SAS Doctors guide to strike action in Wales


Updated: Friday 5 April 2024

Refusal of leave

Employers should not refuse your leave due to strike action. Refusing leave would be self-defeating for employers as any SAS doctor not taking leave would still be entitled to strike. It would also worsen employment relations.

Both employers and SAS doctors as employees must make every effort to work together to ensure that SAS doctors are able to take the full annual leave entitlement. Rejecting requests to take annual leave out of hand fundamentally undermines this process.

Leave cancellation

If you have booked leave that coincides with a day of industrial action, you should still be able to take it. As above, there is no value to an employer in cancelling planned leave as you would be entitled to take strike action anyway. Indeed, it would be counterproductive as such action would be actively harmful to employment relations.

Study leave

We recognise the importance of study leave. As such, we recommend rescheduling study time to a period when it is not impacted by industrial action and when you can better use it as it is meant to be used.

Sick leave and SAS doctors’ industrial action

Workers who are absent on sick leave when industrial action takes place keep their right to sick pay.

Employers can be expected to make their own judgement as to how to regard your absence if you call in sick on a day of action. 

Some employers in England have tried to introduce special rules about sick certificates in the event of sick leave during industrial action. This is because they believe that these are exceptional circumstances. Some contracts may include a clause specifying this. If there is not an express provision in contracts, then your employer may try to refer to their own industrial action reporting procedures. If this is the case at your workplace, your LNC (local negotiating committee) should inform us. We will take the matter up with management.