Three ways the BMA can support GPs managing HR issues

by Alison Eyles

As a GP partner or practice manager, your BMA membership includes HR and employment law advice and practical support

Location: UK
Published: Friday 26 August 2022

If you’re a GP partner or practice manager, you will be familiar with HR issues and how important it is to deal with them before they escalate.  

You’ve also probably been approached by impressive salespeople from HR companies, offering HR support under a service contract. But why pay when your BMA membership entitles you to free HR and employment law advice and practical support?

Here are three times when the BMA EAS (employer advisory service) has tackled common HR issues and proven that we are a team of specialist, experienced HR advisers. We understand your practice and the unique environment you work in, and know the issues facing primary care.

Non-compliant contracts

We recently prevented a costly mistake when we reviewed a contract and noticed that the templates being used were not legally compliant. Identifying these details reduced the likelihood of future grievances and the possibility of a successful claim being made against the practice.

After we helped an employer resolve an issue, they said: ‘The handler responded so promptly and the advice they gave me was clear and relevant. They supported with supplying relevant documentation and assisted in making the process easy and efficient. I would like to pass on my gratitude to them.’ 

Resolving relationship grievances

Receiving a grievance from an unhappy employee can be distressing for everyone involved. We can help you to understand your obligations as an employer, guide you through how to investigate the issues raised, consider all the information and ensure the process is legally compliant. This will increase the likelihood of a successful resolution before it is necessary to take the next steps in the disciplinary process.

For instance, when a receptionist raised a bullying complaint against a practice manager, we guided the partners through the process and this sensitive issue was resolved informally, preventing costly repercussions.

Untangling complex procedures

The EAS can offer advice on law and procedural matters, but we can also be a source of practical support to help untangle complex situations, ensuring your practice takes the necessary steps before possible HR issues escalate.

When a practice needed help in declining a flexible working request for organisational reasons, we were able to identify areas of compromise and reduce their risk of having a discrimination claim raised against them. 

Supportive, caring, understands the pressures primary care is under, easy to follow advice, understanding and breaking down our garbled ‘story or issue’ is a skill and your guys excel at it! Thank you
Feedback from a GP employer

Whether you need help with day-to-day matters like handling staff lateness, or you face major decisions like making redundancies, the EAS can give the support you need. We can also undertake partnership agreement reviews and may help with mediation; and we may provide support at employment tribunals (subject to myBMA terms and conditions). 

Call 0300 123 1233 or email [email protected]. The service is free for practices where a partner is a BMA member.

Alison Eyles is an adviser on the BMA employer advisory service