I am aware that some GPs have received incorrect advice from NHS England and others that if they have stopped receiving seniority payments because theirNHS income has fallen below the required threshold, then as the scheme is now closed to new entrants, they will not be entitled to once again receive thesepayments should their future income again rise above the threshold. This is complete nonsense. Such GPs are not “new entrants” to the seniority scheme;they are in the scheme but have merely been unable to receive current payment because of the earnings rule.
I have taken this matter up nationally and this has resulted in updated, explicit guidance on this matter from NHS Employers which clearly states thevarious circumstances in which seniority payments may be restarted, including the earnings scenario as detailed above, which I have highlighted. Thisguidance is accessible at the link below:
You will need to scroll down a bit to find the detailed seniority advice which states :
Q: Where a contractor was formerly eligible to receive seniority payments, but was temporarily ineligible on the cut-off date of 31 March 2014, would they then qualify to receive payments if they subsequently became eligible again?
A: Where possible, the guidance should be interpreted to encourage doctors to remain/return as a partner GP. For that reason, NHS England has confirmed that contractors in the following scenarios should be eligible to receive payments:
• where a GP is a contractor who was transferring from one partnership to another over 31 March 2014 they should continue receiving payments as normal.
• where a GP was a contractor receiving seniority payments prior to 31 March 2014, was employed as a salaried GP or in another relevant clinical position over 31 March 2014, and subsequently returns to being a contractor GP, then they should resume receiving payments.
• where a GP is a contractor who has previously received payments, and was eligible on 31 March 2014 to receive payments in terms of their length of service, but was not doing so because their earnings did not meet the required threshold, then if their earnings rise to that threshold they will resume receiving payments.
• where a GP was on a PMS contract on 31 March 2014 and had a seniority equivalency entered into their contract, then if they subsequently transfer to a GMS contract they should receive payments in line with their previous equivalency.
The principle will remain that there will be no new entrants to the scheme, and only contractors who have previously received payments prior to 31 March 2014 can be considered. Local teams should contact NHS Employers for advice on any specific queries.
Please advise the LMC if you have any continuing problems with this issue.
Click here to download the document "Seniority Entitlement".
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