Maternity Leave

Please note that any trainee who is planning to take maternity leave is required to notify the following as soon as possible and no later than 20 weeks before their EDD:

  • Medical Personnel of the Trust from which leave will be taken
  • The relevant Hospital Department or GP Practice
  • Their Clinical Supervisor
  • Their Educational Supervisor

Please copy Linda Latif into these notifications,

This is particularly important for those Trainees who will be taking maternity leave during a hospital post as it can take 3 months to ensure locum cover is available, which is essential to ensure patient safety and service provision is maintained. Problems have been experienced as a result of departments being given only 2 weeks notice of maternity leave plans, which is unacceptable.

If Linda Latif has not had confirmation that you have informed the above mentioned people by the specified deadline, she will notify them on your behalf.

Timely notification demonstrates the development of skills for the professional competences of `Working with Colleagues and in Teams´ and `Fitness to Practice´. If notification is not given in a timely fashion, these professional competences are not being demonstrated and will be evidenced in your ePortfolio.

Trainees are entitled to maternity leave and pay in accordance with the Directions to Strategic Health Authorities (Nov 2003) as amended and the statutory entitlements contained in the Employment Rights Act 2002. The provisions are similar to those for hospital doctors contained within Section 6 of the General Whitley Council Handbook. Details available from your GP trainer or Hospital Trust.

The BMA website also provides information on maternity leave:

and there is information relating to doctors in training via the link to NHS Employers website below:

NHS Employers

The guide below (in PDF format) was compiled by a trainee in Wessex Deanery so there are specific references to that, but the overall information is useful:

A Guide to Planning your Maternity Leave

Important Note

Under current Inland Revenue regulations, if a doctor changes employer, ie moves from trust to trust or to general practice, it counts as a break in service for Statutory Maternity Pay purposes, despite the 2 organisations being both part of the NHS. When the body directly responsible for the payment of the Class 1 contributions changes, then the period of continuous employment is broken. To be entitled to SMP an employee must be continuously employed by the same employer for 26 weeks before the 15th week before the baby is due (ie 41 weeks).

If you do not qualify for SMP, you have to claim Maternity Allowance direct from the Benefits Agency.

Further information available from:

Maternity Leave To Do List from December 2013 BMA GP Trainee Newsletter

Below is a list of things it is important to do to make sure that your maternity leave is hassle free. Though a lot of people choose to have babies during GP training, it is still very complicated to get everything sorted and sometimes you do feel a bit on your own. Hopefully this will help a little and always
remember you can refer to the BMA website or call an advisor for personal advice if you get stuck.

  1. Inform your current employer – Deanery and School of General Practice or Hospital Trust depending on placement. Out of courtesy it’s also good to tell your Educational Supervisor.
  2. You will need to find out your new ‘completion date’ i.e. when you will finish your GP training.  To do this you will need to contact the Certification Unit at the RCGP, Tel 02031887656 (best to do when you are fairly certain of your return to work date. i.e. can be left until you are on maternity leave if necessary).  Notify your GPSTP Coordinator of the date so your ePortfolio can be updated.
  3. If you have not been at your current employer (i.e. hospital trust, individual GP surgery) for long enough when you go off on maternity leave (26 weeks service at 25/40) they will not pay you your statutory maternity pay (SMP). You therefore need to contact the Job Centre Plus who will pay statutory maternity allowance (SMA) instead (same amount of money) tel 08000 556688 and ask for MA1 form. They will send you some forms which you need to return with your MATB1 (which you get from your midwife after 20/40) and your SMP1 (which you get from your employer- confirming that they will not be paying you SMP). There is a useful website – Additionally your trusts’ human resources website and the BMA website also have useful info about all this. NB – this can be the most complicated bit of mat leave so don’t panic if you find it a minefield initially!
  4. The RCGP don’t currently offer a discounted rate when you’re on maternity leave, but they charge a reduced rate for the extra period of time over and above 3 years that you are in training as a result (2012 £125 per each additional year). RCGP Tel 08454564041.
  5. Inform the GMC – 01619236602. If you choose to come off the register all together and then reapply the following year, they say they can’t guarantee that you will be allowed straight back on and that it involves a lot of forms, references etc. To start with you would need to fill in a voluntary erasure and employee’s declaration form (via GMC website: registration for doctors; fees). Alternatively, you can fill in a low income discount form (50% off) if your income is less than £26,000 in a subscription year
  6. Inform your indemnity provider – they will suspend your fees whilst on mat leave, so you’re covered for good samaritan acts only. They will refund any money due to you if you pay annually. The BMA also offer a reduced rate (approx 50%) for those with an income less than £34K
  7. Start to think about whether you may wish to return to work less than full time, as you ideally need to apply 6-12 months in advance.

Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Training

If after your period of maternity leave you wish to change from full to LTFT training an application must be submitted to Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber - information can be found at: