Almost 60% of locum GPs have been paid late for their work in the past year, a Pulse survey has revealed.
One in four (26%) GPs said they were paid late every month, according to the survey of almost 300 locums.
Meanwhile, 22% said they failed to receive timely payment every few months, 5% reported receiving wages late once a year, and 6% were paid late on a weekly basis.
In addition, 13% said they received payment late less than yearly – but 23% said they were never paid late. Just over 5% said they ‘don’t know’.
Among the locums that received late payment, 6% reported having threatened legal action in an attempt to get their money.
Delayed payments were reported by just under half of all respondents as usually being the fault of the hiring practice.
Almost a third said they ‘don’t know’ who is usually the source of the delays, while 14% said ‘others’ were to blame, and 5% reported agencies as being the root of payment problems.
Dr Zoe Norris, BMA GP sessional subcommittee chair, said it was ‘unacceptable’ that so many locums are not paid on time and warned it could worsen the ongoing recruitment crisis.
‘It’s unacceptable that more than half of locums surveyed here report being paid late in the last year, and shocking that a quarter said that this was happening every month.
‘It is imperative that organisations value all staff and pay them on time for the work they have done as per the terms of their contract, otherwise the existing recruitment and retention crisis will only get worse.’
‘These findings expose the risks that locum GPs can face. It is vital that locums ensure they have up to date terms and conditions when working for any provider; the BMA is developing a set of model T&Cs which should help avoid problems like these,’ she added.
Last year, Pulse reported GPs had been forced to use debt collectors to try and retrieve wages they were owed after a national locum agency had failed to pay them on time.
The agency, Primary Care People, said ‘less than 70’ locums were affected, blaming the problems on changes to tax legislation.
Source: The Pulse survey was launched on 25 September 2018, collating responses using the SurveyMonkey tool. The 29 questions asked covered a wide range of GP locum topics, to avoid selection bias on one issue. The survey was advertised to our readers via our website and email newsletter, with a prize draw for £200 of John Lewis tokens as an incentive to complete the survey. Around 283 locum GPs responded to this survey.