Premium Time

From 1 April 2004, the following provisions will apply to recognise the unsocial nature of work contracted in Premium Time, either for the substantive employer or the honorary employer(s), and the flexibility required of clinical academics who work at these times as part of a more varied overall working pattern.

Scheduled Work

For each Programmed Activity contracted during Premium Time, there will be a reduction in the timetable value of the Programmed Activity itself to three hours or a reduction in the timetable value of another Programmed Activity by one hour, subject to a maximum reduction of three hours per week.

If, by mutual agreement, a Programmed Activity in Premium Time lasts for four hours or more, an equivalent enhancement to payment may be agreed.

Where a Programmed Activity falls only partly in Premium Time, the reduction in the timetable value of this or another Programmed Activity will be on an appropriate pro-rata basis. If an enhancement to payment is made, this will be applied to the proportion of the Programmed Activity falling within Premium Time.

Unpredictable Emergency Work Arising From On-Call Duties

In assessing the number of Programmed Activities needed to recognise unpredictable emergency work arising from on-call duties, three hours of unpredictable emergency work done in Premium Time will be treated as equivalent to one Programmed Activity. The provisions of paragraph 3 may also apply. Employers will agree jointly the number of Programmed Activities to be allocated for emergency work arising from on-call duties with the honorary employer(s) and the clinical academic as part of the integrated job planning process.

Work In Premium Time Exceeding Three Programmed Activities per Week

The foregoing provisions are designed to cover situations where work in Premium Time is up to the equivalent of three Programmed Activities per week on average. Where work during Premium Time exceeds this average, the substantive employer, the honorary employer(s) and the clinical academic will agree appropriate arrangements.


Emergency work: Predictable emergency work: this is emergency work that takes place at regular and predictable times, often as a consequence of a period of on-call work (e.g. post-take ward rounds). This should be programmed into the working week as scheduled Programmed Activity.

Unpredictable emergency work arising from on-call duties: this is work done whilst on-call and associated directly with the consultant’s on-call duties (except in so far as it takes place during a time for scheduled Programmed Activities), e.g. recall to hospital to operate on an emergency basis.

Private Professional Services (also referred to as “private practice”): such services as include:

  • the provision of professional services by private arrangement;
  • work in the general medical, dental or ophthalmic services under Part II of the National Health Service Act 1977 (except in respect of patients for whom a hospital medical officer is allowed a limited “list”, for example members of the hospital staff); and
  • the provision of services to private patients in NHS organisations, including services provided on behalf of an NHS employer, but which are not included in a consultant's Job Plan.

Programmed Activity: a scheduled period, nominally equivalent to four hours, during which a consultant undertakes Contractual and Consequential Services.

Premium Time: any time that falls outside the period 07:00 to 19:00 Monday to Friday, including any time on a Saturday or Sunday.

Honorary Employer (or honorary employing organisation): the NHS organisation issuing the honorary contract.

Substantive Employer: the employer issuing the clinical academic’s substantive contract of employment. This will normally be a University.

Last edited Jan 02, 2018