Become an LNC representative
If you'd like to negotiate for and represent doctors in your area, you could stand to become an elected representative for your LNC.
Elections are usually held every two years with all grades eligible to stand.
If elected, you’ll generally be required to attend meetings up to eight times per year and play an active part in your local trust. You will receive paid time off from your employer to attend training and negotiations meetings.
For more information contact your nearest LNC.
LNC training for new and current reps
We encourage all of our LNC reps to attend our training courses, which are online and face to face. Online courses can be accessed through BMJ Learning. Further details can be found in the LNC support hub.
Current reps can also access resources to enhance and continue learning with our LNC training programmes and model policies to assist with your negotiations.
Know your rights as an LNC rep
As a representative of a trade union, you are entitled to certain rights according to legal legislations.
Under the terms of Section 168 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, employees who are representatives of a recognised independent trade union have the right to:
- a reasonable amount of paid time off work to carry out duties concerned with collective bargaining and related BMA issues. The right is irrespective of length of service
- an entitlement to a reasonable amount of paid time off to undergo relevant industrial relations training, which will normally have been approved by the BMA.
Local representatives also have a statutory right to take a reasonable amount of time off work to take part in the activities of the BMA (as opposed to their duties as a representative in relation to their employer).
There is, however, no requirement that they must be paid for such time off work although many employers will provide paid time for this work within a doctor's job plan. This is especially the case where robust recognition agreements are in place and local negotiations have delivered such facilities.
Since 1999, the Employment Relations Act has provided individual employees with the right to be accompanied by their local trade union representative when involved in disciplinary procedures or grievances.
While members who have more serious issues will normally be represented by BMA advisers, BMA local representatives may also have an involvement in early, and less formal stages of procedures.
As part of your accreditation, the BMA will write to your employer's HR department to inform them that you are a representative and to ask them to ensure you receive paid time off for taking part in training and your duties as a BMA representative.
Sometimes local managers are unfamiliar with their legal responsibilities to provide you with this time and so we have produced a short guidance letter that you can give them to explain your role and your legal rights to paid time off.
The Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 provides that where an employer recognises an independent trade union, the employer is required to disclose to that union or its representatives, upon request, certain information to enable the union to negotiate. If it is not voluntarily disclosed, they may be ordered to do so.
This right is potentially extremely powerful. It enables local representatives to seek out information about the employer's plans and proposals for changes, for example, to services, staffing levels (including rotas) and terms and conditions of service.
Where an employer recognises the BMA, the information to be disclosed includes all information relating to the employer's business:
- without which the trade union representatives would be to a material extent impeded in carrying out
collective bargaining; and
- good industrial relations practice dictates that the employer should disclose to those representatives for the purposes of collective bargaining.
However, the request for the information should be made or confirmed in writing. An employer may refuse to disclose the information. If it has been supplied to the employer in confidence, if it relates specifically to a particular individual, or if its disclosure would cause 'substantial injury' to its business for reasons other than its effect on the collective bargaining.
Acas has produced a code of practice on the disclosure of information for collective bargaining purposes.
Recognised independent trade unions are entitled to be consulted by the employer about:
- situations when staff may be transferred to another
- employer proposed redundancies
- issues related to health and safety at work.
If any of these situations arise you should take specialist advice from your IRO/AS at the earliest opportunity.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations. This includes the NHS. Anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live. Your request will be handled under different regulations depending on the kind of information you ask for.
The Data Protection Act 1998 is more appropriate if you require information an organisation holds about you. This is known as a subject access request.
Find out more about freedom of information requests from GOV.UK.
Becoming a LNC chair
We know that the role of becoming the Chair of an LNC can be daunting but there are people here to help you.
Your first port of call should be your local Industrial Relations Officer, but you can also receive support from colleagues who are already undertaking the role.
Find a LNC chair mentor
- Helen Fidler, LNC Chair of Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
- Roger Moshey, LNC Chair of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
- James Rowson, East of England GP Trainees
- Robert Butler, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
- Anandamandiram Ramakrishnan, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHFT
- Mick Rothwell, East Cheshire NHS Trust
- Robert Webster, NHS Blood and Transplant
- Michael Shaw, Northumberland Tyne And Wear NHS Foundation Trust
- Prakash Satodia, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
- Anne Thorpe, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Kim Last, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Mary Green, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
- Phil De Warren Penney, Devon Partnership NHS Trust
- Henry Gibson, Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust
- Lawrence Atkins, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Gemma Stockford, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Alastair McKelvey, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Sean Tighe, Countess of Chester Hospital NHSFT
- Syed Ali, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- Eleanor Checkley, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust