Your terms and conditions of service entitle you to eight public holidays a year. This is pro-rated for less than full time trainees.
If you work on a public holiday you should get a day off in lieu, including if you only work between midnight and 9am that day (ie a night shift or on-call that runs into a public holiday).
What happens if I have a 'zero hours' or an 'off' day on my rota on a public holiday?
Under your terms and conditions of service, you are entitled to eight 'public holidays' a year in addition to your annual leave.
These provisions also apply to doctors in less than full time training at a proportionate level. So, for example, a doctor working 70% of a full time rota would receive 70% of this entitlement (or 5.6 days). Some doctors will of course have to work on those days and should receive a day off in lieu at another time.
Increasingly, however, some rotas are being designed with additional days off (sometimes called 'zero-hour days') to ensure that they comply with New Deal hours limits and the working time regulations.
If your rota has you doing a 'zero-hour day' on a public holiday, the day should be counted as only one of these and you may still receive the other as a day off in lieu. A single day cannot count as both a day of holiday and a 'zero-hour day' at the same time - a public holiday cannot be treated as a 'zero-hour day', or vice versa.
A 'zero-hour day' is not a day of leave from duty, because you will be working your full hours, just on other days of the rota. So a 'zero-hour day' cannot be counted as holiday. Your colleagues who work on a public holiday will get a day off in lieu as well as their 'zero hour day' at another time, so it is logical that you should expect to have a day off in lieu too.
We recommend that you check your rota in advance. Speak to your employer and/or rota manager if you have any doubts as to whether you have received your contracted number of public holidays. NHS Employers have published a statement to ensure that your employer gets this right.
Read NHS Employers joint statement on contracted public holidays
If you continue to have concerns, contact a BMA Employment Advisor on 0300 123 1233 or email your query.