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Practice managers work the equivalent of an extra day per week, survey shows

by Valeria Fiore
21 November 2017

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Around 46.63% of practice managers (PM) works from five to eight additional hours per week, with a collective figure pointing at 8.3 extra hours per week, a survey of 1,030 responses has found.

The Practice Manager Salary Survey 2017 has shown that 65% of respondents do not get paid to work extra time and that the increase in number of unpaid working hours might be due to ‘GP practices now staying open longer and over the weekend’.

Only 34.4% of the respondents said they are paid for working longer.

Despite practice managers are being required to work harder, the survey showed that pay rise and bonuses are on decline. In fact, 76.9% of respondents said they did not receive a bonus this year, while 53% of them did not receive a pay rise between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.  

The survey, which First Practice Management leads annually since 2004, collected responses from 14 September to 26 October 2017 and focused on the income received between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017. Participants included 204 of 210 CCGs in England, all Healthboards in Wales and Northern Ireland and 11 out of 12 Healthboards in Scotland.

One anonymous respondent said: ‘I think it is slightly under paid for the size of the practice and the demands that I am faced with.  I only get paid for 30 hours and yet the role requires more actual time.’

Another practice manager said: ‘Most PMs get paid for contractual hours only, however this does not reflect the scale and commitment most PM’s are putting into their work and it is common for some PM’s to work 50 hr weeks, without being paid for any over time or getting any bonuses.’

On the other hand, while practice managers are receiving little to no bonuses, their average salary has increased of 5.1% in comparison with last year, and it is now £39,334.17. The lowest and highest salaries were both found in London, being £16,799.23 and £105,000 respectively.

Closing the gender pay gap

The survey showed that this year the gender pay gap is at 7.7%, in comparison with 10.18% last year. This is ahead of national average, as a study conducted by the Office for National Statistics this year found that women are paid 14.1% less than men overall.

If this trend continues, the gender pay gap within practice management could be eradicated in four or five years, according to the researchers.  

First Practice Management’s Group Content and Customer Experience Manager Survindar Chahal said: “It is good to see that from the responses we received, the gap between male and female pay has narrowed and, with more of a national focus from the government on gender pay, we hope that it continues to do so.