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Bank holidays and lieu days for medical and dental staff

Read our popular FAQs for how to deal with questions on bank holiday and lieu days for junior doctors, consultants and SAS doctors.

16 December 2021

Q1: Are doctors entitled to a lieu day if they work on Christmas Day?

The government website states that the bank holidays for December 2021 are on Monday 27 December, Tuesday 28 December and Monday 3 January 2022.

The 2021 SAS doctors and doctors in training address this in the terms and conditions. They both have the below provisions in the contracts: 

  • Where a public holiday, including Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) or New Year’s Day (1 January), falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the public holiday will be designated instead, as falling on the first working weekday thereafter. In such circumstances, no day in lieu then arises for the work undertaken on Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) or New Year’s Day (1 January).

The consultant and old SAS contracts have a reference to section 2, statutory and public holidays, General Whitley, council handbook (PDF), which provides:

2.1 Christmas and New Year holidays at weekends

There are three cases which shall be treated as follows:

2.1.1 When 25 December and 1 January fall on a Saturday

In this case 25 December and 1 January shall be treated as normal Saturdays and 26 December shall be treated as a normal Sunday. Monday 27 December and Monday 3 January shall be treated as paid public holidays instead of 25 December and 1 January, respectively. Tuesday 28 December shall be treated as a paid public holiday instead of 26 December.

2.1.2 When 25 December and 1 January fall on a Sunday

In this case 25 December and 1 January shall be treated as normal Sundays. Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January shall be treated as paid public holidays instead of 25 December and 1 January, respectively.

2.1.3 When 26 December falls on a Saturday

In this case 26 December shall be treated as a normal Saturday. Monday 28 December shall be treated as a paid public holiday instead of 26 December.

Q2: How many days of in lieu do consultants receive, who will be on a 24 hour non-resident on-call on the 27 December (bank holiday) and the on-call is likely to fall onto the next day (28 December)?

If the consultant, is working on 27 December they are entitled to get a day off in lieu for that, and if they are: "required to be present in hospital or other place of work between the hours of midnight and 9am," on 28 December, then as per schedule 18, paragraph 5, they will also get the second day off in lieu.

This also applies for junior doctors who are rostered on the 27, and as per schedule 10, paragraph 27, if they are called in between midnight and 9am on 28 December, they are entitled to the second day off in lieu. 

Q3: Is a doctor or junior doctor / doctor and dentist in training, a consultant or SAS doctor entitled to a lieu day for a bank holiday, which they were rostered to work, but called in sick?

Yes, if they are off sick on a bank holiday, they should get the bank holiday on another day, otherwise they're not getting all the bank holidays to which they're contractually entitled. 

 

Queen's Platinum Jubilee bank holidays 2022

The UK government department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) has confirmed that there will be an extra public holiday on Friday 3 June 2022 to honour the Queen's special anniversary. The May bank holiday weekend will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional bank holiday on Friday 3 June will create a four-day weekend.

We will update with an FAQ for this in due course.