What’s the definition of ‘long-term’ locum within the NHS pension scheme?

There are three active formal definitions of a locum GP, depending on your aspect. They are not exclusive i.e. being one does not exclude another.

  1. Employment law
  2. Tax status with HMRC
  3. NHS pension scheme

This advice deals exclusively with the NHS pension scheme definition.

From advice direct to NASGP from NHSBA:

Locums cannot be classed as Locums [in respect the the NHS pension scheme] if they work at a practice for more than 6 months, however even if they are at a practice for more than 6 months they can remain as self employed contractors ie they do not have to go on the payroll and the practice do not have to offer them a contract of service. They would still invoice the practice for sessions/shifts done and then the GP SOLO form would be completed and sent instead of the Locum forms.

If a Locum works at a practice for more than 6 months then they should no longer complete locum forms A & B but should then complete SOLO forms for any period beyond the 6 months. They will then be classed as a Type 2 practitioner and this is better for them in pension terms because they will be covered for death in service 24/7 whereas Locums are only covered whilst working.

Ensuring a locum GP is a self-employed contractor, not an employee

See also

If you locum at a GP practice for more than 6 months then you can no longer be classed as a locum (for NHS superannuation purposes) in that practice, and would have to become a Type 2 GP.

According to the NHSBA Locum Factsheet (September 2016):

After six months of working in the same practice:

"You can still work under a contract for services arrangement; your surgery is not legally obliged to employ you under a contract of service."

And according to the NHSBA Form GP SOLO (April 2016):

"[Form GP SOLO applies] to NHSPS Employing Authorities including OOH Providers and CCGs who engage the services of GPs on a self-employed/fee-based/contract for services arrangement."

You can see if the practice you're working in is an NHSPS Employing Authority.

You will then be able to pension 100% of the fee paid as opposed to 90%.

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