Last updated on:
March 17, 2024

A locum serves as a temporary professional, stepping in to cover absences or augment staff during peak times, predominantly within the healthcare sector. This role is vital for ensuring continuity in services when regular staff are on leave or during times of increased demand. Although locums are widely recognised in the medical field, this flexible staffing solution extends to various professions.

The Employment Status of Locums

While many locums operate on a freelance basis, positioning them as self-employed individuals in the eyes of tax authorities, it's important to note the diversity in their working arrangements. Freelance locums are responsible for their tax obligations and must navigate the complexities of Self Assessment tax returns for their freelance income.

Conversely, some locums are employed through agencies that manage contractual placements, handling tax deductions on their behalf, thus exempting them from the need to submit personal tax returns for these earnings.

Professions Benefiting from Locum Services

Although the concept of locum work is closely associated with the healthcare industry, it spans across multiple fields. Here are a few examples of roles frequently filled by locum professionals:

  • Medical doctors and general practitioners
  • Nursing staff
  • Dental practitioners
  • Various therapy specialists
  • Clerical and administrative roles in religious organisations

Expense Deductions for Locum Workers

One of the advantages of working as a freelance locum is the ability to claim tax deductions on legitimate business-related expenses. These can range from professional indemnity fees to travel costs, parking, and necessary equipment or supplies. To ensure compliance and accuracy in claims, maintaining detailed records and receipts is crucial for presenting to HMRC upon request.

Navigating Recent Tax Changes

For locums navigating their work landscape, staying informed about recent tax legislations, such as IR35, is crucial. These changes can have significant implications on their tax status and liabilities. Preparation and understanding of these rules can help locum workers effectively manage their financial and tax responsibilities.

In essence, whether operating as independent freelancers or through staffing agencies, locums contribute significantly to the flexibility and resilience of professional services, especially in healthcare. Their ability to adapt to various working environments and requirements underscores the value they bring to temporary roles across sectors.

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