NHS Employers has agreed with the British Medical Association to some further clarifications of the joint statement published on 30 March on the application of the 2016 terms and conditions of service contract limits for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The amended joint statement retains the flexibilities open to employers where they are unable to meet their obligations under the definitions of appropriate levels of cover within the limits of the 2016 terms and conditions of service, allowing them to suspend contractual provisions in discussion with the trainees and, where possible, the guardian of safe working hours.
The focus of the agreed amendments is to provide additional clarity that better reflects the intention of the parties and ongoing review arrangements.
As many of the contract provisions are in place to ensure the health and safety of trainees, we would advise that departures from the contract limits should be as limited as possible and for as short a time as necessary.
Please see the COVID-19 web page on our junior doctor contract refresh hub for further details.