Working as a locum GP through Key Medical Services can be a very rewarding move at any stage of your career and comes with a number of benefits, including greater flexibility over your working schedule, a wider variety of assignments to choose from and more opportunity to gain diverse work experience.


As locums operate as contractors, one of the most attractive benefits are the higher remunerations and rates of pay than permanent positions. If you are a partner or employed GP looking to supplement your income, or a retired GP looking for occasional work, or generally seeking a better work-life balance, locum shifts can be invaluable.


Although there are many good reasons to start a career as a locum GP, the work does not come without its challenges. High locum pay is counterbalanced with having to complete your own tax returns, manage your invoices and make pension contributions yourself. Unlike full-time work these deductions aren’t automatically taken from your monthly salary and the admin that comes with locum work can be time-consuming.


It is important to bear these financial responsibilities in mind but it should not put you off becoming a locum GP, as many that have taken the leap find that the pros outweigh the cons.

Below we’ve compiled a list of five things you need to know about your finances and with these considerations in mind, you should be able to accelerate your locum career!

5 things you should know about finances

1. You can control your pay

Unlike full-time doctors with a regular payslip, locum GPs are paid based on an agreed hourly, daily or weekly rate. With Key Medical Services you’ll be paid once your assignment has been completed and upon receipt of a signed timesheet, rather than at the end of the month. You also have the flexibility to choose to work more or less, so your earnings are completely in your control. If you want to ramp up your earnings one month, all you have to do is complete more assignments!

2. You will also need to research the taxation of locum doctors

All locum GPs must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) as a practitioner or GP. Then, you will need to register as an independent limited company or set yourself up as self employed. In order to find out which way would suit you more or offer more tax efficiency, speak to an accountant who will be able to advise you.

3. Tracking expenses

As a locum GP there are a lot more expenses you incur which can be claimed back against your earnings, which will reduce the tax you pay. As your employment status is that of a contractor, you can claim expenses such as travel/ mileage, insurance, breakdown cover, courses, phone and internet bills and medical equipment.

Make sure you keep a record of any personal expenses you incur.

Working with Key Medical Services can ensure you’re paid faster

When you partner with Key Medical Services, we ensure you receive speedy payment after completing an assignment using our online digital timesheets portal. Simply fill out your timesheet with the relevant details such as your name, site name, date, start and finish times and the total amount of units worked. Once submitted, you have authenticated your right to be paid and we make sure it is received promptly.

Not only do we ensure you are suitably rewarded for your time, we also offer full dairy management as well as admin support.

If you are considering becoming a locum and are looking for advice on how to source assignments, our team of specialist consultants are happy to guide you in this time. They can help you get your compliance levels up to 100% and help source the best opportunities that suit your career goals.

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