Navigating the Locum Landscape: Case Studies Unveiled


Becoming a locum opens up a spectrum of possibilities, and how you structure your locum career is as diverse as the veterinary field itself. In this exploration, we delve into six intriguing case studies, each illustrating a unique approach to the locum life.

Full-Time Vet under an Umbrella – Alex’s Story

Meet Alex, a seasoned veterinarian with a passion for animal care and a preference for a straightforward work arrangement. Choosing to work under an umbrella company provides Alex with a streamlined experience, freeing him from the intricate details of tax and administrative responsibilities.

Financial Simplicity: The umbrella structure simplifies Alex’s financial matters. He receives his income with taxes already deducted, reducing the need for extensive accounting.

Take-Home Pay: Alex’s take-home pay under the umbrella may be slightly less compared to being a sole trader or operating through a limited company. This is due to the umbrella company taking care of tax and National Insurance contributions. Expect 30-35% of an income reduction.

No Invoicing Hassles: One of the perks Alex enjoys is the absence of invoicing hassles. The umbrella company handles all invoicing and payments, allowing Alex to focus solely on delivering veterinary services.

Tax and Administrative Ease: Unlike a sole trader or limited company, Alex doesn’t need to worry about filing tax returns or managing complex administrative tasks. The umbrella company takes care of these responsibilities.

Pension Benefits: While Alex might not have the option to set up his pension scheme, many umbrella companies offer pension plans as part of their package. This ensures that Alex is still contributing to his retirement fund.

Holiday Pay: Alex enjoys the benefit of holiday pay, a valuable perk that comes with working under the umbrella. This adds a layer of financial security and allows him to take well-deserved breaks without worrying about income loss.

Location Flexibility: Alex has the flexibility to work anywhere in the UK. The umbrella structure is widely accepted by practices, offering Alex the freedom to choose locations that align with his preferences or where his expertise is in demand.

In summary, Alex’s decision to work under an umbrella company reflects his desire for financial simplicity and a focus on veterinary care rather than administrative tasks. While there might be a trade-off in terms of take-home pay, the convenience and benefits provided by the umbrella arrangement make it an attractive choice.

Part-Time Mum Crafting Independence – Emma’s Story

Meet Emma, a dedicated mother with a passion for veterinary work. Seeking the perfect blend of career and family life, she has chosen the path of self-employment. Emma’s story is one of crafting independence and tailoring her veterinary career to fit seamlessly into her life as a part-time mum.

Flexibility for Family: Emma’s primary motivation for choosing self-employment is the flexibility it offers. Crafting her work hours around her family’s schedule allows her to be present for important moments while pursuing her career.

Delicate Work-Life Balance: As a part-time mum, Emma values the delicate balance between her professional and personal life. Self-employment enables her to maintain this equilibrium by adjusting her workload according to her family’s needs.

Empowerment Through Independence: Self-employment empowers Emma to take control of her career. She’s not bound by rigid schedules set by others, giving her the freedom to design a work routine that suits her lifestyle.

Income Uncertainties: While the freedom to choose her hours is liberating, Emma faces the challenge of income uncertainties. The nature of self-employment means that income can vary, requiring thoughtful financial planning to manage both personal and professional expenses.

Meticulous Financial Management: Emma has become adept at meticulous financial management. As a self-employed veterinary professional, she navigates invoicing, expenses, and taxes with precision to ensure the financial health of her one-woman business.

Building a Professional Identity: Self-employment allows Emma to build her professional identity. She operates as an independent entity, cultivating a personal brand and reputation in the veterinary community.

Community Engagement: Despite being self-employed, Emma stays connected with the veterinary community. Networking, attending events, and engaging with peers are crucial aspects of her professional life, contributing to her growth and development.

In summary, Emma’s story is one of empowerment through self-employment, where flexibility, delicate work-life balance, and meticulous financial management play crucial roles.

Full-Time Vet with a Limited Company – David’s Journey

Meet David, a seasoned vet who has chosen the path of a limited company to structure his veterinary career. This decision comes with its unique financial intricacies, but it provides David with tax advantages, increased take-home pay, and a greater sense of control over his professional journey.

Tax Advantages: One of the primary reasons David opted for a limited company is the tax advantages it offers. By managing his income through dividends and salary, David can potentially optimize his tax liability, allowing him to retain more of his hard-earned income.

Increased Take-Home Pay: The limited company structure provides David with the opportunity for increased take-home pay. Through effective tax planning and distribution strategies, he can maximize the financial rewards of his veterinary work.

Finding work: Unlike other employment structures, David will have less options for work as not all practices work with LTD locums.

Intricate Financial Landscape: While the benefits are significant, managing a limited company comes with a more intricate financial landscape. David needs to navigate company accounts, dividends, and tax obligations, which may require professional financial advice. David will need his LTD to pay into his pension.

Professional Identity: Operating as a limited company allows David to establish a distinct professional identity. His veterinary practice is a separate legal entity, contributing to a strong brand presence within the industry.

In summary, David’s journey as a full-time vet with a limited company is characterised by tax advantages, increased take-home pay, and a heightened sense of financial control. While navigating a more intricate landscape of finding work.

RVN Mastering the Juggle – Sophie’s Story

Meet Sophie, a skilled RVN specialising in hydrotherapy, who effortlessly navigates a dual role with finesse. Sophie showcases the versatility of a multifaceted locum career by operating as a limited company for her hydrotherapy services while managing zero-hour contracts at a practice.

Limited Company for Hydrotherapy Services: Sophie has chosen to structure her hydrotherapy services under a limited company. This decision offers her various benefits, including tax advantages, professional identity, and increased control over her business affairs.

Zero-Hour Contract at a Practice: In addition to her hydrotherapy work, Sophie maintains an ongoing zero-hour contract with a veterinary practice. This arrangement provides her with flexibility in scheduling and the opportunity to gain diverse experience in veterinary nursing.

Balancing Contracts: Sophie adeptly balances her dual roles, managing her limited company for hydrotherapy services and her zero-hour contract separately. Her limited company income is deposited into a business account, while earnings from her zero-hour contract are directed to her personal account, simplifying financial management.

Tax Considerations: As a limited company owner, Sophie benefits from tax efficiency and the ability to optimise her income through dividends and salary. Her accountant handles the complexities of corporation tax and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements.

Versatility and Flexibility: By mastering the juggle between her roles, Sophie enjoys the versatility and flexibility of a locum career. She can tailor her schedule to accommodate both her hydrotherapy clients and her commitments at the veterinary practice, maximising her earning potential and professional fulfilment.

Future Opportunities: While Sophie currently maintains one ongoing contract with the practice, she retains the option to explore additional locum opportunities if desired. The flexibility of her locum career allows her to adapt to changing circumstances and pursue new professional avenues as they arise.

In summary, Sophie exemplifies the art of mastering the juggle as an RVN with a multifaceted locum career. Through strategic decision-making, balanced financial management, and a commitment to professional excellence, Sophie navigates her dual roles with confidence and finesse, embracing the versatility and opportunities of the veterinary industry