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Planning an absence from work

Where possible, you should prepare for an absence from work, particularly when it is known in advance, e.g. parental leave and inform the relevant bodies (see Box 1) as early as you can - at least 3 months is recommended.

In particular, you should consider what training needs you may have on return and may wish to set out curriculum or logbook targets to complete before your absence from work starts, particularly if anticipating that you may not be able to during your leave.

Box 1. Checklist of who to inform:
Educational Supervisor
College Tutor
Rota co-ordinator
Clinical Director
Training Programme Director
Human Resources / Payroll (by 25 weeks if pregnant)

Your Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) meeting may fall during your period of absence. It is therefore worth planning ahead for any assessments or paperwork that you may require e.g. TO2s, and Educational Supervisor Reports.

You should arrange to meet with your Educational Supervisor to discuss these needs as well as how they may be attained. You should also discuss what practices could be in place to maintain knowledge whilst away.

This could include the preparation of ‘cheat sheets’ on the most common procedures, emergencies, or conditions that you can refer back to quickly, staying on your Trust’s mailing list to continue receiving clinical updates via email, or following Obstetric and Gynaecology journals on Twitter for the latest updates on clinical trials or guidance.

Additionally, you may wish to plan how you would like to use your Keeping in Touch (KIT) days (available to those returning from maternity leave).

The discussion should be recorded on an Absence from Work form (or local deanery equivalent paperwork) and a copy of this should be forwarded to the Training Programme Director (TPD) and Specialty Lead and a further copy should be uploaded to your E-portfolio.

You will also need to consider any additional paperwork that you may be required to submit such as a MAT B1 or Out of Programme (OOP) request annual review form (see Box 2).

Box 2. Checklist for preparing for absence from work
Inform relevant bodies
Check curriculum targets
Check ARCP paperwork
Check additional paperwork required e.g. MAT B1 form, OOP annual request form

Special considerations and financial implications

You may find additional useful information in Resources including:

Special considerations

  • Workplace Risk Assessments
  • Out of Programme Placements

Financial implications of taking an Absence from Work

  • Out of Programme (OOP) Pay
  • Maternity Pay
  • NHS Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP)
  • Sick pay
  • Professional subscriptions
  • Working locum shifts whilst absent from work