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Working as a Veterinary Locum

Working as a Veterinary Locum

What is locuming?

A locum is essentially someone who covers a permanent staff member within a practice. This can either be on a short term, sporadic basis, or a medium period to cover low staffing levels, difficulty in recruiting permanently or sickness/holiday leave. Think of it as a kind of supply teacher!

Who can become a locum?

Anyone with a relevant veterinary degree can work as a locum, there is no set amount of experience required. However, as the work often requires covering a period of absence or a particularly busy time within the practice, we would advise you gain around 2 years' experience in a permanent role before committing to locuming full time. This is to allow you to be comfortable with your own skills and be able to be adaptable, flexible, and reliable for potential clients.

The Positives:

  • Flexibility of working days & hours – within reason you can choose when you work!
  • Higher hourly rate – due to the nature of the work a locum is usually paid a higher rate per hour.
  • Explore different practices – work in a variety of practices over a period of time with no strings attached.
  • Travel the country – explore all areas of the UK as many roles are available with accommodation.
  • Helping out – practices will often be very grateful for you covering them during a sticky period!

Things to consider:

  • Sourcing the work – finding regular work on your own can be difficult. Registering with a reliable, hardworking agency will massively increase your chance of finding work, at no cost! Find out how Vet Seekers could help you.
  • Support – remember you will not be part of a fixed team, so you could feel lonely at times and lacking some clinical support and guidance.
  • Travel – the work wont always be on your doorstep. You must be willing to commute a bit further and also consider working away for a few days at a time.
  • Getting paid – its not as simple as just being paid monthly. You will need to consider how you would like to be paid, either via your own Limited company, using an umbrella company or setting us as self-employed.
  • Sick/Holiday/Maternity Pay – as you will not be working under a permanent contract, your rights will be very different. If you cancel a day's work due to illness you will not be paid and will have to claim SSP. Holidays are taken at your own cost, no work = no pay. Maternity pay can be more difficult to get hold of or even at a lower rate, knowing your rights is very important before you commit to locuming.

If you would like to discuss with us regarding becoming a locum or how we can help you along the way, please contact us via 0333 014 7374 or info@vetseekers.co.uk. Alternatively, starting searching for roles with us now - https://www.vetseekers.co.uk/search

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