Contract extensions for JMOs on parental leave

ASMOF has continued to advocate for JMOs whose training and job security is impacted due to taking periods of parental leave. 
We have been negotiating with the Ministry of Health around updates to the Employment Arrangements for Medical Officers Policy Directive (PD2019_027) to make clear that a training contract is to be extended to cover the period of parental leave and with the potential for the Health Agency to extend the contract for the remainder of the clinical year. 
These changes would avoid the difficult situation of a JMO’s contract expiring after they go on parental leave and potentially having a break in service between contracts where they lose access to all their entitlements.  
We have been advised that the Ministry intends to distribute the draft Policy Directive in the next few weeks for consultation, with a view to finalising it by the end of the year.

In the interim, the Ministry has confirmed that is it supportive of LHDs being able to extend contracts to support parental leave for medical officers where it is practicable.