Claiming back travel costs
You are entitled to claim back travel costs incurred as a result of work-related travel that is beyond the route from your home to your usual place of work. Generally, in hospital posts, there is usually nothing you can claim back because most of your work will be at the hospital – and by definition YOU CANNOT claim travel expenses for travelling from your home to your work place. However, in GP, there are travel expenses you can claim back. So, as for hospital, you cannot claim for travel from your home to the GP surgery – because the latter is your normal place of work. HOWEVER, you can claim for travel incurred to home visits and half-day-release.
To claim back…
- You need to keep a travel log with notes on mileage.
- You can do this by filling out a mileage claim form.
- Submit your claim form to your Practice Manager.
Each GP training scheme has a Study Leave budget. This means that every GP trainee has an allowance for going on various courses. However, the funding pot is not limitless and therefore most schemes have soft rules on what they will and will not fund.
Generally schemes will fund:
- AKT preparation courses – usually one per GP trainee.
- CSA preparation courses – usually one per GP trainee.
Please ask your TPDs and GP scheme administrator for further information. Also ensure that you seek approval from your TPDs BEFORE attending a particular course if you want your ‘reclaiming of fees application form’ to be successful.
MRCGP exam fees against tax
Did you know that you can put down the cost of the AKT and CSA exam as a work-related expense and hence claim back the tax? All tax paid on examination fees can be reclaimed from HMRC via normal tax returns. Ask your accountant for more information.
Moonlighting is any job you have secondary to your primary job. It doesn’t have to relate to your main job. Trainees who are eligible for LTFTT should note that it is the usual policies of most Deaneries/regional HEE’s that they are not permitted to undertake any regular employment, either within or out of the NHS, in addition to their 50% timetable and their timetabled out of hours work.
However, if your local hospital department is desperately seeking someone for an occasional additional shift due to unexpected circumstances (i.e. a colleague on sick leave) trainees are encouraged to assist their fellow team members. It should be noted that this is not for planned absences (i.e. annual leave).
Please take out cover with some of these organisations to protect you…
In GP and Hospital posts, you are to some extent covered by the Indemnity offered by the NHS. However, you may end up doing (without realising it) other professional activities which may not be covered by the NHS Indemnity. So, if you want total peace of mind, you must maintain membership of a recognised medical defence organisation or insurer for these purposes. Nearly all GP Training Schemes strongly recommend all GP trainees to contact a defence organisation – like the MPS or MDU – and take additional personal cover.
Employment issues (contracts, holidays, maternity pay etc) – can be a minefield so worth having proper representation. The BMA can be invaluable.
This one is a personal choice but many trainees find they prefer to have the peace of mind knowing that they will still have money coming in should they become sick for an extended period of time. This will be particularly important to trainees who have significant financial commitments like a mortgage, loan, private tuition fees etc.