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EWTD opt out agreement - Locums

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While trying to register with a locum agency, I have been asked to sign an agreeement saying I opt out of the 48 hour regulation.

Is this not illegal?

Can there be repercussions in any way if I sign it?

Thanks

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as far as i know its not illegal.

and there should be no problems if you sign it.

I think its the locum agencies covering their backside in case if someone complains that they have been making their doctors work more than 48 hours a week.

Have to wait and see what others think about this though.

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I'm not certain if doctors can opt out... Check with the GMC. I think it's to do with putting patients at risk by being over tired. Oh, and it should be 56 hours/ week for doctors at the moment anyway, not 48.

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Called GMC. Unhelpful.

'We cant advise you what to sign and what not to sign'.

Of course, but you can screw me later saying I must not have breached the EWTD.

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While trying to register with a locum agency, I have been asked to sign an agreeement saying I opt out of the 48 hour regulation.

Is this not illegal?

Can there be repercussions in any way if I sign it?

Thanks

I cannot advise you on whether you should sign such an undertaking but its unlikely you`d be in breach of EWTD directives if your oncalls are normally non resident. As far as I am aware, only time actually spent working is counted towards EWTD if your oncalls are designated non resident. So in theory you could be doing 24 hour oncalls on a 1:4 basis but could still be compliant with EWTD, provided your oncalls are relatively quiet (hope H/R from my trust are not reading this post).

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This may be of some help- though it is an old document- Feb 2004- don't know whether anything has changed since

http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/ewtd0204

The important bit is

Opt out

Under the Regulations [4] individuals have the ability to opt out of the 48 hour week by entering into an opt out agreement with their employer. An opt out must be agreed in writing, it may apply to a specified period or apply indefinitely and subject to any provision in the agreement for a different period of notice (not exceeding three months), can be terminated by the worker by giving a minimum seven days' notice to his/her employer in writing. The employer is required to maintain up to date records of all workers who have opted out.

15. The BMA has no objection to maintaining the opt out for those doctors able to determine their own working hours, however the BMA considers that there are a number of provisions that must be met if the opt out remains a part of the legislation; any opt out must be truly voluntary and no undue pressure or coercion should be placed on doctors, particularly doctors in vulnerable positions, to work outside the EWTD hours and rest requirements and under no circumstances should an opt out be a necessity for a post or form part of any contract.

So, probably u can sign it , if u wish to- but they should not be forcing u into it

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the ewtd says you can work an average of 48 hours per week for each employer. the average should be taken over 26 weeks. many employers get confused and scared if they get you to work more than 48 hours in a particular week. if i were you i'd sign it - there's no repercussions (except if the sht hits the fan and the lawyer for the other side decides to go for the fact that you worked over 48 hours and so it was your fault cos you were too tired to make the right decision and then your employer says you signed the opt out so it's your responsibility not theirs).

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