Ensure staff absence is covered legally

Managing staff absence in January is a frequent challenge for practice managers. Locums are high in demand and short in supply and there’s the added pressure of ensuring that staff costs remain within budget. It can be tempting to hire that quick cash-in-hand locum at an attractive rate, even when supplied through a third party. No tax and no deductions save a lot of money and a lot of administration too.

Hiring staff in this way has its ramifications. Staff who are paying tax, National Insurance, pension contributions, and other deductions begin to wonder why they bother and the animosity and resentment soon creep in. Employee’s salaries are often kept low because their value is being correlated against those who aren’t paying tax. It’s unfair and demoralising. On the other hand, the practice thinks it’s on to a winner. Cheap, uncomplicated labour, what’s not to like? Unless of course, there’s an investigation.

The simplicity of reporting the non-payment of tax through the anonymous government form at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/TEH_IRF means that any practice could become subject to an investigation. If this goes ahead, even if the practice is hiring locums through a third party, it will be asked to show that it has performed due diligence in the following areas:

1) Does the agent have a payroll system?
2) What is the agent’s employer PAYE reference number?
3) Will the tax and NI be collected and how will the locum be paid?
4) If someone has declared themselves self-employed, what’s their UTR number?

If there are unpaid taxes and fines, these may be levied on the dental practice and the information may make its way to the GDC, who are not keen on fraud. Let’s also not forget the cost to the public purse. Money collected from taxes is used to fund the NHS, schools, the fire service, the police and the many other services we depend on.

Emergence of ‘your money’ Apps

Stumbled across a web site called Money Dashboard. Its a very interesting development, a web site that brings all your finances to one easy to reach location. It gets the information directly from bank accounts… yes you have give them those details we are told relentlessly not to give, pass word , usernames and memorable information… feels wrong. But the outcome is, organised.

Definitely worth a look.

Cv and photos

Should cv’s have pictures on them? 

Only ask as it seems more and more do, I always thought it best to let the qualifications and experiences etc do the talking but now, with LinkedIn etc we all do the research anyway into whose applying, (don’t pretend you don’t) so is it harmful or enhancing ? 

Thinking for the day 

As an employee, having your work scrutinised is the best thing that could happen. Embrace it, hell, encourage it.

Your either doing ace, in which case it’s good to know…. You now have a platform on which to stretch yourself further. Try new shit… Or toss it off, do less. Whatever.

Or your not, which is equally good to know.

You don’t like what your doing, change it. Your not achieving what’s needed, ask questions, listen, read and pick a path to improve. It may take many paths to get there.

Understand that we must learn from failure to simply succeed is rare and evidence of ‘lack of challenge’.

Now it’s not acceptable to simply take positives out of every situation, but to appreciate they exist, will keep you happy, balanced and aware that your not all bad.

Tips for Interviews

1. Decide if you want the job.

2. Research the company, the role and any key personnel/policies/products.

3. Run through common interview questions, practicing your answers and developing how you want them to be received.

4. Dress smart and comfortable.

5. Arrive at the location 45 mins early but don’t go in till 10 mins before the interview.

6. Firm introductions. Practice your hand shake, be clear with your name and listen to instructions.

7. This is a sales pitch. First rule of sales is listen to what the customer wants, ask a few open ended questions, find out what they want.

8. During the interview be focused on getting the job. If the job has aspects you aren’t comfortable with, do ask for clarification on these areas, but don’t decide that the job isn’t for you, mid interview. That can be done after it’s been offered to you and you have had space to think about the whole picture.

9. Ask questions, you’ll be given the opportunity, perhaps during the interview or at the end, it’s your opportunity to look interested and informed.

10. Good luck.