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Practices told to dock pay of striking junior doctors by health education bosses

Exclusive GP practices were told by Health Education England bosses that they ‘need to withhold pay’ for trainees who took part in Tuesday’s strike - a move criticised by the GPC. 

Practices in the south of England received a letter from Health Education Wessex instructing them not to pay their trainees, but the GPC said it is up to each practice whether they opt to dock pay or not.

Health Education England will not reimburse practices if they do decide to pay junior doctors for the days of action - two more of which are planned for the coming month - but the GPC said there is nothing stopping practices from paying them anyhow.

The letter, sent out to GP practices in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Thames Valley, Dorset and Wiltshire, said: 'If your GP trainee takes part in any of the junior doctors’ strike action, you will need to withhold payment of their salary for the day that they are on strike.’

But GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey explained that HEE would not expect to fund GP trainees on strike, but that the 'overwhelming majority’ of GPs supportive of strikes are at liberty to pay their trainees out of their own pockets, should they wish to do so. 

He said: ’The expectation when anyone takes industrial action is that they will not receive their pay on the days that they take action. HEE, who fund GP trainees, would expect pay to be deducted by their employer. 

‘What practices do outside of that employment arrangement is up to them but we do know that the overwhelming majority of GPs are very supportive of their junior colleagues.’

A local GP who wished to remain anonymous said their practice was still deciding whether to pay their one trainee who took action on Tuesday.

They said: ’We are deciding what to do at the practice as a partnership, but personally I’d like to show him my support.

‘It is our choice as his employer whether we show our support for the juniors and that would be my preference. However, I work in a partnership and will probably act corporately when I know what the majority view is.’

GP support for junior doctor strikes

Junior Doctor Strike 2016

Junior Doctor Strike 2016

A Pulse survey showed that more than eight in ten GPs support junior doctors in taking industrical action over the BMA’s contract stand-off with the Government.

Although the Government and the BMA have returned to negotiations led by Acas, junior doctors are due to strike on two more dates over the coming month.

On Tuesday 26 January,  junior doctors will deliver emergency care only, from 8am Tuesday 26 to 8am Thursday 28 January.

The BMA has pre-warned there will be a total withdrawal of labour from junior doctors on Wednesday 10 February from 8am to 5pm.

See more: How the day of the junior doctors' strike unfolded


Readers' comments (38)

  • Whilst I whole heartedly agree with the strike and what juniors are trying to do with far more guts than any of us have ever shown, they didn't turn up for work, not through and inabiity but deliberatly- no pay. A baker makes no cakes, makes no sales, no pay.
    How would the public perceive this? Getting paid to strike would be a massive negative to the whole point of it.
    If my registrar was goign to seriosly suffer through lack of pay I'd point them to the BMA for help and not being flipant I'd buy their lunch! In a long term dispute I would join with others o produce a benevolent fund to support them but they should not be paid form tax payers or employers funds.

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  • For flipping heavens sake pay them please. If GP`s don`t pay them I can see a Daily Wail heading regarding same soon.

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  • Well the struggle goes on, I guess! Truely is this the biggest outcome from a one day strike?

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  • This isn't a news story. I completely support the Junior Doctors but if you strike you don't get paid for that time period- You've withdrawn your labour. Happened to my Dad in the 60's when he was a bus driver, happens in every industrial dispute!!

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  • A message to Health Education England........

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  • As a GP registrar who took part in the dispute I certainly would not expect to get paid for a day when I was on strike. That surely is the deal - you strike - you dont get paid. If I did I would donate the money to charity.

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  • Oh for goodness sake. No other occupation on strike would get paid, why are junior Dr's different or special? For those of us old enough to remember the 1980's the miners were just about starved into going back to work as their family's benefits were cut too. Lets get real.

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  • I am very happy to support our registrars . They are standing up to this bullying government. I will make sure they continue to be paid- maybe not as much for that day, just as my income will be a bit reduced at having to pay out of the practice money, but if I support this strike, which I do, then I will shoulder some of the financial burden .

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  • I agree - no work, no pay - its how it works. But as a practice, I certainly want to show solidarity with the strikers - mostly out of envy that we don't get to land our own punch yet.

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  • Or sign them all off sick (of Jeremy Hunt).

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