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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: doctors - locums

Doctors also act as locums for other doctors. The word ’locum’ comes from ’locum tenens’ which means ’taking the place of’`. Such locum posts can be either be in general practice or within the NHS.

Where a locum stands in the place of another doctor, it should not be assumed that the locum would have the same status. Their terms of engagement may be very different.

Some doctors who describe themselves as locums may in fact be engaged to assist a doctor in general practice rather than to take the doctor’s place. The earnings of such assistants are usually chargeable as employment income and subject to Class 1 NICs.

It is essential to ascertain the contractual terms of any engagement and to review status in the normal way (see ESM0500 onwards)

For guidance on doctors working through Agencies see ESM4061