HSE Medical Consultants : Changing Contract

The following is a list of the contract types for HSE medical consultants:

  • Type A. This is for medical consultants who work exclusively in the public system.
  • Type B. This allows medical consultants to undertake private work in the same hospital as their public commitments.
  • Type B*/C. The C contract is the newer version of the old B* contract and there are no geographic limitations on medical consultants undertaking private work in Ireland. 

It is often the case that a medical consultant will consider changing contract. They may move from an A or B contract to a C contract in order to engage in more private work or for quality of life issues, they may wish to limit or cease private work and move from a B* to a B or A contract. Type A contracts are the best paying contracts, followed by B and then B*/C contracts

The following is a list of the uplifted (post settlement salaries) for various consultant posts.

ContractAppointed pre-01/04/04Appointed between 01/04/04 and 01/09/12Appointed post 01/09/12
A€226,909€188,902 - €226,909€143,846 - €199,566
B€208,001€174,436 - €208,001€135,790 - €178,583
B*€185,978€185,978n/a
Cn/a€144,640 - €171,294€120,935 - €151,901

There are 6 points in the scale for the uplifted salaries for consultants appointed between 1st April 2004 and 1st September 2012 and 9 points on the scale for consultants who were appointed after 1st September 2012.

As stated above, the major determinant in switching contract is the amount of private work that a consultant wishes to engage in. Our understanding is there are no other changes to work practices, i.e. hours worked or reporting lines by moving contract.

Pension Benefits

Changing contract also brings changing pension benefits. For example, a consultant who switches from a B contract to an A contract will now have their pension based on a salary of €226,909 rather than €208,001. Assuming this consultant is Class A PRSI and will have maximum service, i.e. 40 years, this will increase their annual pension to €100,555 from €91,101. It is important to note that the change in contract must be actioned at least 3 years in advance of retirement to fully benefit from the new salary. If the change in contract is actioned within 3 years of retirement, the salary used for the retirement calculations will be the weighted average of their salary over the years to retirement.

For those consultants in the Single Scheme (who entered employment after 2013), the change in salary will immediately impact the referable amounts (the monies accrued towards their lump sum and annual pension at retirement).

The process for changing contract

Our understanding is that a change of contract application must be completed and signed off by CEO/General Manager of the hospital. The application is then submitted by the hospital to the Consultants Applications Advisory Committee (CAAC) or the Type C Committee (for applications to change to a C contract). The role of the CAAC and the Type C Committee is to provide independent and objective advice to the HSE. They make recommendations to the HSE and the contract change will be signed off by either the Medical Workforce Lead, HSE HR or the Director General.

The COVID 19 outbreak has enforced changes to this process. The process has been expedited for consultants wishing to change to an A contract. Rather than the above approval process, i.e.  going through the CAAC, the hospital’s CEO/General Manager can now approve a request to change to an A contract. This was initially to run in tandem with the Private Hospital Agreement but has recently been extended to 31st December 2020.

For any consultants who had changed to the temporary A contract during the early months of the COVID 19 outbreak and who wish to revert back to their original contract, they must advise their hospital group immediately of this. The email address for correspondence is consultant.applications@hse.ie

We have also written 3 white papers related to pension/financial planning for Medical Consultants which might be of interest.

  • White Paper for Medical Consultants with Public and Private Income
  • White Paper for Medical Consultants employed after 1st October 2012
  • White Paper for Private-Only Medical Consultants

Please contact me at hughgallagher@pfp.ie and I will send you on a copy.

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