Intended for healthcare professionals


What will junior doctors earn under their new contract?

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 23 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3453
  1. Janis Burns, trainee anaesthetist
  1. Northwest London Deanery
  1. Janis.burns{at}

Trainee anaesthetist Janis Burns has modelled pay under the old and new junior doctor contract to see what the new contract will mean for doctors’ pay and working hours

Junior doctors are now being balloted on whether or not to accept the proposed contract agreed by the BMA and NHS Employers. A determining factor for many will be the acceptability of the remuneration package on offer.

The current banding system has been criticised for its complexity, but under the proposed new system a junior doctor’s annual salary would depend on no fewer than seven variables (box 1).

Box 1: Seven variables affecting junior doctors’ pay under the new contract

  • Year of training

  • Additional hours worked over the basic 40 a week

  • Frequency of weekend working

  • Number of hours worked that attract pay enhancement for evening and night working patterns

  • On-call availability allowance

  • Hours worked while on call

  • Eligibility for flexible payment for acting as a senior decision maker

A system with such a large number of variables is difficult to understand, so I spent some time modelling salaries …

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