Holiday or sick pay | Am I entitled to it?

If you're a Freelance GP, you are self-employed and therefore are responsible for covering your own holiday and sickness pay. And maternity/paternity pay, redundancy (there will be times when you're unemployed), tax, national insurance, travel - pretty much everything.

But that's the choice you make when you're Freelance. That's why you have to make sure that the rates you charge - and the insurance policies you purchase - cover these circumstances. There is a common misunderstanding that GP Principals get holiday pay - they don't. They instead pay a practice manager to spread their 'drawings' over the year.

Of course, as a Freelance GP, you could get holiday/sickness pay if you negotiated it into your terms and conditions. For that matter, you could even demand a case of wine for every week you work, but no practice in their right mind would want to take you on!

But if you're doing a long-term locum e.g. for maternity leave, then it would be entirely reasonable for you to try and negotiate paid leave into your Terms and Conditions (though beware that the 'counter-bid' from the practice would probably be a reduced daily/weekly rate - as the other party, it's entirely up to you what you agree to).

It's all down to what you can negotiate. No harm in trying!

Am I entitled to sick pay?

If you are employed, you really ought to have a contract that somewhere will tell you your sick-pay entitlements. If you are employed and don't have a contract, you must insist on one.

If you are self-employed, you are responsible for ensuring that your own needs will be met if you fall sick.

Take out one or more Insurance Policies

  • Income Protection Plan
    • This is an insurance plan that, after a specified time (often between 3 to 6 months), will start paying you a salary until you're better again. Speak to an Independent Financial Advisor about the policy that would best suit your needs.
  • Critical Illness Cover
    • This type of plan will usually pay out a one-off lump sum on confirmation that you are suffering from a specified critical illness
  • Life Insurance
    • Your relatives will receive a one-off lump sum from your insurer on receipt of your death certificate.
  • Keep enough money in an account to take care of your needs until one or more of your insurance policies takes effect.

This information is a guide only. We recommend that you contact an Independent Financial Advisor for advice regarding your specific needs.

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