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Dentists: Scottish Government to address maternity pay shortfall

23 March 2021


The British Dental Association Scotland has welcomed the announcement from the Scottish Government that it will review its system for calculating maternity payments following concerns from pregnant dentists that they are being financially disadvantaged.


In discussions with the BDA, the Scottish Government recognised that the “test period” for calculating maternity payments is now increasingly based on the COVID support payments (80% of pre-pandemic gross Item of Service). This means that such dentists are receiving lower payments than would normally be the case. The new payment system will also apply to paternity and adoptive leave, and long-term sick leave.


The Scottish Government acknowledges that the current financial support system that was introduced a year ago in an emergency situation is not sustainable and is now presenting a number of problems such as the calculation of maternity pay. It has committed to introducing an intermediate funding model (which may last 1-2 years) before considering a long-term replacement for the SDR. The intermediate arrangements will allow practices to plan their finances, and the BDA looks forward to contributing to their development.


David McColl, Chair, British Dental Association's Scottish Dental Practice Committee said:


"We commend the Scottish Government on its decision to review maternity and other payments.


"A number of colleagues have contacted us in recent weeks to express their anxiety at this situation. The last thing pregnant dentists need is the additional stress of financial pressures, and the Government has listened to our concerns and taken appropriate action.


"We look forward to receiving further details in due course but today’s news will provide some much-needed reassurance to many colleagues.”