Moving to the UK & being a locum pharmacist


Until I moved to the UK as a temporary worker on a visa, Locum pharmacy work was something that I had never really thought much about. I had heard about it and many people I knew were Locum pharmacists and I kept thinking why would you be a Locum pharmacist, having a permanent, stable job would be way better! Well is it really?? Here are some of the benefits of Locum pharmacy work in my opinion, which I would like to share with you.


  • Locum pharmacy work gives you more flexibility with work and home life helping to achieve the perfect work/life balance.


Many of us have the mindset that we need to live to work rather than work to live. We get so busy and consumed with work it gets to the weekend and we are so tired and drained from work we don’t do anything but stay in bed to recover.


  • Locum pharmacy work can provide you with temporary pharmacy work until you find permanent pharmacy work.


Myself of all people know how difficult it is to find permanent pharmacy work especially in London. Being a locum pharmacist provides you with work and a cash flow whilst using your free time that you aren’t at work to job hunt and attend interviews.  Even if you do have a permanent pharmacy job, locum pharmacy work can be used as an extra means for additional cash.


  • Higher rates of pay compared to permanent pharmacy employment.


This is a major benefit of locum pharmacy work and it is also possible to negotiate with pharmacy agencies for a higher rate of pay.


  • It’s a great way to build your experience and skills working in different work places and build your CV.


You have variety in the places you work. You get to meet new people and new patients. You learn new policies and procedures and gain a vast array on skills which are handy for the CV. It can be quite refreshing attending a new work place and not having to be involved in the work place politics and antics that may happen whilst being there for long periods of time.


  • Where you chose to work as a locum pharmacist is entirely up to you.


Your pharmacy recruitment agent may offer you positions here, there and everywhere but you have the independence to chose where you would like to work. If you like the place you can hopefully be offered more hours especially at night and over weekends where higher rates apply. If you on the other hand dislike the place you work at you may decline shifts there.


  • You only need to give a short notice period when resigning.


If for the unfortunate reason you have to leave the work place or don’t like it you only need to give five days notice to your employer. This may vary depending on pharmacy agencies.


  • Ideal for people like myself who are on work/travel visas.


We can work and earn money around our travel plans. It makes planning holidays so much easier and you are not restricted to a set amount of holidays per calendar year.


  • You are pretty much self -employed.


You are not restricted to working a set of hours like you do in a permanent pharmacy job. You can be entirely in control of the days and hours you wish to work. Obviously there are exceptions to this especially if the employer needs specific shifts covered over a set period of time.


  • You can claim expenses against your tax.

Lets be honest, we all hate paying our taxes and national insurance. As a self-employed locum pharmacist as opposed to a permanent pharmacy employee you are able to claim travel and food expenses therefore increasing your take home pay.


So these are the major benefits of Locum pharmacy work in my opinion. It seems to be working well for me.


Daniela Seminara ATO/Pharmacy Support Worker (overseas pharmacist) LinkedIn Profile


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