A couple of years ago I asked a specialist dental lawyer friend of mine why her firm suggested using the BDA associate contract rather than writing one of their own, she replied that as the BDA contracts are the the mostly widely used they are regarded as the industry standard. She went on to say that the longer and more complicated the contract the more likely it was that there could be challenges and disputes both of which cost money to resolve. (Simplify, simplify)
Times change, bringing changes in the context of contracts, therefore the content needs to evolve.
The BDA has updated their template dental associate contract to reflect these changes; the amendments include clarification around:
- Practice hours.
- Time away from the practice.
- Locum cover.
- Provision of equipment.
- Hygienist services.
- NHS contract requirements.
- Private fees.
- Confidentiality and data processing.
I am still surprised by how many associates and principals do not have a formal agreement in place or, where they do, there is no regular formal review of working arrangements. When I visit a practice to carry out a Practice Business Health Check I ask about not only “if” but also “when” contracts are in place and reviewed.
With the self-employed status of associates coming under increasing scrutiny it is important for both parties their contracts are contemporary.
BDA members can access the relevant updated contracts on the website here: New Contracts