THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Associate remuneration - a year ago and now - still broken.



A year ago today I was interviewing dental accountant Alan Suggett on our lunchtime Facebook Live broadcast (remember them?).


My journal reads:


"13:00 Daily Briefing with Alan Suggett and the usual entertainment with CBILS, Bounce Back Loans and the growing fears for associate remuneration (I started that debate in the blog this morning)."


The blog post in question was controversial - you might be interested to read what I was predicting about associate remuneration back in that moment of Covid-19 and lockdown panic:


https://www.coachbarrow.com/post/does-return-to-work-signal-the-death-of-the-associate-contract


In the event, how right was I about the likelihood of permanent change in associate remuneration?


I'm not sure that I called this correctly. I'll perhaps leave you to decide.


The "old" associate remuneration package seems to have held its own in most places I look.


The forces that have been at play include:

  • NHS minimum production requirements and pandemic funding;

  • Increased running costs for Owners;

  • A supply/demand curve on the availability of associates that has legislated in favour of keeping their pay on the high side;

  • The rapid growth in micro-corporates who are looking to achieve profit targets that require a closer examination of associate pay.

Right now, I find the marketplace in this respect quite confusing - an indication that we have yet to see the full effect of free market forces.


I'm less confident about making predictions than I was a year ago (and even then I didn't get it right).


I do, however, remain steadfast in my belief that a 50% flat-rate contract is economically unviable for all but a minority of super-productive associates.


That 35% is the correct basic rate, with the possibility of a sliding scale for those who exceed expectations.


That "the system" remains broken.


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