Lead Employer

The lead employer is responsible for managing your employment issues.


  1. What is a lead employer
  2. Who is the lead employer
  3. What is the lead employer responsible for
  4. How do I contact the lead employer
  5. What is the electronic staff record
  6. Where can I get further information
  7. Template Generic Work Schedules
  8. Induction Information from the Lead Employer
  9. Exception Reporting (reporting that work varies from the agreed work schedule)
  10. Training Issues and Safe Working Documents
  11. Locum Work - Contract Requirements


2. What is a lead employer?

A single employer for the whole of your training scheme. During your training you will work in various organisations. Rather than needing checks prior to joining each organisation a single employer will now take care of your employment throughout your training. 

3. Who is the lead employer?

St Helen’s & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals (StHK) will become the Lead Employer for all GP Trainees in the West Midlands from 3rd August 2016.

This means StHK Lead Employer will be responsible for all employment matters relating to the Trainees, including pre-employment checks, issuing contracts of employment, co-overseeing disciplinary processes etc.

4. What is the lead employer responsible for?

  • Issuing Offer Letters
  • Completing Employment Checks
  • Providing Medical Indemnity Cover throughout VTS training
  • Arranging Performers List Applications
  • Issuing Contracts of Employment
  • Occupational Health
  • Statutory and Mandatory Training
  • Amending Contracts
  • Payment of Salaries and Expenses
    • Oversight of Grievances
  • Issue Rotation Information (provided to it by the VTS)
  • Conduct Disciplinary Hearings
  • Providing HR facilities
  • Payment of Study Leave (once authorised by Health Education England)

5. How do I contact the lead employer?

  • Email:
  • Laura Driscoll, Assistant HR busisiness partner- Lead Employer Trust.
  • Telephone: 0151 478 7777.
  • Website for more information:

6. What is the Electronic Staff Record?

  • The Electronic Staff Record or ESR is a nationaol NHS system used for managing HR, Payroll and reporting. This is where absences and leave will be recorded by GP Practices and Hospitals. Trainees will also be required to use their record and will be issued with a log in and password.

7. Where can I get further information? 

8. Template Generic Work Schedules

1. Template Generic Work Schedule

2. Example Generic Work Schedule for ST1s

3. Example Generic Work Schedule for ST2s

4. Example Generic Work Schedule for ST3s

5. Work Schedule Calculator - Automatic Calculations of Clinical / Educational Time (Author J.Marlow)

   Please submit your final work schedule to the lead employer by adapting the example Generic Work Schedules (items 3 and 4)

 For further information please refer to the NHS employers website

9. Induction Information from the Lead Employer

Induction Document

10. Exception Reporting

More details availble here

Exception reporting  provides junior doctors with the opporuntity to inform their employers when their day – to –day work varies significantly and/or regularly from their work schedules. This may include –

  •           Differences in hours of work
  •           Differences in the pattern of hours worked
  •           Differences in the educational opportunities and support available
  •           Differences in the support available during service commitments


When an exception report is raised, a notification email will be sent to the assigned supervisor who is then required to log in to the relevant exception reporting system and review the report. They are required to then meet with the junior doctor within 7 days to discuss the report and resolve the issue. Your outcome decision should be based on the information provided in the exception report and your initial meeting with the trainee– your initial decision outcome will be one of the following –

  •           No further action
  •           Compensation: Time off in lieu
  •           Compensation: Overtime payment
  •           Compensation and work schedule review
  •           Work schedule review


The process then involes trainees either agreeing or disagreeing with your decision outcome. Agreement will end the process, whereas disagreement will move the report onto the next stage, a level 1 work schedule review. If a report is unable to resolved at level 1 or level 2 work schedule review then it will be dealt with as a grievance.


All exception reports can be viewed by the Guardian of Safe working hours so that potential trends and patterns can be identified and investiagted. 

  •           If you are a supervisor in an Acute Trust then you will use the Trusts exception reporting functionality, you should receive login details directly from the Trust.
  •           If you are a supervisor for trainees in a GP Practice, Public Health, host Trusts with less than 10 trainees and hospices then you will use St Helens and Knowsleys Allocate system and you will have received login details directly from Allocate.
  • Dr Peter Arthur is St Helens and Knowsleys designated Guardian who oversees GP practices, Public Health, host trusts with less than 10 trainees and hospices that fall under St Helens and Knowsley Lead Employer.


If you are using St Helens and Knowsleys Allocate system to view exception reports that you have been copied into then please find the guidance document attached to help yout to navigate around the system. If you cannot locate your login details then please email so that it can be looked into for you.


Guardian of Safe Working Hours


The Guardian of Safe Working Hours is another new feature of the 2016 contract and is responsible for ensuring that the safe working hours aspect of the terms and conditions are upheld and intervenes when this is not the case. The designated Guardian of safe working hours depends on where your current placement is -


  •           For supervisors based in Acute Trusts, the Trust will have their own Guardian who will oversee trainees whilst they are based at that Trust.

10.Training Issues and Safe Working Documents

 Safe Working Flow Chart

 Training issues Flow Chart

Supervisor Account User Guide

11. Locum Work - Contract Requirements

Locum work under the 2016 contract - overview from the Lead employer
•        Trainees have to offer their services to an NHS Bank before they can undertake locum work through an agency. 
•        They can offer their services to any NHS Trust (including the one they are placed at) and the 2016 contract stipulates that all these shifts will be paid at a standard rate. 
•        Any trainees intending to perform locum work must seek prior permission from their Supervisor and Lead Employer. In addition, trainees must sign an opt-out form from the European Working Time Directive (EWTD), as even with the best of intentions there is risk that they could exceed the maximum 48 hour week. The Lead Employer will be keeping track of trainees who have signed an opt out agreement to identify if any issues arise for example increased absence, performance, Significant Untoward Incidents etc. The Lead Employer will review these cases and most likely revoke the agreement that the trainee can undertake locum work. 

NB for rules around locum work and LTFT training please see separate section

Developing people for health and healthcare

NHS Constitution