Recovering Unpaid Locum fees in 2024 ✔️
Locums provide backbone to the UK’s healthcare system so unpaid locum fees can be very damaging. Locums are not just used by healthcare facilities, locums are also very common in dental practices as well as Vets across the country
There are considerable benefits to somebody working as a locum. It offers flexibility, increased pay and there is a regular stream of work. Locum positions are self employed usually. So self employed and not being paid is not an option.
There are many instances why a locum’s services can be called upon by healthcare facilities and dental practices. They can help to cover maternity, staff illness or help cope with increased demand. Often there may be a contract of terms in place that will detail pay, working conditions etc
There has been a rise in instances where the locum has not been paid. Very often it can simply be an oversight on behalf of the healthcare facility but there are also many instances where non-payment of locum invoices is deliberate. The dental industry is an area where this seems to be increasing with locum dentists not getting paid for their services on time. Locum invoices are usually paid on a prof forma basis.
In this article, we will explore some of the options for recovering unpaid locum fees in the UK.
What are unpaid locum fees?
A locum fee is a one-off payment made by a hospital or other organisation to cover the cost of hiring a doctor or other medical professional to fill in for another staff member who is absent. This is largely used by NHS hospitals and private medical facilities. The payments are usually made directly to the doctor, and the amount can vary depending on factors such as the length of time needed, the location, and the specialist skills required.
Why do locums sometimes not get paid?
There can be a number of reasons why a locum might not get paid for their work. Sometimes, an organisation may go into financial difficulties and be unable to pay all its debts. In other cases, there may be an administrative error, or the person who arranged the locum booking may have left the organisation without arranging for payment. Whatever the reason, not being paid for work that you’ve done can be extremely frustrating and stressful.
Unfortunately however, unpaid locum fees can be a deliberate act. Taking action to recover what is owed is often the only option for many locums. We have seen a rise in this especially in the dental and medical sectors.
Any form of contractor who has not been paid for their services will likely suffer unforeseen duress. This is entirely unfair as they have provided their services in good faith.
Different types of locums in the UK
The UK has a wide variety of locums in use in a wide range of sectors mainly focusing on healthcare, dentistry and the veterinary industry. There are also locum recruitment agencies who source locums on demand from their clients. There are also many Locum Agencies who deal with the ready made supply of locums on a daily basis.
Typical types of locums
- Locum GP
- Locum Nurse (dental and veterinary)
- Locum Dentist
- Locum Doctor
- Locum Vet (Veterinary surgeon)
- Locum consultant
- Locum Pharmacist
What are the options for recovering unpaid Locum fees?
If you are a locum who has been left out of pocket because of the non-payment of locum fees, there are a few different options available to you. Unpaid Locum invoices are damaging to the Locum industry. Simply writing off unpaid locum fees is never an option whatever the amount. Here are 3 options you should consider.
Using the Small Claims Court
This can be a protracted route to recover. Depending on the amount of unpaid locum fees owing to you, one option is to take your case to the Small Claims Court. This is a special court that deals with disputes involving relatively small amounts of money, and you can often make a claim without using a lawyer. To start a case in Small Claims Court, you’ll need to fill in some forms and submit them to your local court office.
There is usually a fee for doing this with further fees payable. Once your case has been submitted, the court will send copies of your claim to both you and the defendant (the person or organisation you’re claiming from) and set a date for a hearing.
At the hearing, both sides will have an opportunity to present their case, and the judge will make a decision about who should win. If you’re successful in your claim, the court will order the defendant to pay you the money that they owe.
The downside with this is that it can be very time consuming. You will also need to adhere to civil procedure rules or your claim could be thrown out! It also can take small claims courts many months to get to the hearing stage. It’s important to note that even if you win your case in court, there is no guarantee that you will actually receive the money owing to you as the defendant may not have enough money to pay up. This is not the fastest option.
Also worth noting that you may also need help enforcing the CCJ if it is awarded.
Another option is mediation, which is where both sides agree to meet with each other and try to reach an agreement with help from a mediator. Civil Mediation can be an informal process, and doesn’t require either party to go through lawyers or appear in court. It can also be less costly than taking legal action.
However, it’s important to remember that mediation only works if both sides agree to it and are prepared to compromise; if one side isn’t willing to negotiate then it’s unlikely that mediation will be successful. This can also be a timely exercise depending on the backlog of cases.
Working with a professional debt collection specialists
If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to recover your unpaid locum fees yourself, a popular option is to use a debt collection agency. A debt collection agency is a company that specialises in recovering unpaid locum invoices owed by individuals or businesses. They will manage the case from start to finish usually and save you time and stress.
There has been many examples of Locums turning to Debt Collectors for help. GP’s, Doctors, Dentists and Locum Agencies have all used Debt Collection services to recoup unpaid locum fees over the past few years. We even have a specialist NHS adviser on hand who is well versed on dealing with unpaid locum fees.
Working with a professional solution is also much more cost effective than going down the costly route of litigation. Federal Management has helped many locums recover what they are owed in a timely manner. Our Award winning solution is FCA compliant, low fixed fee and provides a comprehensive 360 degree service.
Attempting to recover unpaid locum fees for invoices not paid can be as easy or difficult as you need it to be. If you are owed a much larger amount, you may also arrive at the question of Debt Collection Solicitors or Debt Collection Agency?
Before choosing any of these options, it’s important to consider whether it’s worth pursuing the debt. If there is a significant dispute on the invoices, this throws up complexities. Also, worth considering if you are owed money by an individual or Limited Company that is saddled with massive debts. We offer a free consultation in respect of this and measure your chances of success.
If you are a locum or a Locum Agency that has a problem with owed unpaid locum fees, contact us today. We can provide helpful and friendly advice on your options.
Commonly asked questions about Unpaid Locum fees
What are unpaid locum fees?
Unpaid locum fees refer to unpaid invoices that have not been paid by an employer or to a Locum Agency for services or personnel provided. This is typically the case when the debtor has failed to settle their invoice on time or dispute the invoice due to errors, such as incorrect pricing or any discrepancies.
How can I recover unpaid locum fees?
In order to recover unpaid locum fees, the first step is to contact the debtor in question and ask them to pay the outstanding debt. If this fails, you can speak to a Locum Fee specialist such as Federal Management. They will identify the issues and provide a solution to recover the locum fees owing.
How much will it cost to recover unpaid locum fees?
The cost to recover unpaid locum fees depends on the size of the debt and how much effort is required to recover it. Federal Management will provide a full breakdown of all costs associated with recovering an outstanding debt. Our service is results driven and our objective is to keep costs to a minimum for our clients. Commission rates usually from as little as around 6%
Do Federal Management have a lot of experience in dealing with unpaid locum fees?
Yes, Federal Management have a team of experienced professionals who are experts in debt recovery. Our team have extensive experience in dealing with unpaid locum fees for a wide range of healthcare support agencies and organisations.
We have successfully recovered millions from healthcare organisations and NHS trusts that were not paying unpaid locum fees on time.