Included with DDU membership

Associate contracts can vary hugely in their quality and content, so it's important for all parties to understand the principles involved.

Our free associate contract checking service, available to both practice owner and associate members, has proved to be a very popular addition to the existing benefits of DDU membership.

However, the new service has shown there is a huge variation in the associate contracts currently in use, many of which are in our view seriously flawed, sometimes as a result of poorly thought out modification of an otherwise reasonable model contract.

Our expert dento-legal advisers are trained to handle the vast majority of queries and members can access this advice by calling our 24-hour dento-legal helpline. However, if you need to take a contract dispute further, we've also negotiated a competitive rate with specialist dental lawyers.

See our article on Advice on associate contracts in the DDU journal. 

This service includes:

  • Advice on the wording of associate agreements, available from dento-legal experts 
  • Checking existing or proposed contracts against best practice guidelines

  • Access to a model contract, developed in conjunction with specialist dental lawyers.
An adviser with headset on

How can I access it?

The new service is available through the DDU's dento-legal helpline. Call free on 0800 374 626

Members said...

FAQs

Why are you introducing this new service now?

We've seen a growing range of issues arising from associate agreements. Many of these can spread into dento-legal and ethical problems, leading to GDC referrals which we later become involved with. By extending our advice and support to cover a wider range of factors, we aim to stop contract issues leading to more complex problems.

Isn’t this something the BDA provides to its members?

The BDA has provided a similar service, but the majority of UK dentists - including many DDU members - are not members of the BDA, and we're increasingly being asked for advice in this area.

Will you be charging an extra subscription for the new associate contract checking benefit?

No. The new benefit will be part of DDU standard membership at no extra cost.

Is the new contract checking service only available to associates, or can dental principals also use the service?

The service is available to both associates and principals. We recognise the benefits in having contracts that are clearly worded and executed, which can smooth working relationships to the benefit of both parties and help reduce future dento-legal problems.

DDU dental principals also have access to a free employment law advice line provided by Peninsula for other employment matters such as guidance on managing staff conduct or performance.

Is the new contract checking service only for associate contracts? What about hygienists and therapists for instance?

The new service is also available for self-employed hygienist and therapist contracts.

Does that mean the DDU will be representing both the associate and the principal in an argument over a contract?

No. We can provide a model contract, which is designed to be fair and equitable and can be used by both parties. We can offer general advice about what this provides and how to use it, but we won't deal with specific disputes.

Will using the service mean I get a higher subscription?

No. The DDU is here to provide dento-legal advice and support, and using this service will not affect your subscription.

What happens if my case is so serious or complicated that I need to take further legal action?

Our advisers will be able to support you in most cases without needing to take extra legal action. However, if you need to take things further, we can provide an introduction to specialist dental lawyers with considerable experience in handling dental contracts. We've also negotiated a competitive rate for DDU members wanting further support.