Maternity (Paternity) Leave

Maternity Leave Guidance for Foundation Training (revised Jul 07).pdf14.77 KB
Maternity Guidance for rotational junior doctors in training (Jun 13) - NHS Employers.pdf186.13 KB


This document aims to provide doctors with advice about the training implications of taking a maternity/paternity break during foundation training. It does not cover the employment aspects, which are the responsibility of the employing NHS Trust. Further information about your employment entitlement can be obtained from your Trust’s Medical Staffing Department or from the BMA.

It is acknowledged that your family commitments may impact on your training and so it is important that you consider carefully how you can balance your training with your personal circumstances. You may need to make some difficult but important decisions, which could include delaying completion of foundation programme training, if this seems appropriate for you in the circumstances. However, we would clearly wish to support your decision in any way possible and will consider your needs on an individual basis, within the scope of options available.

Additonal guidance is available on the NHS Employers website including:

Taking time out of Foundation Programme Training

Completion of the two year Foundation Programme depends on performance, competencies and time. Whilst the legislation allows for normal statutory and contractual entitlement to maternity/paternity leave and pay, completion of the two year programme only allows for a break of up to four weeks per year (during the F1 and F2 years), which would include statutory reasons such as maternity/paternity or sickness related absence.

This means that if you have taken more than four weeks off in one year then additional training will need to be arranged by the foundation school to enable you to complete your F1 or F2 year, and progression to the next phase of your training is likely to be delayed. As at present there is only one start date a year, in August, this would mean a delay of one year.

In the first instance, you may wish to explore your maternity/paternity entitlement from the medical staffing department of the employing Trust, but you should also talk to your educational supervisor or foundation programme training director, at the earliest opportunity. Your employer should also be able to provide you with their maternity/paternity procedures and advise you of your obligations to notify your maternity/paternity start date in writing within the appropriate timescale. Guidance is also available in Section 15 of the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook, which provides details of entitlement to maternity leave and pay for NHS staff.