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Until now, in the private sector, it has been for the contractor to decide their employment status and hence their tax arrangements.  From April 2021, unless the main client (pharmacy business) qualifies for the “small company exemption” they will be required to determine the contractor’s IR35 status. If they decide the contractor should be taxed as an employee, the client will be required to deduct tax and NIC at source alongside the PAYE deductions they make for their actual employees.

 In this update “contractor” is used as it is in the wider business world, to mean a “locum” who has been engaged to provide pharmacist services by a “client” (such as an independent pharmacy or multiple)as opposed to  the Pharmacy Contractor for NHS Services.

This could be a problem. The best way to check is to use the link below. It assumes that there is an agreement/contract in place for each piece of locum work. The key areas are substitution and incurring costs before they are reimbursed. If the pharmacy would accept a substitute locum this is a massive step towards IR35 not being applied.

When it asks the question as to whether you are an officer of the company it is referring to the pharmacy company, not your company.


It is possible to get a tax specialist to draw up a contract that would be sufficient to avoid any issues but it would all depend whether the pharmacy would accept the terms that had to be included. As it will be the pharmacies that have to decide whether IR35 applies or not it may be that they prepare suitable contracts. Alternatively, they might decide not to bother at all and simply deduct tax and NIC from any future payments. This would leave the locum's income massively reduced.

We believe that if you are booked as a locum via Nightingale Pharmacy Services you should be protected, as each booking is an individual contract and the terms and conditions of bookings state that you can substitute a suitably qualified person to replace you if necessary.

Nightingale Pharmacy Services cannot offer tax advice but can direct you to expert advice if you require it. Please use Contact Us to get in  touch.


 Please contact us via SMS, e-mail or fax. If you wish to book a locum or register please be aware that we do not work by telephone, please use the details below to request your needs.  Thank You.   



Some contact with us have changed Text Number 07781 480510,  Fax 01482863172 and Email Address  admin@nightingalepharmacyservices.com

In line with the new GDPR requirements, we are updating our privacy policy and procedures effective 25th May 2018. We will contact people in due course as we move toward full compliance with the changes. Further updates will be posted here. Read our Data Protection Policy which has been published on our website since 2011. This will be revised and updated in line with GDPR on an ongoing basis.

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