Junior doctors’ contract will have an ‘indirect adverse effect on women’

women doctor
Jeremy Hunt’s new junior doctors’ contracts will have an ‘indirect adverse effect on women’, according to a report released by the Department of Health.

Equality Analysis on the new contract for doctors and dentists in training in the NHS states that there are ‘features of the new contract that impact disproportionately on women.’

Under the new contract, junior doctors will be paid at a normal rate for the Saturday day shift in return for a basic pay rise; and will be required to work more weekends.

The government argues that the new rules would mean a truly seven day service.

However, the report states that “Whilst this may disadvantage lone parents (who are disproportionately female) due to the increased cost of paid childcare in the evenings and weekend, in some cases this may actually benefit other women, for example where individuals have partners, it may be easier to make informal, unpaid childcare arrangements in the evening and weekends than it is during the week due to the increased availability of partners and wider family networks at weekends and in the evenings.”

The assessment concludes, “In summary, while there are features of the new contract that impact disproportionately on women, of which some we expect to be advantageous and others disadvantageous, we do not consider that this would amount to indirect discrimination as the impacts can be comfortably justified.”

In response to the proposed changes to junior doctors’ contracts, the British Medical Association has launched its legal action against the government in an attempt to stop the implementation of the contract.

Junior doctors are due to strike for the fourth time, running for 48 hours from 8am on Wednesday 6th April.

You can download the full report here.

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.
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