Employment in the private sector
Are you unsure about becoming self-employed, or setting up your own practice?
You may prefer to work for a private clinic, or become employed by a private practice.
Employment gives you a regular income, and you will get experience outside the NHS. You can then use this experience to get a better insight into private practice and make an informed choice about whether to become self-employed.
- you will usually get a regular, guaranteed income, together with holiday, sick pay and maternity pay
- you won’t have to worry about how to get referrals
- you’re less likely to have to complete your own tax return
- tax and NICs are deducted at source via PAYE, meaning that you won’t be caught out by an unexpected tax bill
- you won’t have the start up costs incurred when you become self-employed
- you won’t have to worry about overheads
- you can focus solely on patient care
- your employer may pay for some training
- you will have someone to turn to if there are problems
- you have to rely on someone else to generate the business that will keep you employed
- you have to take instruction and will have less freedom to make your own decisions
- you will have less choice about the hours you have to work
- you will have less choice about the services you provide or the patients you treat
- you may have to work with people you don’t like
Can I be self-employed and employed at the same time?
Absolutely. You can continue to be employed, for example part-time by the NHS, and run your private practice at the same time:
- you’ll pay Income Tax and Class 1 National Insurance on your employed earnings through PAYE
- when you fill in your Self-Assessment form, you will need to complete separate Employment pages to tell HMRC about your earnings from employment and the tax that has been deducted through PAYE
- make sure you keep your pay slips!
- you should also let your employer know that you are self-employed
- if using an accountant, this may result in more work on their part, resulting in higher charges - discuss having a fixed fee arrangement with them so you are aware of your costs
If you would like to find out what’s involved in becoming self-employed, read our article about becoming a sole trader.