Corrections within the Allocate eRota system

This change may affect any LTFT trainee in England who has worked with a trust using Allocate software for junior doctor rota calculations, potentially back to the initial implementation of the contract in 2016. Read our guidance on what to do next.

Location: England
Audience: Junior doctors
Updated: Thursday 30 May 2024
Wallet and notes illustration

Members and staff within the BMA have been able to flag a discrepancy – first identified locally – in the RLDatix (Allocate) eRota software that affects a number of pay-related calculations for less than full-time (LTFT) trainees.

To help resolve this issue, the BMA, RLDatix (Allocate), NHS England, and NHS Employers have worked together to determine and implement the correct allowance for leave calculation for LTFT rotas to ensure doctors’ pay is correct in line with the Terms and Conditions of Service for NHS Doctors and Dentists in Training (England) 2016 (TCS). The correct calculation is now live within Allocate’s eRota software.

In order to support members, we have anticipated a number of areas that you will likely require further information on. Please find these set out below. If you have any further questions at this stage, please contact the BMA.


The change made to RLDatix (Allocate) eRota calculations

To ensure consistency with the contractual terms, the newly defined variable of standardised working day must now be used in the average leave-adjusted hours calculation for all doctors employed under the 2016 TCS.

This is relevant to the ‘allowance for leave’ calculation for both full-time (FT) and LTFT rotas; however, it should not change the result of the calculation for FT rotas. It applies when calculating average weekly hours and average night hours across the rota cycle, as detailed in Allocate’s explainer.


The purpose in making these changes to RLDatix (Allocate) software

We have identified inconsistencies in average leave-adjusted hours, leading to inaccuracies in doctors' pay. To ensure accuracy in the application of the contractual arrangements, we have been working jointly with RLDatix (Allocate), NHS England, and NHS Employers to resolve this matter. These changes will ensure doctors are paid correctly in line with the 2016 TCS.

Members who may be affected by this change

This change may affect any LTFT trainee who has worked with a trust using Allocate software for junior doctor rota calculations, potentially back to the initial implementation of the contract in 2016.

It has been established that there will have been a mixture of under and overpayments made to trainees in this group, who are or have been rostered using the RLDatix (Allocate) eRota software while LTFT.


If you are an LTFT doctor who has worked for a trust using the Allocate software

The BMA is intending to create a new online tool for members to enable:

  • Members to ascertain whether you may have been underpaid due to this issue.
  • Members to ascertain how much you may be owed.
  • The BMA to record your claim of a potential underpayment centrally with us.
  • The BMA to present to your trust accurate assertions of how much may be owed and to whom.
  • The BMA to communicate directly with members to keep you updated as we progress with the employer.

Allocate and NHS Employers will also be providing further support to trusts to assist them to look into these historic calculations at a future point. However, their focus initially is on ensuring the new calculation is used by trusts correctly for current and future rosters.

The forthcoming introduction of the BMA’s online tool above will help us to support members in this process. Further information will follow as soon as we are able to make this available. However, members should be aware of the information below concerning legal timelines for future claims.


If members have been underpaid

Once you have ascertained that you were underpaid in an employment, you will be able to ask the relevant employer to correct this and the BMA will be able to support you in doing so. We expect employers should be prepared to backdate all underpayments that occurred. However, you should be aware that, in the event the employer chooses only to reimburse what they could be compelled under law to do, back payments may be restricted to the previous six years. Should claims go back beyond six years, we will still seek to support you regarding this claim, whilst recognising the legal limits set out above.

Please also note that different legal options of redress have different timescales within which to bring a claim and there will be advantages and disadvantages to the different options, depending upon your circumstances. A claim in the employment tribunal usually has to be brought within three months of the unlawful deduction or the last in a series. A claim for breach of contract in the civil courts usually has to be brought within six years of the breach of contract.


If members have been overpaid

Any overpayment error as a result of this issue will have been through no fault of individual doctors, who will have received their salary in good faith, as set out in their work schedule provided by the employer. Consequently, the BMA considers it would be entirely inappropriate and unfair for employers to claim overpayments from doctors as a result of this. If a current or former employer indicates an intention trust to reclaim any money, contact the BMA immediately.


If an employer has contacted you to say that you were overpaid and is seeking reimbursement

You should never be forced to repay money without first reaching agreement that: there has been an overpayment, what the size of this overpayment is, and that you are able to pay it back. Once this has been resolved, the employer would need to agree a repayment plan with you over an appropriate period. No funds should be deducted until this process has been resolved to your agreement.

Should an employer contact you requesting reimbursement, please ensure you contact the BMA immediately, and request that the employer provides evidence that an overpayment has indeed taken place. Your local BMA representatives will wish to discuss the handling of this matter with employer leaders, and make the argument that the trust should not seek to recoup money in these circumstances at all.