Sir, I'm replying following reading your article in BDJ In Practice on associate pay.1
I'm an associate after more than two decades of being a principal, and I wasn't paid correctly during the 20-21 year, coincidentally by the 10% drop you highlight. The principal used various calculations to justify this theft. They also did it to other associates in the practice. We all left because of this and have subsequently found other jobs. I registered my issues with BSA and the BDA but the reply was basically the same: because the contract between associates and principal sits outside of the NHS, there's nothing they can do. The only option was to sue for the money but due to the cost of lawyers being about the same as what was stolen from the other associates and I, we haven't pursued this option - yet.
I'm glad NASDAL published these figures and that you saw fit to discuss it, but until there's a court case I feel that these wrongs won't be righted! Practices can't survive without associates and the 'creaming off' is surely only a short term gain? I have heard this story many times from around the profession, but apart from leaving and suing, what can be done?
Westgarth D. NHS and private principal net profit: What do associates think? BDJ In Pract 2022; 35: 17.
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What is going on?. BDJ In Pract 35, 7 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41404-022-1129-9