The much-anticipated report into the annual pay deals of BBC presenters was delivered this week, revealing the top earner as ex-Top Gear presenter Chris Evans at a reported £2.2million. As we all remember, Evans was sacked after one series but continues to present a breakfast radio show.
Normally it is Graham Norton under fire. This year he escaped media outcry because he earns a ‘mere’ £800K paid directly by the licence fee. In fact, Graham owns the production company which makes his TV show so his fees of £2.6million have escaped the radar.
Last year the government announced plans to reform the way in which those working for public sector bodies, such as the BBC and the NHS, via their own companies will be taxed. Several high-profile BBC cases were reported where television presenters were asked to close their own personal service companies to become salaried members of staff and pay national insurance and tax as an employee.
This legislation seemed to suggest grave consequences for locums and doctors who provide services to the NHS via their own company. In May, NHS Improvement, the health service’s regulator, announced that contractors would be placed within IR35 tax legislation and taxed as agency staff in a bid to raise £185m for 2017/2018.
The Locum Doctors Union threatened legal action and the NHS backed down, announcing the new rules would be applied on a case-by-case basis rather than by blanket adoption.
This week I gave a talk at the London GP Trainee Conference. Among 200 hundred young, talented GPs, only a handful wanted to become a partner in a practice – a far cry from the typical career path 10 or 20 years ago. Instead, they want to work part-time so they can also offer their medical knowledge to healthcare tech companies, sports teams, adventure travel companies, voluntary organisations, television companies…the list is endless.
Healthcare jobs have seen an evolution into ‘portfolio careers’ where doctors may undertake several medical or non-medical roles. I too enjoy such freedom in my own medical career. If we want to retain and recruit the best staff in medicine in the UK we need to acknowledge the changing nature of the profession.