FAQ: Can GP locums get sick pay?

In a way, yes. There are some simple and affordable steps a GP locum can take to reduce the risk of losing out financially due to illness or injury.

Your ability to receive income whilst off work through ill health whilst working as a GP locum very much depends on your employment status i.e. whether you’re an employee, self-employed or ‘worker’.

Remember that your legal employment status is something that is not necessarily determined by you, and is different to your tax employment status and your NHS pension employment status.

I’m self-employed

If you’re locuming in different practices under your own Terms and Conditions, managing your own bookings and determining the way within which you work (either manually or through platforms like LocumDeck) then your employment status is likely to be self-employed status. In which case, you don’t qualify for SSP in that role.

If you already have a locum insurance policy, this could cover you for up to £3,000 a week or 75% of your earnings for a year if you’re ill or injured and can’t work. (NASGP offers discounts for Practice Cover insurance as part of our membership benefits).

I work for an agency

If you’re working through the agency as their employee and fulfil certain criteria, including having been ill for at least 4 days in a row, you will qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks.

You may in fact be entitled to more if the agency has a sick pay or ‘occupational’ scheme, but check your contract to see if that applies.

Remember that even if a company has taken you on as self-employed, there may be factors within the way you work that may point to your employment status being otherwise.

If you’re classified as a ‘Worker‘ because of the way you work for your agency, you may still be entitled to SSP.

I work for an online GP locum platform

If when working for an online platform, engaging with practices under the platform’s T&Cs and not your own, make sure you understand your employment status and entitlements, and be prepared to question your employment status if you’re not entirely satisfied with what you’re being told.

Insurance and illness cover

Policies for much longer long-term benefits 

"I really like LocumDeck. Before, I was doing everything myself. It was a nightmare! Keeping a record of who has paid, chasing them – with LocumDeck, all that goes away. All you have to do is just book your sessions and work.

Doing remote sessions through LocumDeck has also been a very nice experience. The practices assign the patients very thoughtfully, considering the limitation of remote consultation, and I have developed a very good working relationships with them."

Dr Vin Ojha, GP, Stoke-on-Trent

Dr Vin Ojha, GP, Stoke-on-Trent

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