SAS doctor industrial action statutory ballot guidance

Who can vote

Location: England
Audience: SAS doctors
Updated: Monday 6 November 2023


To take part in the statutory ballot, you must be: 

  • A BMA member 
  • Based in England 
  • A SAS doctor holding a contract with an NHS employer, such as one using:  
    • 2021 specialty doctor T&Cs (terms and conditions) 
    • 2021 specialist doctor T&Cs 
    • 2008 specialty doctor T&Cs 
    • 2008 associate specialists T&Cs 
    • One of the pre-2008 T&Cs (1996 associate specialist doctors, 1999 staff grade, clinical assistant, hospital practitioner etc) 

Note this includes LEDs (locally employed doctors) using contracts that mirror national SAS terms and conditions, usually with a pay code starting with ‘M’ (e.g. MC03, MC42, MC47, MC70, MC71, MC75, MC76, MD02, ME11, MH02). On our membership system, LEDs that have been balloted are classified as Clinical Fellow (SAS), Non Std Car.Gde - Inc Trust Dr, Senior Clinical Fellow (SAS) and Trust Grade (SAS). 

The following will not be able to vote in the statutory ballot:  

  • Those holding only an honorary contract with an NHS employer  
  • Those holding solely a VSM contract  
  • Locum consultants (however, you are still eligible to vote if you are expected to return to your SAS role even for one day of the mandate period, ie from 1 January 2024 to 17 June 2024 inclusive.
  • Those working solely for a non-NHS employer, such as an agency, hospice, university or public health body (UKHSA or OHID)  
  • SAS dentists who do not hold BMA membership  

Some, though not all, LEDs are included in the SAS remit. If you are uncertain about your eligibility, please contact [email protected] 

A small group of SAS dentists (with a GMC number) may have BMA membership, and they will be able to take part in our ballot. It is important to note, however, that many dentists are represented by the BDA (British Dental Association), who will be running their own ballot. For more information, see their website. 

Joining the BMA to take part in the ballot 

If you are not yet a member, but would like to take part in the ballot, join the BMA right away. It will take around 10 working days to receive your ballot after joining, and you need to consider the time it will take to post your ballot back before the deadline. We recommend joining no later than 4 December 

Join the BMA

We're here to stand up for your rights, support you in the workplace and champion the medical profession. 

To welcome doctors new to the UK, we offer half-price membership for the first 2 years.

Join us