Working As A Locum Vet – What’s Changing?

IR35 is the new talk of the town in the veterinary industry. The new tax laws are coming into force soon – make sure you know how they affect you as a locum working in the veterinary industry.

In our previous blog we looked at what the IR35 tax changes are, and who these changes apply to (find out more here). In this blog, we hear from Neil Bleakly, our specialist in veterinary locum accountancy, on how these tax changes will actually work in practice.

Neil explains:

“The key thing to keep in mind is that the underlying rules, regarding IR35 and what is inside or outside IR35, are not changing – it is only the responsibility for, and therefore the person who will pick up the tab if applied incorrectly, is changing from the locum worker to the veterinary practice for medium and large practices (small companies are not impacted).

 The legislation will require the practice to assess each contract and determine whether it is within or outside of IR35 and deduct taxes accordingly. Rather than using resources to perform these assessments and have the potential for getting it wrong (and thus having to pay the additional taxes due if subsequently found to be incorrectly outside IR35) some practices appear to be taking a less risky approach by not engaging with limited companies set up by locum workers – at least in the short term- and instead insisting on locum vets working through umbrella companies, or taking on fixed-term contracts with the practice and thus becoming an employee. 

Although this has created a huge upheaval within the veterinary industry due to the uncertainty of how it will actually work in practice, this change did occur within the public sector a number of years ago – for example, locum doctors moved from working through limited companies to umbrella companies or fixed term contracts. It should also be noted that not all practices are taking this stance and smaller practices are not impacted by the change in legislation, so there may still be opportunities to work through a limited company in a tax efficient manner where IR35 does not apply going forward.”



Hopefully this clarifies any concerns you might have. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions you might have – contact us anytime on [email protected] and one of our specialist advisors can give you further advice.


If you are currently looking for locum opportunities check out our dedicated webpage – Locum Vet Jobs


If you haven’t locumed before – don’t worry! We can help you step by step, with everything from finding a job to sorting your financial affairs. Contact our dedicated advisors today to find out more. 


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