Many pharmacists consider taking a role as a locum at some point in their career. Like self-employed workers or freelancers in other sectors, being a locum offers a several unique benefits including better flexibility and more control over your working hours.

Whether you’re looking to take a break from a full-time job, trying to get experience in another area, or just want to see what it is like to work as a locum, there are some important considerations to make when making the change.

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Initial considerations – a locum pharmacist generally has more control over the number of hours they work as well as other great benefits. Some basic advantages to being a locum pharmacist include:

Control where you work and how long you work for

Avoid traditional hierarchical management structures and processes such as organizational meetings

Potentially increasing the amount of work and the money you earn                                 

How does it work?

If you are interested in becoming a locum pharmacist, you will need to take responsibility for sourcing your own jobs. To do this, there are several business structures available to you. Those listed below will allow you to engage in the activities of a locum while staying in accordance with English law.

Being an employee of an agency

Being a sole trader

Creating partnerships

Creating a single limited company

As well as the right of self-regulation, you will need to start thinking of yourself as your own business. Without the security of a larger organization to cover your benefits, leave and schedule, you will need to stay on top of everything on your own. Sometimes this can be a daunting task and hiring additional support to help with things like accounting or recruitment can be useful.

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Limited Company vs Sole Trader

Two of the most popular choices to becoming a locum is to become a sole trader or limited company. Most sole traders choose this route because it is relatively simple, but both options are a viable way to make a living as a locum.

Locum Pharmacists Insurance

Most pharmacies will have their own indemnity cover personal which should include everyone who works for them through direct employment or that of a contracted nature. However, sub-contractor Locums are actually self-employed when it comes down to it. So, who is responsible for covering the damages in this situation?

If something happens that needs to become an insurance claim, insurance companies tend to review policies diligently and may indeed find that the terms and conditions of cover do not include compensation related to a locum pharmacist. In this situation, locum individuals will actually be personally responsible. For more information on Locum Insurance, visit

Do I Need Indemnity Insurance for Pharmacists?

Pharmacists require professional indemnity insurance to protect them from civil liability on negligence or malpractice. While the individual pharmacies have their own insurance packages, individual Locums must also protect themselves to ensure they are supported when a claim or allegation is made against them.