Junior doctor Contract

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Understanding your terms and conditions of service

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

Your contract of employment

Your contract of employment is an important legal document as once signed, the contents are binding. The wording of your contract of employment is based on a ‘model contract’ which has been agreed for all junior doctors working in the UK, and will include:

  • Details specific to you such as your name, location of work, pay, hours and other specific working entitlements
  • Details specific to your role as a junior doctor. These are determined by the Terms and Conditions of service.

Your contract of employment also includes a number of associated and linked documents. You will not be required to sign these documents as they will not be specific to you. You may not receive these documents when you receive your contract for signing although you can request these from your employer.


The Terms and Conditions of Service

Your contract of employment is implemented according to the Terms and Conditions of Service (TSC). These have been agreed at national level between the Junior Doctors Committee, NHS Employers in England and the health departments in the devolved nations.

The TCS provides details on your contractual obligations which are specific to you but that you will also find mirrored in other Junior Doctors employment including your rights to expenses, study leave, disciplinary procedures.

You will not have to sign the TCS when you sign your employment contract but being familiar with this document will help you understand your employment obligations should you need further clarification.

How do I find my way through the TCS?

This guide identifies the most important parts of the TCS for junior doctors. The wording of the TCS for junior doctors across the UK are virtually identical, whilst taking into account the different structures in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read the TCS for:

England and Wales
Northern Ireland

Should you require further details not covered here, please consult the relevant TCS.

Within two months of starting with a new employer you should receive a written statement of particulars of employment. This will normally be a contract of employment and a job description.

If you haven't received this contractual information, contact the BMA for assistance on 0300 123 123 3.

Once you have received your contractual information get it checked by the BMA before you sign or read this guidance to find out more about your contract of employment.


Covered in this guide

Topic Paragraphs in the TCS
Contract basics xii, 10, 11, 18
Working patterns 19, 20
Pay and pensions 21, 22
Work, rest, weekends and prospective cover 22
London weighting allowance 55, 56, 57 (England only)
Accommodation 173, 175
Honorary Appointments 81
Cover for absent colleagues 110
Being a locum doctor 111,117
Acting up as a consultant 112
Starting salaries and incremental credit 121-131
Starting work as a specialty registrar 130
Returning to work from a career grade 132, 135
Disciplinary procedures and notice period 189, 195 (196 in Scotland)
Leave 205, 206, 214, 225-244, 250, 251, 260, 262, Appendix VI(i and vi), Appendix VI and XI in Scotland
Expenses 277-279, 284-286, 290, 294, 313, 315


Other documents

In addition to your contract of employment and the TCS there are number of other documents issued from time to time by the employers which are also incorporated into your overarching contract of employment.

These other documents vary across the four nations - see the separate information for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

For details of other contractual documents applicable iin Wales, please contact BMA Wales.

If you need more information about anything you have read in this document contact one of our employment advisers.