Working less than full time as a career grade

 Working less than full time during your career may be a necessity (caring for someone else; your own ill health) or may be choice (better work/life balance, wanting to pursue a career distinct from your paediatric role).

Surveys into less than full time working in paediatrics

Men and women work less than full time, although it is more common for women to be part time.Our cohort studies of trainees indicate that around a half would like to work less than full time when they qualify. The RCPCH Medical Workforce Census 2013 and analysis of trainee data from June 2015 indicates that females account for:

  • 49.8% of the consultant workforce
  • 76.8% of SAS paediatricians
  • 74% of registered trainees

Significant numbers of staff are working on a less than full-time basis during times in their career when they are also bringing up a family.

The 2013 census indicates that 22.1% of consultants are contracted for fewer than 10 PAs.

The RCPCH study of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) cohort after the fifth year of their training indicates that 51.4% would like to work less than full time once qualified. This is usually because of bringing up a family, but as their children become older, these paediatricians may choose to increase their sessions, or want opportunities to change career

Contractual discussions

There should be a presumption that all consultant posts are suitable for those wishing to work less than full time and can be adapted to a part time post or less commonly a job share post.

It is important to find out how the post would be adapted to meet the needs of job sharers, for example 2 x 6 PAs rather than 10 PAs may be needed to allow for adequate time for handover and CPD.

The BMA recommends a lower DCC to SPA ration for those working less than full time.

Exact ratios will be a matter for local negotiation, but the College representative should ensure that the SPA allocation allows sufficient time to meet CPD requirements and any additional supporting activiies expected of the postholder.