There are several reasons why as a GP you would wish to be appointed as a locum (rather than being employed as a salaried GP or taking on a practice and becoming a partner). You may wish to retain the flexibility of being a locum, you may wish to work for different practices or you may have other commitments which also demand some of your time. Whatever the reason it is always advisable to ensure that as a locum you settle the terms with your practice at the outset and have a locum agreement in writing.
What to include in your Ts and Cs…
A Locum Agreement would set out the intentions of the parties and as a locum you should ensure the following terms are addressed:
- The remit of your duties.
- Your rate of payment and the time and manner of payment.
- When and how you should be issuing an invoice.
- Provisions allowing you to enforce late payment of fees should you not be paid on time. (see our other blog post about when to issue late payment fees)
- Confirmation that you are able to carry out other tasks so long as it does not interfere with your duties to the practice.
- Appropriate termination provisions for both parties to be able to terminate the arrangement.
Tax and national insurance provisions
The manner in which tax and national insurance contributions are dealt with is not conclusive in determining whether you are self-employed or an employee. It is only a factor which HMRC take into consideration when making a determination. Having this set out in a Locum Agreement could reassure your practice that you are not seeking employment but that your intentions are to be a locum and be responsible for your own tax and National Insurance Contributions.
When determining an individual’s employment status, Employment Tribunals may disregard terms included in a written agreement where they do not reflect the genuine agreement of the parties. The focus of the Tribunal’s enquiry would be on the “actual legal obligations of the parties”. If you find that you are settling more and more into a practice and the relationship is more of employer/employee (without the employment benefits) then you may wish to consider whether you are still a locum and still want to be.
This blog was kindly written by healthcare specialist solicitors, Lockharts.
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with them, please contact
Tavistock House South
Networklocum.com is an online platform to help you find and schedule locum work. We aim to be a one-stop-shop for locum doctors, supporting them to find work, helping with revalidation and providing CPD education.