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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Tax treatment of doctors: hospital doctors: junior doctors on rotational contracts: travel expenses

We have been asked on a number of occasions for guidance about how the temporary workplace rules (EIM32000 onwards) apply to junior doctors undergoing training under what are sometimes referred to as “rotational contracts”.

The grades of junior doctors taking part in such training will typically be pre-registration house officers, senior house officers, specialist registrars and senior registrars. They work on a centrally administered training programme under which they will usually work at 5 different hospitals within a particular area over a 5 year period. The doctor will usually work full-time for 12 months at each hospital in the rotation.

Commonly each hospital in the rotation will be operated by a separate NHS Trust. The doctor will be employed for 12 months by each separate NHS Trust responsible for the consecutive hospitals in the rotation. In these cases each hospital will be a permanent workplace because it is the only hospital at which the doctor will work for the duration of that employment, see EIM32125. The fact that each employment may be part of a larger programme of training does not change that conclusion. In these cases no deduction can be permitted for the costs of travelling between the doctor’s home and the hospital at which they are employed.

Less commonly the full 5 year training programme will take place under a single contract of employment. Where this is the case each hospital will be a temporary workplace because the doctor will not be working at that hospital for a period in excess of 24 months, see EIM32080. In these cases a deduction can be permitted for the cost of travelling between the doctor’s home and the hospital.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)