Rebanding takes place when an employer changes the banding of a junior doctor’s post, and involves changing their rota.
This guide applies to trainees employed under the 2002 contract.
Ensuring your employer is compliant
To comply with contractual requirements in the new deal and the EWTD (European Working Time Directive), many employers had to change working patterns for junior doctors.
Complying with the 48-hour week should not result in trainees being told, with little or no notice, that their rota will change and that they will be paid less as a result. You don’t need to worry about taking a pay cut because of changes to your rota; your existing banding payments will be protected.
Print out the 'approval to change band' form (England and Scotland) and ensure it’s followed. Volunteer to take part in rebanding, as it is the only way to influence changes.
How rebanding works
There are specific rules about how a post can be rebanded; a national protocol must be followed.
This is a summary, taken from the pro forma. The full pro forma must be signed off by all parties to indicate all steps have been followed before a post is formally rebanded. If not, the post has not been rebanded properly and the salary should not change.
Stage 1aConsult post holders on proposed changes and get agreement from the majority participating in the working arrangements
|Approval of majority of current or incoming post holders (including anyone who knows they will be rotating into the post)||Template signed by an employer junior doctor representative confirming current and incoming post holders’ agreement|
Stage 1bSubmit details of the new working arrangements to the Action Team for information and invite comment
|Full details of proposed working arrangements and/or rota summary (e.g. from ND2000 software)||Letter signed by action team chair or delegated authority confirming theoretical compliance of working arrangements|
Stage 1cObtain agreement from clinical tutor for education purposes
|Full details of proposed working arrangements; comments of action team||Letter signed by dean or delegated authority confirming educational acceptability of working arrangements|
Stage 2Submit request for provisional approval of working arrangements to Action Team
|Signed letter from an employer giving reasons for inability to fully monitor before rebanding. Evidence of full or partial testing/monitoring of proposed arrangements||Letter signed by action team chair or delegated authority authorising an offer of provisional banding|
Stage 3Monitoring of working pattern and confirmation of banding
|Completed monitoring returns from 75% of doctors on rota over two-week period; summary of monitoring results||‘Approval to change band’ form|
If your employer hasn't followed the process
If you think your employer may not have rebanded your post correctly, there are steps you can take to ensure the process was followed and your remuneration is correct.
- Before taking any action, try to discuss the issue with colleagues who are on your rota. We recommend that letters be signed by all juniors affected.
- Write to your employer as soon as you’re aware you will be working there, requesting the template rota and ‘approval to change band’ form.
- Check that the template rota mirrors the working pattern you will be expected to undertake.
- Ensure the ‘approval to change band’ form was completed correctly, and in full, in accordance with the procedure.
- Inform medical staffing that the rebanding process needs to be followed.
- You should be protected on your previous salary until the proper process has been followed.
- If your employer disagrees or you experience other problems with the rebanding process, contact a BMA adviser.
Backdated pay for higher banding
If monitoring takes place after a change in house job or rotation and shows that a higher banding is appropriate, pay at the higher band will be backdated to the start of the post.
Where routine monitoring shows a higher banding is appropriate even though there was no formal change to the working pattern, pay at the higher band will be backdated to three months after the first day of the previous successful monitoring round.
There are exceptions:
- if this is the first monitoring round of the post, pay is backdated to the first day in post
- if there have been intervening attempts by the employer to monitor but they were not successful, pay is backdated to the first day of the monitoring period that first showed a higher band was appropriate
- if valid monitoring at the request of the post holders showed a higher band, pay is backdated to the date of the request to monitor, if this is less than three months from the first day of the previous successful monitoring round
- if a previously non-compliant rota is shown on valid monitoring to fall into a compliant pay band, the employer must write to inform the doctors of the change, and pay at the protected level of Band 2A must be paid from the first day of the following month
- the details of backdating of pay after monitoring can be found in the TCS, paragraphs 21o, 21p and 21q.
Rebanding to a lower band
If your rota is down-banded in-post, pay protection will apply for the duration of your post. That means you will continue to receive the banding supplement you were originally contracted to receive when you started the post.
In-post pay protection applies for the duration of the post, or for as long as it is more favourable than the actual banding of the rota. If you reach your incremental date while receiving pay protection, your salary will increase only to take account of increments in the base salary.
Disputes and appeals
If the banding of a rota is in dispute and the employer and trainees cannot agree how to resolve the problem, the employer may be able to seek further advice from the regional Improving Junior Doctors Working Lives Action Team or equivalent, if one exists locally.
If either party does not accept the regional action team’s opinion, there will be a right of appeal. It is the employer’s responsibility to operate this fairly and transparently.
If you are considering making an appeal, contact a BMA adviser.
BMA and NHS Employers guidance on banding appeals