LTFT trainees have the same maternity rights as full-time trainees.

If a full-time trainee is unable to continue to work full-time because of ill health during pregnancy or breast-feeding, then reduced hours or sick leave can be arranged, provided:

  • the trainee’s health has been discussed with their medical advisor (GP or hospital consultant)

  • the employing Trust receives a letter from the advising medical practitioner stating that the trainee should reduce their hours of work or stop work

  • the trainee makes contact with the Trust’s Occupational Health department.

  • the Trust will review the trainee’s working week taking into consideration the health and safety of their employee

  • the trainee should not have to lose pay as a result of their health problems during pregnancy

Note: Although the trainee is guaranteed employment doing reduced out of hours duties, hours at work etc, this may not be recognised as full-time training, and so the duration of training may need to be extended.

Many doctors and dentists try to continue full-time working in pregnancy. It is advisable to discuss any problems with the educational supervisor as early as possible. Occasionally a modest alteration in the working week can enable a trainee to stay working. If this is not possible, a Trust may have to make alternative arrangements for the service to be covered.

Present regulations allow a finite period of maternity leave receiving full pay, then a period when the trainee is paid a proportion of full pay. After this time, any further maternity leave will be unpaid. Maternity leave of up to one year can be taken with a right to return to a specialty training post. It may be a different Trust to the one prior to maternity leave. If a time-limited post finishes before the end of this maternity leave, the job does not have to be kept open. In order to keep maternity pay and continuity of benefits, the trainee must return to another post in the NHS within a year of starting maternity leave.


With effect from 1 April 2013, three months maternity leave can no longer be counted towards training. GMC Position Statement can be viewed on their web-site (link)

All trainees returning from a period of maternity leave need a full assessment of their training needs prior to undertaking duties, including being on the on call rota. Further guidance can be found on website home page - under Key Documents - ‘Return to Training May 2013.’

Both parents have the right to request maternity/paternity leave with the birth of a newborn baby. In addition parents may be able to take a fixed limited amount of paid leave to look after an ill child.

Local Trust policies must be followed when requesting this type of leave.