There are many advantages to working as a locum in the veterinary sector. Locum Vets and Locum Vet Nurses can gain a great deal of experience through working in different practices and alongside a variety of other veterinary professionals.
Working as a locum provides flexibility and can be arranged to suit your schedule and needs. It can also be a lucrative option as locums have a greater earning potential than most employed vets and vet nurses.
Many consider locum work as a temporary option to gain experience or to travel around the UK however for some it becomes the career path of choice.
If you are considering becoming a locum you should bear in mind that locum work can be irregular, involve travel and periods of time staying away from home. You will need to be organised and plan ahead to keep your diary full. It also helps to be adaptable, capable and personable as you will be required to fit in with different teams and the working ways of different practices.
As a locum there are four options of payment methods:
- PAYE –If you are a PAYE employee elsewhere and decide to locum in your spare time this could be a good option for you.
- Umbrella Company – This is where you are paid by a third party company and the advantage is that you may be able to claim tax relief on some of your expenses. However there are charges levied by the umbrella company. There are several umbrella companies operating in the UK and the choice can be confusing. Medicus has no special arrangements with any, insisting that we remain impartial and not giving special favour to any one organisation.
- Self-Employed – Being self-employed is another option but it can also have disadvantages as contracting a self-employed locum has possible tax implications for the practice.
- Limited Company – For those considering being a long term locum, creating a limited company can be a tax beneficial option. In April 2020, the UK Government is introducing changes to the tax regime under the broad umbrella of IR35 Reform and Off Payroll Working. Specialist advice should be sought in this area to ensure you are fully compliant.
For guidance on current tax legislation visit: H.M. Revenue & Customs
For effective tax planning you should appoint an accountant and it is helpful to find one with experience in veterinary taxation matters.
Some veterinary practices will provide insurance cover for locum staff under their practice policies however this is not the case for all practices and the cover provided may not be adequate for all eventualities. It is very important to make sure that you are fully covered by professional indemnity insurance while working as a locum. There are many insurance companies out there but the majority of the veterinary profession are covered by the Veterinary Defence Society (VDS). For more information visit: https://www.thevds.co.uk/
Veterinary Locum Services
At Medicus, our team has a vast amount of experience of supplying veterinary locum staff to a wide variety of veterinary practices throughout the UK and there are many ways in which we can help you become a successful locum with a full work calendar.
Our services for locum vets and locum vet nurses is FREE of charge and there are no hidden charges for you. We believe in providing you the greatest flexibility in finding locum work so we do not restrict you from working with other agencies. Usually, we’ll agree your day rate with the client and invoice them for your rate plus our small daily admin charge. Once we’ve collected your fees, we’ll pass them straight along to your umbrella company or limited company the same day. This means that you don’t have to chase up late payments, Medicus will do it for you!
In some circumstances, you may be authorised to invoice our client directly for your fees. This can be arranged with special provisions made on your behalf. We’ll be sure to talk you through it in detail so you are clear about when you’ll be paid and from where.
For those on our locum register we will let you know first about any locum requirements we feel may be of interest to you. If you are interested in a locum job we will liaise with the practice on your behalf.
To help you we make sure you have the full address of any practice you will be working at and the time you need to arrive. To make things easier, wherever possible we will put you in touch directly with the practice before you start so that you have already spoken with a contact person there!
Our team will make sure the practice is clear how you are to receive payment to help keep things simple and stress free for all.
We would advise that you clearly mark any equipment that you take with you to avoid any confusion while you are there.
To find out more about working as a locum please contact our team
Need a Timesheet?
If you need a contractor timesheet to complete manually and have a client contact sign it, please click the button below. This will download a PDF timesheet for you.