A judge has ruled that a locum GP who was working for an out-of-hours provider should have been treated as a worker who was eligible for sick pay and holidays following an appeal from the provider.

Under the current system of employment law, individuals are either employed, self-employed, or have ‘worker’ legal status. This determines whether they have access to employment rights such as sick leave, paid annual leave, protection from discrimination and national minimum wage.

In this case, Dr Narayan, regularly worked the same shifts, had no obligation to accept work and could take holiday when she wished to, while Community Based Care Health was not obliged to provide any work.

Community Based Care Health argued that Dr Narayan was self-employed and therefore not entitled to receive paid holiday. However, the judge reviewed 13 different factors – including equipment, indemnity, who supplied medication and the ability to work for other organisations – and concluded that she should have been classed as a ‘worker’.

It should be noted that there is a difference between employment tribunals and tax law. Worker status is not recognised in tax law and the doctor concerned in this case would have remained self-employed, with no consequent IR35 liability.

The Government has promised to introduce new tools to help individuals understand how to determine their status in light of upcoming changes to the off-payroll working rules by April 2020.

Practices need to be aware in light of this decision of the potential for locums that have a long-standing relationship with the Practice, to claim holiday pay over a number of years. It is therefore essential to have documentation in place in such instances that correctly set out each respective sides’ responsibilities.

If you have any queries please contact your usual Campbell Dallas advisor.

Neil Morrison
01738 441 888

The information in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice. This is based on our understanding in October 2019. Laws and tax rules may change in the future.