when you do work elsewhere in addition to your main job
What is moonlighting & can I do it?
Moonlighting is any job you have secondary to your primary job. It doesn’t have to relate to your main job.
Doing extra work whilst on the scheme is not encouraged, but can be done with the explicit agreement of your TPD, GP Trainer or Educational Supervisor. We know you are often encouraged to do extra sessions in departments where you have worked previously (most commonly A+E). This can be entirely reasonable. But if you are struggling to keep up with things like the ePortfolio this can prove highly problematic. There is an association between failure to complete the scheme successfully and having significant outside commitments. Covering extra sessions in your current department is perhaps a little different, but similar issues can still apply and worth discussing with your Educational Supervisor or TPD advisor.
According to the BMA model contract for GP trainees…
With the agreement of your Trainer/Educational Supervisor, you may arrange to undertake any duties or professional activities outside those of the practice whether remunerated or not. Agreement will not be unreasonably withheld. Any medical duties or appointments outside the practice area must not compete with the Trainer/Educational Supervisor’s practice or impinge on your contracted duties with the practice, or upon your GP vocational training. This applies equally whether such duties are remunerated or not. Consent does not imply any responsibility by the partners for your acts and omissions in the course of such activities. You are advised to ensure that your membership of a recognised medical defence organisation is commensurate with these activities.
Therefore, we don’t mind you moonlighting providing you are full-time (part-time trainees are not allowed, see below) and it is authorised. By authorised we mean, it has been agreed between Educational/Clinical Supervisor and learner that it is permissible because
- There are good reasons for it AND
- All parties don’t think it will affect the learner’s main training job and the learning to be had from it AND
- It wont breach the European Working Time Directive (see below).
If moonlighting breaks the European Working Time Directive, you can be in SERIOUS trouble
The European Working Time Directive (EWTD) was enacted into UK law on 1 October 1998 as the Working Time Regulations. It is legislation that is intended to support the health and safety of workers by setting minimum requirements for working hours, rest periods and annual leave. In other words, it is there to protect you (the trainee) by making sure you get enough rest. Its main features are as follows
- That you work no more than an average of 48 hours each week (excluding lunch hour and time taken to travel to and from work). The average is worked out over a period of 6 months (26 weeks): i.e. divide the number of hours worked over 6 months, by 26 weeks.
- You must get 11 hours continuous rest in a 24 hour period
- You must get 24 hours continuous rest in 7 days (or 48 hrs in 14 days): for instance, if you do extra work at weekends.
- You must get a 20 minute break in work periods of over 6 hours.
The problem with moonlighting is that you may end up breaking the first three points in the list above. The penalties for non-compliance include:
- Employment Tribunal proceedings;
- Employer imprisonment.
What about part-time trainees (LTFTT)? Can we moonlight?
Trainees who are eligible for LTFTT should note that many GP Schools say that they are not permitted to undertake any regular employment, either within or out of the NHS, in addition to their 50% or 60% timetable and their timetabled out of hours work. However, if there is a requirement within the department for an occasional additional shift due to unexpected circumstances (ie sick leave) trainees are encouraged to assist their fellow team members, it should be noted that this is not for planned absences (i.e. annual leave). Please ask your local GP School/Deanery/HEE/GP Training scheme for advice.
Remember, the basis of you being granted part-time GP training status was most likely to try and be flexible around you and to meet your needs; to make things easier for you. To then say I want to work more but elsewhere goes against the reason why LFTTT status was given in the first place. If you want to increase the percentage time you are working, talk to your TPD to see if you can change current LFTTT status.
You must disclose if you are moonlighting to your employers
If you are moonlighting, you MUST disclose this to both employers that you are working for another employer. If you don’t, then you risk being in breach of your contractual duty, as a result of working for two trusts. If you work excessive hours, have not disclosed this to either employer and have not signed an EWTD opt-out form, this could end up as a disciplinary matter.
- In hospital rotations, you should inform your Clinical Supervisor and Human Resources.
- In General Practice, if your employment contract is with the practice (which is not very common these days), you should inform the GP Trainer and Practice Manager.
- In GP if, if your employment contract is with the hospital (which for most GP schemes it is), then again it is Human Resources.
- In every case, please also tell your Training Programme Director AND your Educational Supervisor.