Dental associate contracts

Richard Keeler

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have recently announced a change to their policy and approach in respect of dentistry and self-employed status for associates.

The change relates to the self-employed status of associates. 

Dentists have long been considered to be self-employed, where they are contracted as an associate rather than employees and HMRC publish specific guidance on this topic within their Employment Status Manuel linked to these individuals having an approved Associate Agreement, i.e. the BDA template, for example. 

HMRC have reviewed their employment status guidance generally over the last 18 months and have moved away from a position where they rely on a third party document, such as the Associate Agreement. 

They announced some time ago that they were considering removing the specific guidance around self-employed status of associate dentists on BDA terms and their recent announcement confirms the ESN 4030 will be removed their Employment Status Manuel.

What does this mean for associates?

The determination of whether an associate is self-employed has always been determined by the contract which needs to be accurate and based on the terms of how you work.

The removal of ESN 4030 simply reinforces the importance of having the right Associate Agreement in place clarifying the correct terms and conditions.

Therefore, principals who engage associates should review their Associate Contracts and if they have any concerns, should speak to their normal dental team member who can provide some guidance and refer those individuals to a NASDAL (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) solicitor for further guidance.

Associates should speak to their principals and again, ensure the Associate Contracts they work under are accurate and up to date following the change.

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