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What taxes do I have to pay in the UK?
Locums are taxed at 22% plus 3% National Insurance. You have the option to claim your tax back at the end of the year. South Africa and the UK have a double tax agreement therefore if you pay 22% tax in the UK you only have to pay an additional 18% in South Africa (if you fall in the 40% tax bracket for instance).
Who pays me and when?
You submit a timesheet at the end of your first week with the following information:
The timesheets must be faxed to Global Medics weekly before 12:00 noon on Mondays. The money will then arrive into your bank account on the following Monday. This means that when you arrive in the UK you should have enough funds with you for the first two weeks. If you prefer your money to be paid into an offshore limited company then they receive the funds on the Monday from Global Medics but it will then take another three to four days to transfer the money to you
How can I open an offshore bank account?
We can assist in opening an offshore bank account with Barclays Bank. Please request an application form that we will include in your welcome pack. If applied for on arrival in the UK your account will be open and ready for us to deposit your first week’s salary. You will need to take the following into a UK branch of Barclays:
We would recommend applying for a Barclay Card to run in conjunction with this account. You can then use this in the UK or SA and it can be paid off directly from the account.
How can I open and use an Offshore Limited Company?
Yes a number of doctors choose to use this payment method however it is Doctors on Call’s policy not to endorse or recommend any third party. Your recruitment consultant can give you contact details for companies that some of our doctors currently use and we would recommend that you contact these directly to assess their service and charges. (See Work Permit section).
What are the average hours per week, overtime etc?
The hours worked will vary depending on grade, specialism and hospital. There are standard working weeks with additional “on calls” as follows:
A standard working week for a doctor is 9am to 5pm, Monday – Friday = 40 hours.
In addition to standard 40 hours, doctors usually work on calls. On calls are evenings and weekends. When referring to an evening then it will be from 5pm to 9am, making an evening on call 16 hours. A weekend on call will begin from 9am Saturday to 9am Monday, equalling 48 hours.
A doctor working as a locum for one month on a one in five on call will therefore work a minimum of 56 hours each week, with a possibility of one weekend (worth 48 hours).
The on call ratio can vary from 1:3, 1:4, 1:5, and so on.
There are also shift systems that are more commonly used in A&E (Accident and Emergency). As the department is open 24×7 there are no standard hours of work and a shift system is implemented with hours ranging from 40 – 70+ hours each week.
With some specialisms, hospital work and pay is organised by sessions. This is usually the case for anaesthetics doctors, who are booked by theatre time; they do a morning and an afternoon therefore two sessions each day.
Most locum doctors want to work as many hours as possible as you are paid for every hour you are on call. If you are only working for a couple of weeks this might be practical, but be careful not to overbook yourself. The pace of work in some UK hospitals is quite frantic (some Accident and Emergency Units see over 500 patients per day). Global Medics will always try to find you as many hours as possible in accordance with your instructions, even if that means having to do additional shifts at other hospitals.
Why do rates differ from doctor to doctor and job to job?
Rates are dictated by the laws of supply and demand. For those grades and specialisms where there is a severe shortage hospitals will be willing to negotiate a higher rates to get that position filled. When many doctors apply for the same position, the hospital can literally pick and choose whom they want and what rates to pay.
Rates are also determined according to level of training, skills, competencies and experience. The better the CV, the higher the rates. Please keep in mind that you may be well known in your home country but not in the UK, for this very reason it is important to have a detailed, well prepared CV to put forward to potential hospital clients.
What are the levels of responsibility in each position?
The structure within the NHS is as follows:
House Officers (HO)
Equivalent to Internship
Senior House Officers (SHO)
Minimum of six months experience in field of work
Registrar (REG) / Specialist Registrar (SPR) / Staff Grade / Middle Grade
Minimum of two years in field of work, having begun the process of specialising, usually with part one completed of fellowship exams.
How easy is it to travel around the UK and how much does it cost?
With Doctors on Call you are collected from the airport and either driven to your hospital or driven to the relevant train station. Your travel expenses are paid from port of entry to the hospital, one return journey. Any expenses you incur should be added to your first timesheet and they will be reimbursed.
Public Transport in the UK is excellent. The train network north to south is very good and frequent, but less so east to west. Tickets booked in advance over the telephone can be as much as a third of the price of paying on the day of travel. Where possible, bring a credit card with you to take advantage of such savings if you are planning to do some traveling whilst in the UK.
Travel from the UK to Europe is also relatively cheap if you are planning on coming for longer and know your dates in advance. If possible, it would also be cost efficient to have a search on the internet.
If you need any advice or have any particular problems Doctors on Call are on hand to assist. We will call you on a weekly basis to ensure everything is going smoothly and if you need any travel advice, please just ask.
How can I get a mobile phone in the UK?
Doctors on Call provides you with a mobile phone chip, this is inserted into your phone and has £5 of credit. You can top this up in any mobile phone store and some newsagents and petrol stations. If you would like a UK number to leave with family, friends or colleagues then please just ask for this number in advance and we will be happy to assign you a number.
You must ask your mobile phone operator to have your phone unlocked/unbarred to enable this overseas chip to work. (International Roaming)
Am I provided with accommodation?
All reimbursement/payment of travel and accommodation expenses are negotiated on a case by case basis by Doctors on Call directly with the prospective employer.
Is there married quarter’s accommodation?
While working in the NHS, the hospital generally indemnifies and insures their doctors against malpractice claims. However, in the era of medical malpractice hysteria it is strongly advised that you acquire additional cover from your local insurer. Please note that for South African Doctors working in the UK, your membership of the South African branch of the Medical Protection Society does provide some cover. We strongly advise that you speak to your local insurer before embarking on your UK visit.
Medical Protection Society in Pretoria: 0027 12 481 2000
What is an RMO?
Resident Medical Officers work in the UK private sector hospitals. Generally you are one week on, then one week off. During your week “on” you have to stay on the hospital premises 24 hours a day. Functions generally include drawing of blood, putting up IV lines and rewriting prescriptions. Please note that most of these positions have very little autonomous decision making authority and the work does not contribute to your CV or training opportunities.
What do I do regarding meals, washing, ironing and relaxation?
Within the NHS your meals are subsidised. This means that if you eat in the hospital canteen, daily meals should cost you from £6 to £10. Eating out and ‘take-aways’ are more expensive (depending on the area you are working in).
Most hospitals have a laundry where you can wash and iron your clothes. If these facilities are not available you can usually find a Laundromat very close to the hospital. Most hospitals have a doctor’s room with vending machines, television, etc for your comfort.
Can I locum as a private GP in the UK?
You are not allowed to do GP locums in the Private Sector unless you are on the GP register.
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