Your Rights on Annual Leave
In this article we provide an overview of the rules surrounding annual and study leave for a junior doctor in full-time work.
Basic entitlement for a junior doctor:
- First appointment to NHS: 27 days
- After 5 years service: 32 days
- This is in addition to the 8 public holidays
- In most cases, a notice period of 6 weeks for annual leave requests is required. If, however, there are circumstances outside a doctor’s control and a reasonable request is made outside of this notice period, the employer is required to give it due consideration
- Your employer must give annual leave for life-changing events (e.g. getting married) provided you have given the minimum notice.
- You can request to carry up to 5 days of annual leave forward into the next cycle with the same employer if you have been unable to take your leave due to service demands.
- You can request payment for up to 5 days of annual leave at the end of employment if you have been unable to take your leave due to service demands.
- You have the right to a day off in lieu if you are working anytime between the hours of 00:01 and 23:59 on a public holiday, or if you have been allocated a ‘rest day’ (or ‘zero day’) on a public holiday on your work schedule.
- If a public holiday falls on a weekend day (e.g. Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day) and you are working this day, you are not entitled to a day off in lieu. In these cases the public holiday is moved to the next working day for the country, so doctors working on this day are entitled to a day off in lieu if they are required to work or have been allocated a rest day on their work schedule.
- If you fall sick when on your leave and produce certification in support, your annual leave is suspended and it becomes sick leave.
- Foundation Year 1: 15 days
- All other grades: 30 days
- You can apply for study leave for study (linked to your programme), research, teaching, exams, attending conferences and training events.
- Attendance at mandatory or statutory teaching days should not be taken from your study leave allowance
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