How does the High Court ruling affect accounting for junior doctors?

Published on September 30, 2016 by Crawfords Accounting

A High Court ruling on health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s proposed new contract for junior doctors has been reported as a victory for Mr Hunt – but how does it affect accounting for junior doctors?

The contract makes it more difficult for those who work weekends to know exactly how much they will earn – replacing simple ‘unsociable hours’ pay grades with a system of supplements based on the number of weekends worked.

Ostensibly the plans are about creating a genuinely seven-day NHS, but junior doctors have taken several strike actions in recent months amid their own concerns that the quality of patient care, and their own working conditions, will be adversely affected.

Eventually the campaign group Justice for Health launched legal action, which was taken to the High Court where, on September 28th, Mr Justice Green ruled officially in favour of Mr Hunt.

But the picture is not one of simple defeat for the campaigners, as Mr Hunt’s victory was secured only by an eleventh-hour clarification that he is not ‘imposing’ the contract on NHS Trusts, but instead is only recommending that it should be adopted as the new model contract.

Saimo Chahal QC(Hons), lawyer for Justice for Health, summarised the ruling as follows: “Employers of junior doctors are not legally compelled to adopt the contract, and can continue to negotiate on terms until agreement is reached.

“Justice for Health are satisfied that … most importantly their doctor colleagues as well as employers now understand the true legal position – there is no contract which has been imposed on them. Employees and employers can discuss and negotiate terms.”

It remains to be seen to what extent NHS Trusts will choose to enforce the new recommended contract without further changes – but for junior doctors it should mean there is still at least the potential for negotiation on payment terms.

We have received an excellent service from the team at RPG for well over 20 years. We particularly appreciate RPG's real interest in our company and suggestions for improvements. The service RPG provides goes well beyond what we could expect.  The attention to detail and the prompt, professional service the team provides means that we are reassured that should we require urgent or unusual advice, the team will provide it. We would have no hesitation in recommending RPG.

Margaret Peasegood

Executive Chairman - SheffProp

I would like to thank RPG for your unbelievable help, assistance and friendship for over 40 years. Nothing has ever been too much trouble. Words alone are insufficient, and I think that the same would apply to my former colleagues and my family who have also come to rely on your advice and guidance.

Neville Johnson

Founder - Neville Johnson Offices

We have worked with RPG for many years, for good reason. They are not only extremely knowledge but they really take the time to get to know you as customers and also as people. This really makes a difference, as whilst it is of course important that you receive great service, which we do, it’s also essential to work with professionals who you can really trust and who go out of their way to know your business as well as you do, giving ultimate comfort that you are all striving towards the same goals. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Jennie Johnson MBE

Kids Allowed

“RPG have always been our first point of call for advice on accounting, tax and financial regulatory matters and indeed have become an additional sounding board for both myself and my colleagues on strategic matters. The consistently high quality and timely advice they provide is very important to us.”

Gareth Rowe

Chief Financial Officer - ProofID

“As a family business we have been using Royce Peeling Green as our accountants for over 25 years. We have always been impressed with their expertise and depth of knowledge in all financial areas required to help run our business. There is an obvious understanding and trust between the two companies which leads to proactive approach to guide us with short and long-term financial planning. We have found everyone at Royce Peeling Green to be very approachable providing us with the reassurance that they will always provide a professional response in a timely manner.”

David Harrabin

Managing Director - Manchester Slate Ltd

RPG have now acted for our various companies for over 15 years. Their advice and commercial attitude in dealing with Tax, Audit and general businesses matters has always been of high quality and queries dealt with promptly. The team at RPG are experts in their field, they understand the SME market place well. They have been involved in all our corporate transactions, from setting up of businesses, ongoing support of our management teams through to being part of the team that negotiated the successful sale of a group company.

Jonathan Hamburger

Genesis Group International

We have received a first rate service from RPG over many years. We appreciate their attention to detail and the timely, professional and pro-active advice they provide. We would have no hesitation in recommending the team at RPG.

Stephen Rector

Managing Director – Ribble Packaging Limited