📝 Mastering Locum Relief Contracts – Your Essential Guide
Navigating the world of Locum Relief work in the veterinary field, whether you’re a Veterinarian, Nurse, or Technician, often involves balancing flexibility with professional security. While some choose to rely on verbal agreements, the importance of a well-crafted Contract cannot be overstated for those seeking regular assignments. In many cases, your insurer will insist on it. This guide is dedicated to helping you, as a Locum Relief professional, understand and craft a Contract that is as indispensable as your medical tools and a pocketful of treats. A Contract serves not just as a legal formality but as a means to clarify expectations, prevent misunderstandings, and establish a professional relationship that benefits everyone involved. Whether you are stepping into the world of Locum Relief for the first time or you are an experienced practitioner, our comprehensive checklist provides the foundation for creating a Contract that considers your unique circumstances and the ever-changing veterinary landscape…
As there are so many local variations in guidelines, rules, and regulations around the world as to what does or does not define a Contractor relationship, it is challenging to provide a sample Locum Relief Veterinary Contract for Veterinarians, Veterinary Nurses, and Veterinary Technicians.
So, instead, here is a checklist of all the items you should consider including – you could use this as a guide to assemble your own Contract or provide this to your lawyer, accountant, or other professional to use as a base for them to draft a Contract tailored to your location and your specific needs. You could add/edit/delete elements as appropriate.
As a broad guide, having a written agreement that states important attributes of the engagement is considered the basis for determining whether the relationship is considered to be one of an independent Locum Relief Contractor dealing at arm’s length with a client or an employee of a Practice. In particular, it should spell out the non-exclusive nature of the relationship. *
- Qualified to practice as a Veterinarian/Veterinary Nurse/Veterinary Technician
- Name of Education Institution
- Education level/degree achieved
- Year of graduation
- Statement of proficiencies and skill levels
- Certified to practice in these locations/regions/countries, including license numbers etc
- Other certifications e.g., drug authority accreditation, X-ray accreditation, and exposure monitoring
- Commitment to maintaining licenses and accreditations throughout the Contract
- A statement confirming Independent Contractor or Practice Employee
- Free to practice elsewhere without restriction
- Free to practice veterinary skills as required in a reasonable and ethical manner, respecting practice guidelines and protocols provided
Veterinary Professional Business Responsibilities
- Liability or License Defence Insurance
- Professional indemnity insurance
- Travel expenses
- Other business expenses eg meals, uniforms, professional fees
- Unemployment insurance
- Taxes – local, state, region, or country level
- Appearance – smart casual, uniform, scrubs, etc
Veterinary Practice Business Responsibilities
- Safe working environment
- Equipment and resources sufficient to support quality veterinary services expected of the Veterinary Professional
- Permission to utilize practice team members, equipment, drugs, and other resources
- Non-financial benefits will/will not be provided eg workers compensation, medical insurance, disability insurance
- Submit required documentation to relevant authorities eg taxes, Contractor status, in the USA, a “1099-MISC” form
- Workers’ compensation coverage as a temporary team member – yes or no
- Designated team member responsible for Contractor relationships and supervision
Period of Contract
- Start of the Contract period
- End of the Contract period
- Shift start and finish times
- Conditions for early start/late finish outside of the agreed start and finish times
Fees and Payment
- Define rates and typical hours for each type of shift eg typical day shift, evening, overnight, weekend
- Define rates for skill attributes expected eg GP, Emergency, Referral, Specialist, Surgery
- Special conditions eg breaks, early start, late finish, team meetings, and related fees
- Invoices issued – in advance, at end of the day, end of the week, end of Contract
- Payment will be made when eg daily, weekly, end of Contract, on receipt of invoice, 7,14 or 28 days from invoice
- Payment method will be by cash, cheque, bank transfer
- Payment for unanticipated items
- Practice is/is not liable for all expenses and legal fees incurred in the collection of payment for services
- Late payment surcharges and interest
Contract Termination Prior To Commencement
- May be canceled outside XX days prior to commencement will not incur a cancellation fee
- Cancellations within XX days will incur a fee of YY% of the fee – there may be multiple cancellation periods eg within 28, 14, 7 days
Contract Termination Once Contract Has Commenced
- Early by mutual consent
- Early by either party’s reasonable demonstration of dissatisfaction with Veterinary Professional skills or Practice compliance
- Early in the Veterinary Professional is unable to reasonably fulfill the Contract deliverables due to disability, injury, or other events
- Early in the Practice fails to fulfill Contract deliverables
- Early if malpractice or unethical conduct by either party
- Early by Contractor due to failure to remit payments as agreed herein
- Cancellations, once Contract has commenced, will incur a fee of YY% of the fee
Patient Records and Privacy
- Records remain the property of the Practice
- Documents may not be removed or copied without prior consent
- Privacy of all Parties – Veterinary Professional, Practice team members, Clients, Patients
Settlement Of Disagreement
- Good faith attempt by both Parties to resolve
- Alternative recourse to mediation prior to resorting to legal rectification
- Jurisdiction if no resolution
- Communication method agreed – by email, test, letter
- Details of Veterinary Professional – name, address, email, phone, etc
- Details of Practice – name, address, email, phone, etc
- The place where services are expected to be performed if different to Practice details
- To be signed and dated by Veterinary Professional and Practice representative
- A Contract without both Parties’ signatures and dated will be deemed to not be valid
- Services – a statement or list of services to be provided/not provided
- Fee Schedule – it may be more practical to have a list of all fees as an Addendum rather than be embedded in the actual Contract
Drafting a Locum Relief Veterinary Professional Contract based on this sample checklist and the examples provided may take a little time, and if you consult a Lawyer or Accountant, some initial upfront expense. However, a simple, plain English document tailored to your specific needs and circumstances sets the scene for a positive, mutually beneficial relationship and forms a solid foundation for occasional Locum Relief work or for a career as a full-time Locum Relief Veterinarian, Veterinary Nurse, or Veterinary Technician.
* The information provided in this document is a sample of commonly available information provided as a general guide and should not be relied upon solely as the basis for creating a Locum Relief Contract or Agreement. You should consult a professional with legal or accounting qualifications when seeking to prepare a Locum Relief Contract or Agreement.
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