We are delighted to have Dr Krishan Aggarwal, deputy chair to the sessional GPC subcommittee, as our guest for today’s article. He summarises the key policy changes you need to know about.

Indemnity Reimbursement

In this year’s GMC contract NHS England have committed funding for the expected increase in indemnity costs, for all GPs. 

  • This covers GMS & PMS practices
  • It does not cover out of hours work or prison work

The budget is for the average increase in indemnity costs for all GPs. This is a retrospective payment - therefore it is the price rise from April last year to April 2017.

Calculate your indemnity rate per session at last year’s rate, and then again for the new rate, charge the difference on your invoice. 

 Pension Changes

Employer Contribution Rates

From 1 April 2017, in England & Wales, all employers will pay an additional 0.08% in employer contributions per member to cover the administration costs of the pension scheme. Therefore the employer contribution rate has increased from 14.30% to 14.38%.

Pension Form Address

NHS England have now further updated the PCSE website and the GP locum section

All individuals should now be forwarding their paperwork to:

Primary Care Support England, PO Box 350, Darlington, DL1 9QN


BACS transfers

BACS is now the preferred method of making future pension contributions. The details of how to make payments can be seen here.

Currently the biggest concern I hear from Sessional GPs is there is no mechanism of receipt of pension forms and we at the GPC are trying to work on a solution.


IR35 & Regular Locum Work

April 6th saw the new IR35 legislation changes come into force which affect locum GPs working as limited companies. Any locum GP deemed to be working inside IR35 will have tax and national insurance contributions deducted at source by the practice.

GP practices must use the HMRC online tool to determine if a locum working through a limited company is affected. It is important to note that:

  1. You and the practices you work for must complete the online HMRC tool to determine if you are affected. Keep a record of the results.
  2. Sole traders are not affected but if you work as a sole trader via a third party such as an agency, then IR35 needs to be considered as the agency could be considered an intermediary. Ensure most of your work is booked directly with practices.
  3. You may still undertake regular work at practices as long as the work pattern is in a genuine self employed capacity. For example a locum GP working every week, every Monday and Tuesday at a single practice would be viewed as working in the capacity of an employee therefore their income may be transferred onto the practices payroll. However a GP that works different sessions, different days at a practice or a group of practices on an ad hoc basis would not necessarily fall into IR35. It is important to do the HMRC tool to clarify your status.

 There is a useful BMA and Pulse article that covers IR35 in depth.


Dr Krishan Aggarwal represents the Sessional work force as deputy chair to the sessional GPC subcomittee. He works as a portfolio GP in London. His other roles include tribunal member of the Ministry of Justice, Vice Chair of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea LMC, Executive of London Regional Council of the BMA. You can follow updates from Dr Krishan on twitter @Krishanx is toolkit & organiser to take care of all the admin that comes with being a freelance locum.