Did you know in a recent survey only 27% of trainees actually checked their wage slip?

 Please find it!

It might be in your mess, or with the secretaries or posted out to your home address


Dos and Don’ts

DO make sure you are on the correct tax code. Many of you will have just joined a new empoyer, or the lead employer; this can result in some pretty nasty deductions, often because HMRC think you suddenly have two jobs paying the same rate of salary. Your tax code as a minimum should be 1185 (which means you can earn £11,850 before you get any tax).  If you claim for expenses you might find this reads a higher number like 1285, 1350, or 1450 which means more money in your pocket.

DON’T assume your wages have been paid correclty.  We have trainees who run up £100s in bank charges due to mispayment. Also watch out for 5 week months like August where you are totally skint for an extra 7 days.

DO claim for any possible mileage you can from your lead employer.  This is because this mileate comes from a non-diminishing pot and does NOT come from a fund that can impact on your training budget.  There is a calculation for being able to claim 26p per mile on a car or motorbike (less for a cycle) to and from work, minus how far you live from Glasgow Royal – unfortunately this is historical and by a misfit of accountancy favours Weegies who live in the city rather than those who live more than 8 miles outside of town.

There is now a new Scotland-wide application form for excess travel expenses as part of the new lead employer arrangements.  You may have been emailed this by your HR team but, if not, the form can be found here along with a number of other payroll forms.

But all is not lost, because if you live further outside Glasgow, you are more likely to be able to request business mileage (up to 57p) in some places depending on wheteher your ride to work is considered a business expense.  The trick is to discuss with payroll (they are usually very helpful despite the bad rep). If all else fails, you can claim tax relief on 45p per mile from HMRC for the first 10,000 miles in a year and 26p on any subsequent miles.

DON’T think you are not allowed to claim for family planning fees, even if it’s implried in your unit that it’s not the done thing. Despite some people’s protestations, this money doesn’t come from the gynae deparment budget; it comes from a national payment scheme suggested by DDRB who report directly to the PM.  If you perform a sterilisation or insert a Mirena primarily for contraception purposes, it’s worth putting in for it.  The clinical director should sign you off on this as well as the business mileage above.  If they say no, ask why.  If you don’t get a definitive answer, your LNC BMA rep can advise.  For details, see here.

DON’T feel guilty about claiming for things, either from work, or especially from HMRC.  You can claim for ANYTHING you use for work, including stethoscopes, books, exams, exam literature, hotel expenses to stay overnight on courses where accommodation has not been provided, the usual BMA, GMC, RCOG, BSGE, ESGE, literally any affiliation that is implied to improve your training.

DO please get in contact with me directly if you have any burning issues.


Next month’s BMA chat will be on undermining, rota gaps and how these will change in 2019 by law in Scotland.

Jamie Thiesen-Nash, ST6 O&G NHS Ayrshire & Arran

BMA WAGS Rep – BMA LNC, BMA SJDC, and BMA Scottish Council