GP providing out of hours services through a limited company was a worker


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The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in Community Based Care Health Ltd v Narayan that a GP providing services though a company providing out-of-hours services to the NHS, was a worker.

The employment tribunal found that the GP was a worker despite the fact that from October 2015 she was paid through a limited company (although this had occurred without CBCH's knowledge).   The GP had worked regular shifts for around 12 years, for one provider.  She was required to work personally for the provider and could not send a substitute of her choice but she did not need permission to carry out work outside CBCH's activities.  She also provided her own medical equipment and indemnity insurance.

The NHS contract for out-of-hours service providers required providers to ensure that the doctors discharging the services were competent and properly qualified.  It was therefore the responsibility of CBCH to audit the services provided by the GPs on its books.  The EAT upheld the tribunal's findings that the GP was a worker, emphasising the regular nature of the shifts worked by the GP which had been carried out for a number of years.

Take note: The issue of employment status is one which can be extremely tricky to unravel.  Here the GP worked regularly, had been doing so for a few years, and had only worked for one provider.  This contrasts with the decision in Suhail v Herts Urgent Care where an out of hours GP was found to be self-employed.  In Suhail the GP was found to have been marketing his services to whichever provider of medical services might wish to provide him with work, and worked for three separate organisations.

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