If there is no Half Day Release (HDR) planned, should the trainee be working at the practice instead?
It depends on why there is no Half-Day Release.
- If there is no HDR because that HDR session falls on a national holiday (like Christmas Day or a Bank Holiday) – then obviously, the practice cannot make trainees work at the practice instead (the practice will be closed anyway).
- However, if there is no Half Day Release because it has been cancelled and could not be replaced or because it is near to a national holiday (but not actually on it – e.g. HDR on Tues, but Christmas Day on Wednesday), then because the practice is the employing body, they CAN request the trainee to work that day at the surgery instead. You have to remember that practices have this right because trainees are being paid for that day. So, the norm should be that if there is no HDR, trainees should be at the practice instead; as a scheme, this is what we tell them.
Of course, what the practice wants trainees to do when they are at the practice is up to them. It might be a surgery. The trainee might help with on-call, catch up with their admin time or do a project. It is up to the practice as the employing body – we urge trainees to discuss it with them.