General practitioner Contract

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Negotiating your salary

The following is designed to assist all salaried GPs to negotiate their salary.

Annual pay uplifts
The GPC recommends that all salaried GPs should ensure that they will receive an annual pay uplift (e.g. at least in line with inflation, and if appropriate in line with the Government's decision on the pay of general practitioners following the recommendation of the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body). Salaried GPs may also want to ensure that they receive a separate annual pay increment to recognise and reward your experience. The details of how your annual pay uplift and any other increase will be calculated should be included in the written contract of employment.

Given that salaried GPs are generally regarded as adding to the quality of services provided by practices, this should be taken into consideration when negotiating salary and future uplifts. Options for achieving this include a percentage increase or bonus payment in addition to the standard annual and incremental uplifts to reflect your contribution to the practice's achievement under the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QoF) and/or other added value that the salaried GP brings to the practice. We are aware of some employers which have already committed to reward all their staff with a bonus payment in line with the practice's overall achieved or anticipated QOF points.

Factors to consider when negotiating your salary
The following factors may influence your salary:

  • the length of your previous NHS service (this includes hospital based work)
  • the length of your previous GP service (this includes work as a GP locum, GP principal, GP retainer, flexible career scheme GP, salaried GP, etc)
  • the type of work which you have previously undertaken
  • your qualifications (eg MRCGP or specialist accreditation)
  • the type of work which you will be required to undertaken in the salaried GP post
  • the hours of work and the composition of your job plan in the salaried GP post
  • whether you will be required to work any additional hours or sessions, for example to cover absent colleagues, possible teaching sessions or to attend practice meetings if held outside your normal working hours
  • whether you will be required to undertaken any out-of-hours work
  • whether mileage incurred as part of duties is taken into account
  • whether additional expenses incurred by you are taken into account, for example medical defence organisation subscriptions, BMA and/or Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) membership fees, use of mobile phone whilst working
  • whether your employer contributes to the LMC levy. If so then you are an LMC member. If the employer does not contribute, then you may be required to make an individual membership payment to the LMC in order to be a member, and this should be taken into account when negotiating your salary.
  • whether you will receive paid study leave
  • whether you will receive protected and paid time for continuing professional development during normal working hours
  • market forces (ie the demand for salaried GPs in the area, as well as the supply of potential salaried GPs)
  • the cost of living in the area
  • whether you will receive a bonus payment, and if so how much
  • by what method your salary will be increased each year and the amount that you are likely to receive.

Given that every GP has different experience and every post has a different set of requirements and job specification, it is impossible for us to advise you on the exact salary that you can expect to achieve. Nonetheless we would strongly advise you not to undersell yourself and to weigh up different offers before making your final decision.

As stated above, the salary of full-time GPs employed by a GMS practice or a PCO must not be below, but can be above, the basic salary range. We recommend that PMS and APMS salaried GPs also do not accept less than this basic minimum salary.

 

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can I be a member of the NHS superannuation scheme as a salaried GP?
A. Yes. Check that your employer is recognised by the Pensions Agency as an 'NHS Employer' and see the earlier section on pensions.

Q. As a salaried GP am I eligible for seniority payments?
A. Salaried GPs are not eligible for seniority payments under the Statement of Financial Entitlements (SFE). Under the SFE seniority payments are only paid to GP contractors, not salaried GPs. For guidance on achieving additional uplifts to your salary, please see the guidance above on negotiating salary.

Q. Will there be national terms and conditions for GPs with special interests (GPwSIs)?
A. It is difficult to define GPwSIs precisely although the RCGP has attempted to define such roles. Salaried GPs with specialist roles who are GMS practice or PCO employed must receive at least the minimum terms and conditions of service as set out in the Model salaried GP contract. The GPC recommends that those who are PMS or APMS employed should also receive at least those minimum terms.

 

For further information

BMA members can obtain individual expert advice from the BMA.
Online enquiry: http://bma.org.uk/support
Telephone: 0300 123 1233 15

APPENDIX A
SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE LEGAL ENTITLEMENTS AVAILABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE
Claims requiring no qualifying period of service (available from day one)
Breach of contract (e.g. dismissal without notice pay)
Equal pay
Discrimination (e.g. race, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation)

Claims requiring one year or more of service
Unfair dismissal
[Note: it may be possible to claim with less than one year of service in certain situations, eg dismissal for asserting a statutory right.]

Claims requiring two years or more of service
Redundancy pay (provided a redundancy situation exists). However, note the provisions in the model contract allowing previous NHS service to be taken into account in assessing redundancy pay entitlement.

With four years or more of service
Fixed term employees automatically become permanent employees.
Please note that the above is only a summary of the entitlements. For expert individual advice, BMA members should contact the BMA (online enquiry: http://bma.org.uk/support; telephone 0300 123 1233).

There are time limits for bringing employment rights claims and so advice should be sought as soon as possible.
16

June 2004 (revised February 2009)

  1. The BMA's Salaried GPs' Handbook 2009 (available only to BMA members) provides detailed guidance for salaried GPs and GP employers. BMA members can also obtain individual expert employment advice by writing to us at http://bma.org.uk/support or telephoning 0300 123 1233.
  2. This guidance incorporates previous GPC guidance for salaried GPs on changes to hours of work and tips for negotiating salary.

 

Notes:

  1. The views of the GPC lawyer are based on expert opinion and confirmed by an external firm of lawyers. Please be aware however that because of the wording of the model contract it is not possible to give a definitive view.
  2. Please see footnote 1.
  3. Based on reading paragraph 7 of the model offer letter in conjunction with paragraphs 1.7 and 9 of the minimum terms and conditions, and these with the other relevant parts of the minimum terms. Also see footnote 1.
  4. Please see footnote 1.
  5. To be qualified to make a claim of unfair dismissal on general grounds, an employee must have been employed by the same employer for at least two years. Claims of unfair dismissal on some special grounds, such as any form of unlawful discrimination, may be made from day one of employment.

 

Downloads

Focus on Salaried GPs (PDF)

 

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