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A quick guide to working as an associate

A summary of how associates can be engaged for their skills and services

Associates in general dental practice have historically been self-employed. As a self-employed associate, you will operate your own business and manage your income and expenditure, keeping your own financial records and paying your tax.

The arrangement works on the basis that associates pay for the use of the facilities from the practice owner, by paying a licence fee (usually a percentage of their earnings).

Being self-employed has its advantages: you receive your earnings before tax and the practice owner is not required to pay employer’s National Insurance contributions. However, self-employed workers have fewer employment rights and there is almost no job security.

For members

Understanding Associate agreements

This resource provides an overview of worker vs non-worker contracts. It uses short video, templates and an interactive guide to contract clauses to help both practices and associates develop mutually-beneficial, compliant, commercial relationships.