The BMA has expressed deep disappointment following the Government’s "dismissive" response to its concerns around senior doctors being denied access to new workplace rights on shared parental leave (SPL).
Changes introduced last month mean that all non-medical staff and junior doctors across England will be able to access enhanced occupational pay, similar to maternity pay, when sharing leave.
However, consultants and staff, associate specialist and specialty (SAS) doctors have been advised that their access to the new rules is contingent on accepting restrictions on how redundancy payments are calculated.
The chairs of the BMA’s consultant and staff, associate specialist and specialty doctor committees wrote to health secretary Matt Hancock, calling for urgent action on the matter.
According to the BMA, in a response to the chairs, chancellor Philip Hammond says the issue is one for the BMA and NHS Employers to resolve.
"I would very much like to see consultants and SAS doctors benefiting from the same SPL arrangements that were recently introduced for other staff groups," the chancellor said.
However, he went on to say: "It would seem to be the right course of action to introduce access to terms and conditions of service relating to SPL, not in isolation, but together with other terms and conditions which bring about equity between NHS staff groups."
In his correspondence to the BMA, he added: "I believe that this is a matter best resolved via your membership of the NHS staff council. I support all endeavours to bring about equity between NHS staff and encourage you to seek an agreeable solution through working with NHS Employers."
The BMA says the response is "deeply disappointing".