Sessional and locum GP contract guidance

A roundup of resources for salaried GPs, locum GPs and their employers, including handbooks, model contracts, advice for negotiations and employment rights.

Location: UK
Audience: GPs
Updated: Tuesday 10 August 2021
Contract and pen article illustration

​It’s important for sessional GPs and their employers to understand the terms and conditions of their contracts. These BMA resources can help you draw up and negotiate contracts, work with LMCs and locum chambers, and ensure you know your rights.

BMA contract checking service
BMA contract checking service

Your new employment contract might have issues that you are not aware of and we can provide additional support to get these resolved.

Get your contract checked in 5 days.


Contract checking service

Locum GP and salaried GP handbooks

Exclusively for BMA members, these handbooks give comprehensive advice and information for locum and salaried GPs, and the practices that employ them.


We held a webinar on what you need to about contract issues and the NHS pension scheme for sessional GPs in February 2021.

Sign in, if you are not already, to reveal the link to the webinar below.

Model contract and offer letter for GMS practices

This guidance sets out the original wording of the model contract and offer letter alongside the BMA’s suggested wording and comments.

GP retention scheme model contracts

These are based on minimum terms and conditions for salaried GPs employed by a GMS practice or primary care organisation with some enhancements specific to the GP retention scheme.

Supporting guidance for salaried GPs

Model contract guidance: Understand the minimum terms and conditions for salaried GPs, how to negotiate salaries and appropriate uplifts, and the process of changing hours of work in light of the extended access DES. This guidance applies in principle to all four nations of the UK, with some variation in process. Use the model contract for salaried GPs toolkit.

Working with your LMC: Your LMC (local medical committee) can assist you with a wide range of employment and contract issues. This guidance aims to help overcome some of the barriers to engagement between LMCs and sessional GPs. Sessional GPs and LMCs – working together more effectively.

Job planning: Guidance on the job planning process, including specific detailed advice for GPs. What are job plans?


Supporting guidance for locum GPs

Locum practice agreement: Developed by the BMA GPs committee and sessional GPs subcommittee, with the help of BMA Law, this guidance consists of terms and conditions and a work schedule which together form a legal contract that can be used by locum GPs and GP practices for locum engagements. Read the BMA locum practice agreement.

Locum chambers: Answers to some common questions on joining and setting up a locum chambers. Use the locum chambers toolkit.

Rights: Agency Workers Regulations entitle agency workers to equal treatment with directly recruited employees with respect to basic employment conditions, such as pay, holidays, night work, breaks and working hours.

Fees: Our guidance on fees for locum services, to help with your negotiations. Read our guidance for locums and employers.


International GP recruitment scheme

International GP recruitment scheme (IGPR) was launched as part of NHS England’s efforts to recruit doctors from overseas into NHS General Practice. The scheme is ongoing and has broadened its scope from doctors from the European Economic Area, to doctors from other part of the world where there is some similarity between training programmes. For more information please visit the NHS England website.

The BMA worked with NHS England and Health Education England on the production of model contract of employment for IGPR recruits. The model contract is based on the BMA’s salaried GP model contract. 

Enhanced shared parental leave for sessionals

As of 24 June 2021, Salaried GPs in England will be able to access enhanced shared parental leave.

This will be available to them through the incorporation of a contract variation, which GP practices have agreed upon request to incorporate into a Salaried GP's contract.

Please find the variations required for this to take place below: