Guidance to manage untaken annual leave due to COVID-19 for junior doctors

Junior doctors

NHS Employers and the British Medical Association have agreed temporary and exceptional guidance for how untaken annual leave should be managed before the August rotations.

In recent months, doctors and dentists in training have worked incredibly hard to support the COVID-19 response and some trainees may not have been able to take as much annual leave as they would have usually planned, with insufficient ability to use any excess annual leave up before the end of their rotation. 

To support employers and their doctors and dentists in training we have provided some guidance on how to manage this in different scenarios.

Key principles

  • Where reasonable and practicable annual leave entitlement is taken prior to finishing their existing placement. 
  • Where reaching agreement on planning annual leave is not possible, some annual leave may be allocated by the employer to ensure that they are able to take their full annual leave entitlement while maintaining safe coverage of services.
  • Where carry over is not requested, or only a portion of annual leave is carried over payment of the remaining entitlement should be made at the end of this rotation.
  • Where a request is made to carry over some of the untaken annual leave, this is to be facilitated; this will require the agreement of the current and new employer.
  • There should be a parity of approaches adopted regardless of employment arrangements. 

All parties recognise the crucial role annual leave has in supporting good mental and physical health and wellbeing, and we strongly encourage untaken leave to be arranged and taken wherever possible between now and the end of this rotation. 

Where agreement is reached for the carryover of annual leave, we have provided a template which can be adapted locally.

Please see the COVID-19 web page on our junior doctor contract refresh hub for further details.

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Log In