The Simply Solution is a locum platform and payment vehicle brought to you by the team at Simply Locums. We have spent the last four years championing the veterinary locum and the vital contribution that you all make to the veterinary ecosystem. With impending changes regarding the use of personal service companies (PSC’s) or Limited companies as they are more commonly known, there will be a significant reduction in the amount of work that veterinary locums can be paid for in this manner. The likelihood is that most companies will now only be offering pay via company payroll or approved umbrella companies.

However, given our breadth of knowledge and having discussed with hundreds of veterinary locums how the changes associated with IR35 will affect you, we wanted to develop a solution to offer you all of the flexibility, maximise your take home pay and give you all of the benefits of employment.

So, we created The Simply Solution.

What is The Simply Solution?

The Simply Solution is essentially a combination of umbrella company and a zero hours contract. You will be employed by Simply Locums. As with most types of employment, you are also free to book your own work too. You may book work directly via Simply Locums or through your own endeavors. We cannot guarantee that work booked via other agencies will be accepted as this is down to the other agencies discrepancy. You can choose to be paid for any clinical work through Simply Locums OR any other vehicle of your choosing. However, Simply Locums can only hold IR35 responsibility for work paid for thorough us. You can do as much or as little work as you like, although we would recommend that if you do less than 3 days a month on average this may not be a viable option for you (you don't have to do 3 days every month, you can average it out over 12 months).

Why use the Simply Solution?

Many locums work for multiple companies-from independent practices to all the various corporates. When the IR35 changes come into effect, many will offer zero hours contracts via company payroll or to be paid through umbrella options as their main source of income. However, the use of traditional umbrella companies is plagued with many deductions from your fee, whilst having multiple zero hours contracts can be an administrative nightmare for things like your tax code, P60, pension and holiday pay. Meaning you would need to chase all of your individual clients for things like holiday pay and have several pension pots all over the place, as well as very complex tax return.

By joining SImply Locums you have the opportunity to have one central pot of all of the above, giving you greater control over your own circumstances, and we will take complete administrative care of everything to do with being paid and your tax compliance. So you get a clean paycheck into your account monthly and can focus on being the awesome vets and nurses that you are.

Who can use the Simply Solution?

Our platform is open to all MRCVS and RVN offering their services in the UK. In order to work with us we will require two references of good standing and also evidence of your own personal continuing professional development records and membership of the royal college of veterinary surgeons numbers. We expect people who work with us to be able to offer a good clinical and personal service to the clients (practices) and with that in mind, appropriate experience is a great benefit. We do not judge experience in years, but in your clinical confidence and competence. Equally, if there are areas where you feel strong or weak, we will work with you to find suitable work to compliment those skills. For example, somebody who does not like
operating but is a medical or consult whizz, we will endeavour to help you find non surgical roles.

All Simply Locums employees have to provide their own professional indemnity insurance and CPD requirements. Where possible we will equip you with CPD support to help you get your required hours to remain compliant with the RCVS requirement.

What happens when I sign up?

You will be sent a key information document which is to all intents and purposes a letter offering you employment via Simply Locums. You will need to sign a contract of employment prior to being able to complete any work and be paid for it through Simply Locums.

What is the difference between this and a traditional umbrella?

Whilst working with a traditional umbrella, employees pay the contributions of both employee as well as employer. They also pay an apprenticeship levy on top of the fees that they pay for the actual umbrella company itself. Not only do all the deductions get taken from your fee, but the umbrella company also charges you a fee for their services, at an average of £25/week from those who we spoke with.

We believe this is unfair, and The Simply Solution means that Simply Locums employees will only have the employee deductions taken from their fees, and we will not charge you a fee to use us! Basically, you pay the same taxes as you would if employed rather than having to contribute the employer taxes too!

The knock on effect of this is that you maximise take home pay, and not be charged for the privilege..

Will this cost practices I work at more than currently?

The short answer is, Yes. The downside of all of the changes is that the end client (practices) will pay more irrespective of the solution. In order to maintain the same or similar levels of take home pay through umbrella companies, locum rates will need to raise approximately 30% on average. So, if you are charging £300 per day now, then expect to have to raise your rate to £390 to maintain a similar take home and be tax compliant. Please note that by charging a higher rate through an umbrella, your percentage deductions may increase, thus reducing take home pay.

If you take on a zero hours contract, the employer fees (taxes, holiday pay and pension) will be passed on to the practice who employ you for each day you work for them. Using the same example, a locum charging £300 per day will cost that practice circa £392 per day.

How much do you have to work?

To make the Simply Solution both viable and legal, you need to complete a minimum of 336 hours over a 12 month period. This works out to roughly three days a month in practice. You can spread this out however you like. Whether front loading, back loading or just a gentle spread. For most locums, this is a very small amount of work, but for those who just do the odd day
here and there then maybe this isn’t the right solution for you. If you decide that you want to work outside of the 48 hour week working time directive, then that is totally up to you. We don’t want people to over do it, so we will assume that you DO NOT want to work more than 48 hours a week unless you instruct us otherwise. You can review this when signing your contract on page 11.

Will there be lots of paperwork?

As a business, we have a green ethos. What does this mean in reality? We don't want a huge paper trail of things to file away, so all ‘paperwork’ will be digital and can be signed electronically.

How do I book work?

There are several options for how you book your work. You can either go direct to practices, or book via the Simply Locums platform. You and the practice have free reign to orchestrate the days and times that you work for them and we will not dictate to you in any way what you MUST do. What we do stipulate, however, is that they are the client and therefore, they set the rules which we must all play by.

What happens when I agree to work somewhere?

Wherever and whenever you decide to work somewhere, there needs to be a contract between Simply Locums and the client (practice). So, once you agree to work somewhere, you need to inform us as to the specifics of the assignment. For example, I have agreed to work at Practice X from Monday 1st January- Friday 5th January from 0900-1900 each day at a rate of £300.00 per day. We will need a contact person from the practice. (Please note that if you book the work directly from the Simply Locums site, you do not need to have this as we will already have the appropriate contact details). We will send ALL involved parties a copy of the client terms form, but it is to be signed by the practice PRIOR to any work being completed. We will confirm the assignment (yes it does sound like you are a secret agent-by all means play along) once we have received a signed contract.

How do I get paid?

This is the important part for everyone, so it is important that you understand how it works. When you work at a client (practice) and want to be paid via Simply Locums you will need to complete an employee assignment schedule (EAS) form and have this signed by the practice for each assignment. If you are there for longer than 1 week, then you can either wait until the end of the
assignment or submit a timesheet weekly-that is totally up to yourself. Once the EAS is submitted to Simply Locums, we will process it and you will be paid into your nominated bank account on the third Friday of every month after successful
completion of the assignment. Essentially, we can't pay you until we have been paid for the work you have done!

What if I do more hours than agreed?

We believe that all people should be paid for the work that they do. However, it is vitally important that any work you do outside of the contract hours between Simply Locums and the client (practice) is signed off by the client otherwise we cannot
guarantee you that they will pay for your time. If you find yourself in a position where extra hours are required please always contact us prior to completing them and we can confirm with the practice that they will pay for your
time.

What if a practice doesn’t pay?

Rather than having to chase a practice for pay, we will have all the fees and legals agreed prior to an assignment and we will chase payment to ensure that you are paid in full and on time every month.

What if I have complaint against me?

We have all either been there or heard the story about someone who just didn’t gel with a client (practice) and it turned sour.
This will happen from time to time, but we know that there are always two sides to every story.If you find yourself on the receiving end of a complaint, please do not panic! We are here to support you and to discuss any issues with both parties in order to come to a quick and amiable solution.

What if I want to dispute my payslip?

If you have any concerns about your payslip or feel that something is amiss, you can contact us by email and we can address and look into any concerns.

How does holidays and holiday pay work?
For many years, one of the limitations of locum work has been a lack of holiday pay. For every hour you work at Simply Locums you accrue 0.014 days of holiday pay (0.14 days per 10 hour day). This doesn’t sound much, but for every 10 days worked, using our above basis of the national average of a £300 day, you would accrue 1.4 days of paid holiday or £420.00 in gross pay. Space that over a year, and if you are working 200 days, that is £8,400.00 worth of paid holiday OR gross pay in your account. You will be informed monthly as to how much you have ‘in the bank’ and can use it any time you like. If you decide you don’t want the holiday pay, the answer is YES, you can cash that in in your pay cheque. However, please note that this will be taxable according to your tax code. One thing that is important to consider is bank holidays. You have the choice as with everything to work them, take them as unpaid leave or as paid leave. As with all elements of the Simply Solution. If you choose to take them as leave, you will be paid your daily as with all leave days.

What happens if I am sick?

We all know that from time to time either we are unwell, or our children may be unwell which may prevent us from being able to work. These things can’t be helped. All we ask is that as soon as you decide that you are unable to work you contact us immediately, and by the very latest by 0900 on the following morning. This way we can endeavour to get someone to cover the shift at the practice on your behalf and remove all of the stress and anxiety of leaving a practice in the lurch at the last minute,
which we know none of you want to do.

When it comes to sick pay, we will pay you statutory sick pay in accordance with the contracts that you sign when you sign up to work for Simply Locums. Given the type of job that we do, something that we always recommend is to have an income protection policy in place. This will enable you to have financial peace of mind should you get injured or have a longer term illness. Whilst we can’t advise on policies, we can point you in the direction of people who can!

What can I expect as take home pay?

There is a lot of variance in this department, based on your own personal tax allowances and codes etc. These will be impacted by things like student loan, outstanding debts to HMRC and tax credits etc. However, if we take our vet charging for £300 per day of work, for 144 days over the twelve month period you will accrue a net take home pay of approximately £31,680.00, 20.16 days of holiday worth £6048.00 gross pay, pension contributions and peace of mind! If you have other revenue streams we can help you with your end of year personal tax return too.

What are personal reviews?

One of the hard parts of being a locum is that it can be isolating and easy to be non accountable. Whilst we do not enforce you having compulsory quarterly catch ups, we want to offer all Simply Locums employees the chance to have a quarterly review where we look at anything you want to discuss. Things may include how you are getting on clinically, if you are happy or have any questions about your payslip, how much holiday days or pay you have accrued, if there is any CPD that may be suited, your views on the practices you have worked at and if there any positives or negatives that you would like to discuss. We want Simply Locums to be the best workplace for any vet or nurse, and with that in mind, if you have suggestions for how we can make it better for everyone on the team then we are all ears and happy to do what we can.

What if I take a permanent job?

If you land on your feet at just the right place when you are locuming then you go with our best wishes and we won’t stand in your way! Ultimately, our goal is for people to find a way to make being a vet or nurse work for them. If this is with us, then fantastic, but if something else comes along in future that suits your needs better then we wish you every success!

What if I decide to leave Simply Locums?

As we have mentioned, we want you to be happy, and if that is not with us then you go with our blessing.

What about Expenses?

We are currently unable to cover expenses like travel, insurances and CPD, but can give you assistance in filling in a tax return so that any expenditure can be offset against your taxable earnings in the tax year. As the business grows we may be able to offer other benefits in future.

How does Simply Locums make its money?

As you can imagine, with all of the changes, there is an administrative element that has to be absorbed by all of the practices. We know that teams are stretched and that all of these things take time and effort. Simply Locums charges an admin fee of 10% of your rate to the practice that cover our costs of services, team and also, hopefully, will generate profit that enable us to continue to grow and offer you more from us as an employer. We believe that by combining the payment vehicle and recruitment platform, we can reduce the cost to practices by only having one set of admin fees and one team to run
rather than two separate ones.

We are really excited to work with you moving forwards and hope you are as enthused about being part of the team as we are for you to be on it!

If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0151 541 1586 or email info@simplylocums.co.uk