Types of Leave

YH HEE pages on Types of Leave YH HEE pages on Study Leave ACAS – Free employement Advice

Annual Leave

How much annual leave are you entitled to? Well, it depends what point you are on the StR pay scale.

  • Up to point 02, annual leave entitlement is 25 days in a GP post, 27 days in a hospital post (as they get 2 extra statutory days).
  • Point 03 and above entitlement is 30 days in GP, 32 in a hospital post (i.e. 5 extra days).

So, a trainee who starts GP training straight from Foundation Year and assuming they do a full-time 3 year programme will be…

  • On the minimum point of the StR pay scale in ST1 (point 00);
  • Point 01 in ST2;
  • Point 02 in ST3.

So the majority of trainees are only entitled to 25 days of annual leave. There can be confusion thinking that ST3 equals point 03 on the pay scale, but it doesn’t necessarily. You only become point 03 if you’ve worked in other posts after Foundation BUT before joining the GP training scheme (e.g. you’ve changed career).

Study Leave

Study leave can be applied for going on courses, workshops or doing exams. All study leave must be approved by the Trainer or Hospital Consultant and a Training Programme Director.

  • Officially you get 30 days per year of Study Leave including HDR (=15 days every 6 months).
  • The School of General Practice run a programme of ‘half-day release’ teaching that represents the majority of study leave for Postgraduate Doctors in training in the School. Private study leave for courses and exam preparation (in addition to the mandated
  • self-development time/self-directed learning time within the job plan) is part of the 30-day allocation.
  • Study leave that prepares the trainee for the requirements of the core curriculum defined by the RCGP and RCGP membership examination is prioritised above any personal learning interest or development towards a potential role as a GPSI even though this interest is included within the GP curriculum.
  • You must make sure you attend the required number of Half Day Release which take priority over any other demands for study leave.
  • Local courses generally take priority over more distant courses – many schemes will not approve funding for distant MRCGP preparation courses. Clarify with your TPDs.
  • Trainees who are doing well in their assessments may be funded to attend local RCGP courses aimed at established GPs, if they have educational approval and if resources allow.
  • Some schemes recommend to GP training practices that trainees be allowed up to 5 EXTRA study leave days every 6 months in addition to HDR attendance. Included in this extra 5 days is time off to sit compulsory exams. This additional study leave may be granted if the trainer agrees that it is appropriate for the trainee’s professional development needs. However, trainees need to understand that this additional leave is entirely discretionary, not an entitlement, and is almost impossible during hospital posts.
  • Here are links to HEE page and guidance for Study leave

Because of limited resources, most schemes are unable to promise funding for any specific courses. The current priority for funding is for LOCAL courses where the educational activity:

  1. Prepares you for the requirements of MRCGP (like local AKT and SCA courses).
  2. Tackles an essential component of being a GP (like Child and Adult Protection).

1. Make sure the learning need for which you are applying for study leave is on your PDP, clearly described and justified in relation to your career in GP.
2. If you are in any doubt, talk to a TPD before going any further.
3. Use the approved study leave application form.
4. Get the request approved by your Hospital Consultant or GP Trainer and a TPD.
5. Get approval from the Rota Coordinator (hospital post) or Practice Manager (GP post).
6. Apply 8 weeks in advance of the course if possible.
7. Pay any upfront charges required by the organisers of the course – hopefully, these will be reimbursed. Some courses will not be funded neither will courses which you book onto but then you fail to attend.

If you want to go on any course, please follow this protocol. All the forms mentioned here are available from your GP scheme administrator.

  1. Arrange cover for your absence first: in a hospital post, this means liaising with your peers. In a GP post, this means liaising with the Practice Manager.
  2. Fill out a Study Leave Application Form first. Then see if your Consultant or GP Trainer and Training Programme Director will approve your request and sign their part of the form. Forms must be submitted as far in advance as possible but in any event no later than 6 weeks prior to the proposed leave.
  3. If study leave is approved, go ahead and pay for the course yourself.   If study leave is not approved a brief explanation will be provided.
  4. When the course is over, then fill out the Study Leave claim back expenses form, which helps you to reclaim what you’ve personally forked out.
  5. Along with that claim back expenses form, fill out the Study Leave evaluation form. Send both of these forms back. Claim forms must be submitted as soon as possible after the study leave has been completed. Claims submitted after a 3 month period has elapsed will NOT be eligible for payment. Claim forms will not be processed unless accompanied by an evaluation form and receipts.  Forward the completed forms to your GP scheme administrator.
  6. Then just wait for £££ to come through.

Applying for Study leave

To help you apply for study leave correctly and to avoid issues when claiming expenses please read this guidance carefully. A full step-by-step applicant user guide with screenshots is available on HEE website as per this link

Leave details – Leave type

The first application screen asks you to select the leave type. It is important to select the correct leave type as this helps determine your application. The leave types are:

  • Study – All curriculum or discretionary courses / conferences / activity not covered by one of the other leave types.
  • Exam – Exam preparation courses and exam sittings. Please note: Exam fees may not be funded through study leave.
  • Private – Home based revision / exam preparation before an exam sitting. Expenses may not be claimed for private study leave.
  • International – Courses / conferences taking place outside of the UK. This includes online/virtual events.

If you are planning multiple activities in preparation for an exam, please take care to apply for each activity separately under the correct leave type and dates. eg An exam preparation course, private exam preparation, and the exam sitting will each require a separate application.

Event details – Course/conference/exam name

When submitting your application on ALM there are two options for selecting/entering the course name.

1)    Event list: The event list shows pre-approved courses for your grade

2)    Event name: Is a free text box where you can type the activity name if it is not in the list

The activities in the event list refer to specific courses/conferences/exams. Events prefixed with ‘NHSE GP School’ refer only to free courses/conferences provided by your PGME school (the deanery). If your course/conference does not appear in the event list, toggle ‘My event does not appear in the list above’ and free type the event name.

Only select from the event list if you are confident that the selection correctly matches your planned study leave. If it does not match the rest of your application, your application will be rejected.

Expenses – Estimated expenses

If you intend to claim expenses, estimated expenses must be added to your application before it is submitted. Expense claims submitted after the event will only be processed if estimated expenses were added at the time of application and the application was approved.

Final expenses are only authorised after the event and will only be approved in line with the nationally agreed rates. If estimated expenses outside the allowances are included on your application, they may still be amended or rejected after the event. So, it is important to be aware of the allowances, which are:

  • Milage: 30p per mile, when travelling in own car and calculated using the most direct route between base hospital and destination.
  • Public transport: Only standard class tickets may be reimbursed. Applicants should select the cheapest ticket options available.
  • Meals: Upto £5 lunch allowance. Upto £15 evening meal allowance where overnight accommodation is required.
  • Accommodation (if required): Upto £120 per night outside London and upto £150 within London for single occupancy only.

Exam Leave

Leave to take exams is usually counted as part of your Study Leave allowance. However, you can only take it as Study leave as dictated below…

– For the first attempt, leave is granted with pay and expenses.

– For subsequent attempts, leave is granted without pay and expenses.

– Provided educational approval is given, leave will be granted without funding.

– There is no automatic entitlement to Exam Preparation Leave for private study in order to prepare for an exam.

– In exceptional circumstances, the employing body may grant leave for up to 2 days to prepare for an exam but no more than 3 days in a year.

Please keep a log

In addition to Annual and Study leave, you are allowed time off from the training programme for any of the types of leave mentioned below, in accordance with the contractual arrangements with your employer.  However, we would like to reiterate the fact that the total, aggregated allowance for the types of leave below must not exceed…

  • one week in any 6 month post or
  • two weeks in a 12 month training period or
  • six weeks over a 3-year training period

(Please note that one year would be a calendar year beginning from programme start date).

Please keep a log of all your leave throughout your 3 year training programme (sickness, parental, maternity and anything else). All sick leave, should be entered in TOOT section of your portfolio and declared on your form R.

Remember, informing the different stakeholders who need to know is the trainee’s responsibility. Failing to do this early on will mean that any gaps that need making up in your training programme will be picked up too late to do anything about and only you lose out. We do not want this to happen to you.

Sick Leave

If you need time off sick, there are 2 aspects you need to think about:

– You should contact your workplace immediately to let them know you can’t come to work. In GP this might be the Practice Manager or your Trainer, in hospital the Rota Coordinator, departmental secretary or your Clinical Supervisor.  Try to have a conversation or full message exchange – don’t just leave a message and hope it gets through. If you can give them an idea of how long you are likely to be off sick, this is helpful.

– You must send sick notes to the correct admin department in your employing organisation – if you don’t, you may not get paid on time.

– If you are absent for more than two weeks in any one year for any kind of leave in addition to the study and annual leave allowance, that excess must be made up with additional training time at the end of your training programme.

– If you are absent for more than the two weeks allowance, please let the following people know:
1. Your scheme’s GP administrator
2. The Training Programme Directors
3. The Deanery

Other Types of Leave

Eligible employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child’s welfare, eg to: spend more time with their children, look at new schools, settle children into new childcare arrangements, spend more time with family, such as visiting grandparents.

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This is for when you take time off to have a baby. Remember, you might be eligible for: Statutory Maternity Leave, Statutory Maternity Pay, paid time off for antenatal care or extra help from the government.

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When you take time off because your partner’s having a baby, adopting a child or having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement you might be eligible for:
– 1 or 2 weeks’ paid Paternity Leave,
– Paternity Pay,
– Shared Parental Leave and Pay.

You may not get both leave and pay, and there are rules on how to claim and when your leave can start.

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As an employee you’re allowed time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. A dependant could be a spouse, partner, child, grandchild, parent, or someone who depends on you for care. You’re allowed a reasonable amount of time off to deal with the emergency, but there’s no set amount of time as it depends on the situation.

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Unfortunately, most people will experience the loss of somebody close to them at some point during their career and may need time off work for compassionate bereavement leave. This allows them time for grieving and managing bereavement matters, such as arranging or attending a funeral. Currently, there is no legal obligation for UK employers to provide compassionate leave as standard, paid or otherwise. However, most employers do exercise discretion, and most detail a formal bereavement leave policy as a contractual entitlement. Please talk to your employer.

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If you are an employee but also have caring responsibilities for children, elderly relatives or dependants you:

– Can apply for  The right to request flexible working
– are entitled to Time off for dependants to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

Your employer is required to give you time off for jury service BUT they don’t have to pay you for the time that you take off (unless your employment contract says so). You’ll be able to claim money back from the court to make up for some of your financial losses.

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Your employer are not legally obliged to give you time off to attend doctor or dentist appointments unless your contract of employment says so. Your employer can insist you make these visits outside work hours, take holiday leave or make the time up later on. You should check your contract of employment.

Pregnant women are allowed reasonable paid time off work for ante-natal care – you won’t need to make it up later.

If you’re disabled and your employer won’t let you take time off for a medical appointment connected with your disability, they could be discriminating against you. Discuss this with them in the first instance.