FALQ: Who should employ PCN staff?

What are Primary Care Networks (PCNs) asking us? Welcome to the third article in our five part series exploring frequently asked legal questions typically asked by PCNs. 

Question 3 – Who should employ PCN staff? 

As PCNs are not legal entities, they cannot employ staff in their own right. There are three main options for employing PCN staff:

  • practices jointly employ PCN staff;
  • one practice employs staff on behalf of the PCN;
  • or  a third party organisation employs PCN staff.

No single option is ideal. If the practices employ the staff jointly, a separate partnership could be created inadvertently between the employing practices. If one practice or a third party (e.g. a company or the GP federation) employs staff on behalf of the PCN there is potential for the re-charging of the costs for this to the other practices to be subject to VAT.

Whatever employment arrangements are put in place, it is important that the PCN’s network agreement covers matters such as:

  • who decides that PCN staff are to be engaged and who will employ them;
  • what policies, procedures and terms and conditions will apply to PCN staff;
  • who will be responsible for matters such as discipline and grievances; and
  • how staff liabilities will be shared.

If you would like to know more about sharing staff across PCNs, click HERE to read a recent article by Hempsons employment expert, Julia Gray – or contact our specialist team below.

We have also developed a training programme on this, and other topical themes, which we would be happy to discuss with you. Download the training programme HERE.

Contact our GP advice line

Dial 020 7839 0278 and ask for the GP Advice Line.

Our team of experts can offer GPs and members of their teams up to ten minutes free preliminary advice with a solicitor.