Proposed improvements to the junior doctors' contract

Medical Pay

Following recent negotiations between NHS Employers, the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), a framework agreement has now received ministerial clearance which would see investment over a four-year period in the contract for doctors in training.

The framework agreement sets out both the pay investment that will be made and the amendments to the 2016 junior doctors' contract that employers, BMA junior doctors committee (JDC) and DHSC are planning to implement.

The BMA JDC will now consult with their members and ask them to agree the proposal in a planned referendum between 14 – 25 June.

The agreement covers the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2023. In 19/20, this will mean a total investment of 2.3 per cent in the contract. In each of the three subsequent years (20/21-22/23) this will mean annual pay uplifts of 2 per cent and a further 1 per cent of additional investment in other terms within the contract.

The investment over the four years will be used to support changes anticipated within the 2016 contract discussions and/or which have arisen from the review of that contract between the parties, which include:

  • uplifts to the current weekend allowance to recognise those working the most frequent weekends 
  • an enhanced rate of pay for shifts that finish after midnight and before 4am.

Agreement has also been reached over safety and rest limits, exception reporting and guardian of safe working hours, work scheduling and code of practice, leave and locum work.

Next steps


If the outcome of the referendum supports the deal, new terms will be introduced from August 2019 for doctors in training. The full implementation timeline is yet to be agreed, but we expect this to be a phased implementation, taking into consideration the operational implications of the changes.

The full framework agreement is available to download and additional resources for employers will made available on our website shortly to help you keep fully updated on the proposed changes.

The BMA are holding roadshows across the country to present the changes that have been negotiated and the impact these would have on junior doctors. A full list of regional presentations can be found on the BMA's website. A series of webinars are also available on their website, if you should be unable to make these events.

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