Lloyds unilaterally impose terms on locum contracts
The PDA has been contacted by angry members who have received notification from locum agencies that Lloyds have imposed certain conditions on their hourly rates and travel expenses. This article gives PDA members relevant advice.
PDA members have been in contact with regard to an email they received from various Locum Agencies who forwarded it on to their clients. It stated
Contractors are at liberty to set whatever contractual terms they wish. In the same way, locums can choose not to accept them and either re-negotiate them or withdraw their services. Market forces will dictate what the most likely outcome will be. The more that refuse to accept these terms, the more the contractor will have to reconsider its position.
If you currently have a contract with agreed terms, they cannot be changed without your consent; you are under no obligation to change. A negotiation may ensue as to what is the 'term (start and finish dates) of the contract'. ie is it ongoing or is each day's booking a new contract?
If Lloyds find difficulty in filling vacancies because of their new terms and conditions, local managers or agencies may offer different terms to fill vacancies in an emergency. In our experience it is not uncommon for pharmacists to negotiate more favourable terms only for it to be denied that they were offered them at all or for them to be underpaid because 'company policy' will not allow it. In other cases, contractors have refused enhanced payments because they maintain that they did not authorise the agency to offer them.
We therefore advise you to ensure that you have your newly negotiated terms in writing (email or text will suffice if the sender can be identified).
If the local manager or the agency offer you terms, you are entitlted to rely upon them. The manager and/or the agency has 'held themselves out as an agent' of Lloyds and therefore Lloyds will be liable for payment, subject to all other conditions of the contract being performed.
In conducting your negotiations you may be interested to know the following;
That the South West has always been renowned for pharmacist shortages and has traditionally had a higher rate of locum pay than many other parts of the country;
That Lloyds have gone on record in the C&D on 17th October that "negotiations are ongoing; it is done according to which branch it is and who the locum is" a Lloyds spokesperson said. He/she went on to say "Rates of pay for locums vary depending on the area in which they work, the locums experience and the work they are required to undertake..... they [our rates] remain highly competitive"
In a survey conducted by the PDA in January 2007 in the South West, West and North West of the UK (each region having a similar profile);