency department of North Manchester General hospital. manc160915. full consent.

The new junior doctors' contract

Keep up to date with developments on the new junior doctors' contract in England and how upcoming changes will affect you.

For any specific queries relating to your current contract, please email us

Improve your working pattern or rota 

Well rested doctors deliver safer care for patients. Working Time Regulations mean that no doctor should be working more than 48 hours a week on average over 6 months. Your contract also gives you protection on the hours you work. 

We believe that it is possible to deliver excellent care and receive the training that you need within 48 hours. Sometimes, however, doctors find themselves working on badly designed rotas which are unnecessarily tiring or onerous.

We can advise you on common problems like:

  • No flexibility for taking leave
  • Gaps in your rota due to under-staffing
  • No time for dedicated training opportunities
  • Uneven workload in rota slots
  • Other problems with working hours

What can you do?


  • Rota types

    There are several types of rota that you may find yourself working and each rota has its own set of rules.

    Know your rota type

  • Banding calculator

    Knowing which band you should be in is important. Sign in to read our comprehensive guidance and use the pay banding calculator.

    Check your band

  • Rota template

    Calculate your hours with the Riddle Formula © calculator and create your own rota.

    Create your own rota

  • Rest requirements

    Time off and rest periods can vary according to your shift patterns

    Know the rules

  • Rota case studies

    Read the examples of junior doctors who designed their own rotas.

    Read the case studies

  • Glossary

    Get up to speed with the terminology used in rota design.

    Find out more