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Help from our BMA employment advisers

First point of contact advisers
BMA employment advisers

Every day BMA employment advisers deal with a wide range of calls from our members about issues they are facing - from simple errors over pay to more complex issues that can take longer to resolve.

These are some of the cases we have resolved.


Unpaid shifts

Dr B did internal locum shifts totalling 100 hours and had not been paid for several months. The outstanding amount was £3,400.

After looking further into the case, Dr B was told he needed to submit a claim under the new rates and that he had submitted claims using the old banding elements.  

Dr B later advised that after he did that the matter was resolved swiftly.


No pay rise

Dr A contacted BMA employment advisers as he had moved from staff grade to specialty doctor in 2008 but had never received an incremental pay rise.

It was later discovered that Dr A had incorrectly remained on the same pay point and had been underpaid for several years.

The matter was confused by the fact that the doctor went through a TUPE in 2010 and then again in 2017.

This meant trying to find out who was responsible for the payments, with two employers potentially liable.

The case was referred to a local adviser who was able to get both employers to agree that Dr A’s pay had not incremented as it should. However, there were still questions over who was responsible for the payments.

The new trust accepted responsibility from when Dr A joined in 2017 but refused to take responsibility for anything before this. 

The previous trust then agreed it would be easier to take responsibility for these payments than to go through a lengthy and possibly costly legal dispute. 

The value owed to the member was a full-time equivalent of around £46,000 but as a part-time doctor, it came to around £6,000. The outstanding amount was paid.


Role at risk

Dr S contacted BMA employment advisers after being informed that her medical lead role was at risk of being terminated with only one month's’ notice, despite expecting to have three months’ notice. 

As there was a risk of both termination and incorrect notice being given, the case was referred to a local adviser.

Upon assessing the contract for this role, it was clear that three months’ notice would be applicable after six months from starting the post, which was the end of the probationary period. It also became clear at this point that the decision to provide one month's notice, was made without the input of HR.

The BMA informed the trust that as it was stated in the doctor's contract, their excuse of it being a ‘mistake’ in the contract would not be accepted in an employment tribunal.

The head of HR accepted this and agreed to provide the full three months’ notice as outlined in the contract, which Dr S was happy with.


Errors over pay

Dr R started working as a locum consultant, then a year later became a substantive consultant with the same trust. There was an email trail which highlighted that they should have received a 3% on-call supplement.

Dr R initially raised this as a locum, with the head of service but didn’t receive the payment.

Dr R was then told the back payment would only be paid from the start of the substantive post. Dr R wanted the payment from the start of their employment and the clinical director supported this claim. 

We informed Dr R that we required signed-off job plans, as this was a contractual document that could be used to evidence entitlement to the 3% supplement, as well as evidence that concern had been raised with the previous head of service.

The trust said the responsibility lay with the doctor to ensure they were being paid correctly.

We argued that the Trust also had a responsibility to ensure staff were correctly paid.

Dr R was subsequently advised that the trust had agreed to back-pay the outstanding amount.


Contact our employment advisers

If you have experienced a similar issue to those highlighted above or if you have any query regarding your employment, please contact the team by phone on 0300 123 123 or by email or webchat