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From 1st April 2013, GP practices in England and Wales became responsible for paying the employer’s contribution to a locum's pension. Locums have to collect the employer’s contributions (14% of 90%) from the practices and then forward the money on, along with their own (employees) contribution to the NHS Commissioning board. This does not yet apply in Scotland or Northern Ireland. The funding has been moved and in particular, money associated with locum pension payments is being distributed to all GMS practices through Global Sum Equivalent funding. These arrangements take no account of the different levels of reliance that practices have on locums. And depends purely on list size. But, what about practices with above-average locum use who will not be covered by the small increase in practice funding? And what about single-handed and smaller practices who are more dependent on locum cover for holidays and sickness than larger practices? Many practices don't even understand that locums have a 10 week turn around period to make these pension payments, this is possible only when paid in time with completed and returned pension form A's Delayed practice payments translating directly into delayed locum payments makes for many an uncomfortable conversation & breakdown in relationships between locums & practices. Practices may lose out on attracting locums being labelled a delayed payment practice and its this 10 week time frame that is at times to blame. It is this pensions contributions move from area teams to practices that is at times to blame It is absurd that locums are being put at such a disadvantage & simultaneously equally understandable from a practices point of view who are financially struggling, where monies are needing to be somehow identified to make payments in time. Monies out of ones own pocket in many cases! This matter is only likely to get worse as contributions go up, up and up.
It is time that that the change in locum superannuation employers contributions monies, from area teams to practices, is reversed. It has been bad for both practices and a cohort of GPs.
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