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A GMS practice issued a contract of employment to a Salaried GP on commencement of post which while offering a high starting salary only had entitlement to statutory sick pay: £88.45 for 28 weeks.
As a salaried GP employed by a GMS practice it is not possible for the employer to offer less favourable terms and conditions than those set out in the Model contract. This is because the National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2004 (Statutory Instrument 2004, number 291) states as follows:
'The contractor shall only offer employment to a general medical practitioner on terms and conditions which are no less favourable than those contained in the "Model terms and conditions of service for a salaried general practitioner employed by a GMS practice" [henceforth referred to as "the Model"] published by the British Medical Association and the NHS Confederation as item 1.2 of the supplementary documents to the new GMS contract 2003.' (Schedule 6, part 4, paragraph 63.)
Thankfully the doctor sent the contract to the BMA contract checking service where this was identified, and it was suggested that while the higher pay may be attractive it did not offset the less favourable sickness benefits. It would have to considerably high to mitigate the losses of up to 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay.
Sick pay is a fundamental aspect of the contract so to agree to accept a reduction would be inadvisable.
Employing salaried GPs on different terms and conditions of employment may also leave the practice vulnerable to a discrimination claim (e.g. under the Part Time Workers Regulations or sex discrimination legislation).
Read further information on the salaried GP contract model
Claire Ashley works in member relations at the BMA