Doctors holding university and NHS honorary contracts will be subject to the maternity leave scheme that is in operation at their place of employment. If there is no maternity scheme in place they will be entitled to the statutory provisions. They will not be covered by the NHS scheme.
A university contract, with or without an NHS honorary contract, does not count as continuous service under the NHS scheme. However, where an employee has a university contract with an NHS honorary contract this period of employment will not constitute a break in service, (AL (GC) 6/83 maternity leave; honorary service) although it cannot be counted towards service for the purposes of further maternity leave.
On return to the NHS after holding a university post without an honorary contract, doctors may find that because of an inadequate period of service they are not entitled either to the statutory benefits or those under the NHS scheme, their university post having broken their NHS service.
Members considering employment with the university can seek further advice from the BMA. University authorities should be able to provide copies of their maternity benefit schemes.