When I am on maternity leave who will be responsible for paying for my locum and how long will it be paid for?
This is a matter for negotiation and agreement within your partnership, and a clause covering this should be included in your partnership agreement.
GMS practices will be entitled to an allowance from their Primary Care Organisation for the cost of gp locum cover for maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
Reimbursement will be the lower of:
- £1,131.74 for the first two weeks and £1,734.18 for weeks three to 26
- the actual invoiced costs during that period
Reimbursement is intended to cover external locums and cover also provided by GPs already working within the practice (existing employees or partners), but who do not work full time (ie. payment will be made equally where there is organisation flexibility/capacity within the practice to be able to perform the duties of the GP on leave in order to maintain the delivery of services).
PMS practices will need to reach agreement with their Primary Care Organisation.
Further guidance can be found in the joint GPC and NHS employers guide: 2015/16 GMS contract (pages 19-20)
A female staff employee is going on maternity leave - what are her entitlements in respect of leave?
The minimum entitlement she will receive will be the statutory maternity provisions. Some employers may be more generous. All employees are entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave made up of 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks additional maternity leave.
Two weeks leave must be taken after the baby is born. There is no service requirement to qualify for this entitlement.
Where an employee is entitled to statutory maternity pay or the maternity allowance during her maternity leave, the entitlement will be for up to 39 weeks.
For Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) this is made up of the first six weeks being paid at 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings and the remaining 33 weeks are paid at the lesser of the SMP standard rate or 90% of the woman's average weekly earnings. Those who are not entitled to SMP but are entitled to the maternity allowance may claim this for up to 39 weeks.
Go to our GPs and practice staff guidance or our contracts page for GP partners
I am a salaried GP what maternity leave am I entitled to?
If you are employed by a GMS practice or a primary care organisation you should have a contract which is in line with the model contract negotiated between the BMA and the NHS Confederation. This includes reference to the General Whitley Council Section 6 provisions for maternity leave and pay. At the time the contract was agreed the maternity provisions were included in the General Whitley Council Conditions of Service,
The provisions have subsequently been transferred to temporary appendix vi(i) of the Terms and Conditions of Service for Hospital Medical and Dental Staff and Doctors in Public Health Medicine and the Community Health Service (England and Wales) which supersedes Section 6.
Therefore, salaried GPs on the model contract will be subject to the original Whitley provisions rather than the transferred provisions unless they negotiate improved terms.
Under Whitley the maternity pay will be made up of:
- eight weeks full pay (less SMP or the maternity allowance)
- 14 weeks half pay (plus SMP and the maternity allowance provided the total does not exceed full pay) and
- four weeks at the standard rate of SMP or maternity allowance.
However as the overall entitlement has increased to 39 weeks the SMP and maternity allowance should be payable for 17 weeks.
Under the NHS Scheme maternity pay is made up of eight weeks full pay and 18 weeks half pay. However, we would advise salaried GPs to try and negotiate the same provisions as their hospital colleagues and would encourage practices and Primary Care Organisations to apply those provisions. Where a salaried GP does not have enough service to qualify for Whitley or the NHS Scheme they may be entitled to the statutory provisions.
Salaried GPs who are on Personal Medical Services contracts, entitlements to maternity leave and pay depend on the contract of employment negotiated.
Salaried gps on personal medical services contracts should have no less favourable terms than in the model salaried gp contract for GMS salaried gps and those employed by Primary Care Organisations.
We would encourage practices to apply no less favourable terms than those applied to GMS salaried GPs.
We strongly advise those members who are considering starting a family or are pregnant to contact the BMA for individual advice. Call the BMA on 0300 123 1233.
Part 4, Section 15 of the GMS Statement of Financial Entitlements deals with payments for locums covering maternity, paternity and adoption leave.