Complementary Therapists Association - Forums
Posted by Tara Nolan, Jan 12 2007 3:29PM

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Uurgent: Leaving my job.

I am currently employed as a massage therapist after graduating this year. I am the only massage therapist in a male salon that provides Massage, Hot Towel Shaves, Sauna, Barbering, Manicure and Pedicure and ear candling. I take care of the Massage, Ear Candling, Manicure and Pedicure. I was after the rights that I and the client have in regards to the Consultation forms that the client and I fill in when they first get a massage. I have given in my notice and am leaving my job tomorrow.

I told my clients as does all therapists when filling out the consultation forms that our relationship is like that of a doctor/patient. Srictly confidential and that nobody but me would have access or be able to read there consultation form that the only information that would be the salons is there name, address and telephone number. And now that i am leaving i have taken the consultation forms and left the salon with above details. As under the data protection act the rest is confidential. As no client was informed or signed a waiver stating that there private information would allowed to be seen by any other therapist.

I was given no contract and neither me or my employer came to any agreement as to information as he does not know anything about massage and this is his first business in this field.

If you could PLEASE get back to me as soon as possible with any information for me as if a client was lead to believe that there private information was viewed by anybody else i could face legal action.

Thank you,
Mariette Lobo
Jan 12 2007 4:18PM
Tara - don't panic. I presume this is what our professional insurance is there for. I don't know who you're with, but I would suggest you get in touch with them and ask for advice. If you're insured with Embody, then ring Membership ADministration Services (01327 354249). You'll find them most helpful.

Mariette
John Dent
Jan 12 2007 4:33PM
Hi
You have been correct. Had you had a contract of employment this could have been spelled out in it.
Had the employer needed to "own" the records of the clients then from the start this would have needed to be put on the client record card that the information was to remain with the clinic and then the client would by signing the form have agreed to the data remaining at the clinic.

It is a generally interesting situation because when you go to a hospital of GP your records belong to the hospital or GP and are moved to a new GP if you move. It may be that hidden in the documents we sign when we join a practice this is all set out.

I am pretty sure that should you take the records with you and keep them in case you have to return them you will be OK. You should not destroy them.

However if you use the information on the records to get those clients to come to you for treatments by writing to them or phoning them then you may be in trouble unless your arrnagements with your employer permitted you to do this in writing. Usually the clients have to stay with the clinic as you were an employee not an independent practitioner.

The lesson for all is to have clearly written contracts that set out the terms of working - this is the same for both employed people and people being contracted to provide treatments on demand of fees.
Joyce Laurie
Jan 12 2007 5:40PM
In the place that I have set up the therapists are all self-employed. Their clients are their clients and they are responsible for the care and storage of the clients information regards names, addresses and more personal stuff.

The only thing that I know is the persons name and phone number as it has to go in the appointment book.

However, if a therapist was to leave (obviously with their clients details) but the client still wanted to attend and see another therapist due to locality reasons, then I suppose the leaving therapist has no say if their client wishes to stay with the practice/centre.

Best Luck in whatever you are doing next.

Joyce
John Dent
Jan 13 2007 3:20PM
Joyce,
Do you collect the money from clients and then share it with the therapists or do the therapists collect their fees direct and pay you?
If it is the former you may well be deemed by the Revenue as "employing" the therapists and be responsible for Nat Insurance, PAYE, (+ holidays etc). This is esoecially the case if any of your therapisst only work at your clinic and have no other clients.

If anyone is in this type of position they need to get proper advice from a tax advisor - the penalties are high and the Revenue unforgiving of ignorance!

CThA cannot advise individuals.
John Dent
Joyce Laurie
Jan 13 2007 4:36PM
That is interesting John as although the receptionist takes the money from the clients hand.....as soon as they walk out the door she hands it to the therapist.

Any receipt that is given has the therapists details on it, not mine.

We have done it that way as we thought it would look more professional and sometimes therapists don't want to equate giving (a treatment) with receiving (cash) and felt it was "nicer" for their client to give money to a non-therapist who was impartial. (if you understand what I am saying. The room rate that the therapist pays includes the use of the receptionist re taking calls etc.

If there are implications for me I will find out. I will phone my accountant on Monday and clarify.

Thanks for that piece of information as I really want to do everything correctly.

Regards

Joyce
Joyce Laurie
Jan 13 2007 4:39PM
The therapists pay me for the use of the rooms a week in advance when they are finished their present session.

I give them an invoice for what they have given me for the use of the room.
Tara Nolan
Jan 13 2007 8:44PM
Ok i went into work for my final day today and just got home! The Big Boss man came in and gave me all im owed and then asked me if i would be my own boss and work freelance whenever there was a appointment as ive established myself at that job and the clients all like me!! Im in shock especially after all the panicing im after doin over the last week or so! He told me to figure out my money and my hours that i want to do and let him know!Oh my god what are my going to do! Im new to all this stuff! Thank you guys so much for posting back to me but now i really need help if im going to cover myself! My own boss! Oh my god! Im 23 and i never in my life thought that i would ever stick to something workwise and enjoy it so much and now this!!!!!!!!! What do i need! Oh my god! This is just so big i dont know where to start!
Joyce Laurie
Jan 13 2007 9:18PM
I am so very pleased for you Tara, the Big Boss obviously values you (and must realise that when you go so will a lot of clients)

Now the fun begins!!!! You should go to see someone who can give you some business advice. In Scotland we have a facility called Business Gateway. I did go to see them but they couldn't tell me anything I didn't know (though my husband has his own company and had already filled me in in quite a lot of info) but I know some folk have found them brilliant and they do courses on bookeeping, marketing etc.

I am sure you will find similar if you are down south.

If you are going to rent your space where you were then get a sound contract re hours, rate, whats included in the rate i.e reception, towels, laundry, electricity, equipment etc. Also maybe find out if there is any chance of them bringing in their own therapist again which may give you some competition ( I have seen that happen to someone before).

Oh and sort out tax issues, now that IS fun (not)

Regards

Joyce
Helen Dicks
Jan 19 2007 11:15AM
Hi Tara. Congratulations!
Log onto www.businesslink.gov.uk. It is a government backed organisation that offers help and support for newly self-employed people. You may also qualify under the Princes Trust for funding, (see www.princes-trust.org.uk) if you are currently unemployed and obviously under 30 years old.
It is always very daunting when you are self-employed but you do get used to it. Keep all your receipts, including the ones before you start trading as you can claim for pre-start up costs.
Good Luck!
Helen Dicks
Tara Nolan
Jan 19 2007 2:14PM
I am really grateful for all your posts but im in ireland!!!!!!
So i have to go through alot of different links!Oh my god all this stuff would do your head in!!

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