Page 1

CURRENT CIRCULATION: DATE: ISSUE NO:

7730 November 6, 2009 166

Welcome to Health & Life’s free email newsletter service. Tell a friend that we would be happy to add their email address to the distribution list. This service is to provide Health and Life’s clients and those who attended our presentations with up to date information on key financial and practice management issues that may affect your practice. Please do not use this as a substitute to seeking professional advice. Writer in charge: Mr David Dahm BA.Acc, FCPA, FTIA, Ffin, FAAPM, GLFG.

The New Medical Practitioners Award 2010 & Miscellaneous Award! STOP PRESS REGISTERED BAS PROVIDER LEGISLATION commencing 1.1.2010. st From 1 of January 2010 your non-employee or contractor book keeper must be registered with the Tax Agents Board in order to prepare your BAS. To the contrary it is illegal for them to charge you a fee. All clients please contact us if you use a contract book keeping business and advise us if you wish us to check your Business Activity Statement or that you will be responsible for its entire preparation. We are not responsible for any BAS errors when we are not requested to check your BAS. AAPM BOARD & STATE COMMITTEE RETIREMENT I wish to thank all the past and present Board and State Committee members who have supported my roles at the Australian Association of Practice Managers. I have decided to step down from the National Board as a National Director in October after 2.5 years in an official and alternate director capacity and from the SA Committee after 10 years. It has been an invaluable experience and I strongly encourage those of you who believe that you are on top of your game or want to be, to volunteer your services to this impressive organisation see www.aapm.org.au. I have not completely cut my ties and I am currently involved in an exciting national project for AAPM which in due course I hope you can all become a part of. Many thanks to all of you who have supported both me and AAPM’s endeavours. It was terrific to see many of you at the recent AAPM National Conference in Melbourne especially the readers on this list who introduced themselves to me. The good feedback is really appreciated and we do our best to reflect this in the content of our seminars and news broadcasts. NEW 2010 WEBINAR SERIES - Tackling the Super Tsunami of Change! We will be working hard in the industry focussing on more news alerts and a national quarterly interactive webinar series. It is starting to become very difficult to keep you up to date via these News Alerts so we hope can do a better job through our face to face presentations (don’t forget to pop your local organisation an email of support if you would like us to present at your next meeting) in addition to those of you who can’t make them. If you are interested to know more email us at pa@healthandlife.com.au to be placed on a wait list for more information on topics and dates. To get an idea of the topic contents click here Training & List of Seminar Topics. This will be open to Divisions of General Practice and any other organisations seeking to host group meetings or alternatively you can access the presentations from the comfort and convenience of your home or work computers.


Introduction Welcome again to another Best Practice News Alert Update. For those who are new to this update please contact us for our News Alert updates no. 164 and 165 so you don’t lose the thread of this issue. This should hopefully be the last of a trilogy of Award and Industrial st Relation updates in relation to the new Federal Awards commencing on the 1 January 2010 that affects 85% of all employers and employees. Some of this may sound repetitive and that is because the Awards are repetitive in some areas. These changes are creating a super tsunami and it has been quite challenging to secure a clear and definitive position on all matters of the Awards that may affect your practice. At this end after completing our first round of national seminars and receiving direct feed back from you, our readers and audiences, we note the following: 1. High profiled medical professional and business bodies are providing at times speculative advice which is more related to wishful thinking than fact which we will address in this edition. Furthermore presentations have been of a general and not industry specific in nature which is why we have received numerous calls and requests to present our series of seminars – see below for more information. At worst we have seen high profile employer organisations issuing out template agreements which do not even address the concerns (in relation to over award pay) the Awards create so these need to used with extreme care (contact us for further information); 2. There are professional bodies that are unknowingly engaging in questionable activities that at worst are not legally enforceable, and anti-competitive. We have tried to resolve these matters with them directly but have not received a response at the time of broadcast. Once again we will raise these issues in this edition and provide clarity on what you should do next. 3. Fair Work Australia have not received training in any of the areas we have been st writing about and could not indicate when they will, even though the start date is 1 th January 2010. We note final amendments will not be handed down until 4 of December 2009. 4. The most challenging area practices are experiencing is around part-time and casual staff especially after hours and/or week end shift allowances and entitlements. 5. The biggest mistake practices are making is that they are planning on dropping existing staff rates of pay under the new Awards not realising this is illegal. Employees can apply to Fair Work Australia stating a breach of the “Take Home Pay” provisions. We will cover this in this edition as well. Furthermore the majority of practices are using the wrong legal and tax structure to work around the rules. Contact us if you are concerned for a no obligation chat. People have asked us where we are sourcing our information from. The answer is we have been trawling through the Federal Act and Award legislation including the Government’s Hansard reports (where the real gems of information can be found if you have the time or interest) see http://www.workplace.gov.au/workplace/Publications/Legislation/FairWorkBill.htm . Accordingly we have taken a very conservative position on these matters and unless we see it in writing we won’t say the matter is clear other than to state that the matter is grey. We are concerned the waters are being muddied by political versus factual opinions on whether the Award applies or not. We comment strictly from the black and white areas of the law and very little of it is grey. The problem is you need to read your Awards, the National Employment Standards, the Fair Work Act and any State Laws such as your relevant State Long Service Leave Act to come to a definitive position. Finally you need to examine your own written contracts (and put them in place before 1.1.2010 if you don’t have them) to ensure you are complying with the law.


WARNING The reality is, paying over the Award rate and not having this in writing means you are more than likely still breaking the minimum Award requirements. So this approach is cold comfort without your employee’s written consent and it may lead to significant penalties. Remember and honest fool is not a legal defence and it only takes one aggrieved employee to make life very difficult. Should this not be managed properly this can easily spread to all employees in your practice. The bottom line, even if you do not meet the paper compliance obligations before 1.1.2010 remember you still have to. It is never too late to start and in fact it will get worse should you choose to do nothing. It’s a legal requirement and not a choice to ensure compliance. TOPICS Covered 1.0 The Fair Work Act - Putting It All Together - Overview of the Legislation 1.0.1 The National Employment Standards (“NES”) 1.0.2 The Modern Awards 1.0.3 Award Flexibility Clause –Big opportunity or problem? 1.0.4 When will the Awards not apply? 1.0.4.1 High earning Employees Earning > $108,300 pa 1.0.4.2 Take Home Pay Order - you can’t just cut existing penalties under the new Modern Awards! 1.0.4.3 Fair Work Act and Enterprise Agreements have Precedence and the BOOT! 1.0.4.4 Self Employed Practitioners are excluded from the Awards 1.0.4.5 Clarification – Shift Allowances

1.1 What is the Medical Practitioners Award 2010? GP Registrars Minimum Term Conflicts with the Fair Work Act? 1. EMPLOYER PENALTY - $33,000 per breach 2. EDUCATION & DISCLOSURE 3. ORDINARY HOURS DEFINITION EXPANDED 4. AVERAGE 38 HOURS PER WEEK MANDATORY – UNREASONABLE HOURS PROHIBITED 5. FULL TIME, PARTTIME & CASUAL STAFF 6. ALL EMPLOYEE DOCTORS ARE AFFECTED 7. ALLOWANCES ON TOP OF BASE AND INCLUDED IN ABOVE AWARD SALARIES/WAGES 8. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WORK 9. OVERTIME & SHIFT ALLOWANCES 10. ANNUAL LEAVE ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS Five Weeks Leave Payment for annual leave Annual leave loading – 17.5% Personal/Carer & Compassionate Leave 11. NEW REDUNDANCY RULES 12. TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

WHAT TO DO NEXT? 1. DON’T IGNORE THE ISSUE – IT WON’T GO AWAY and IT WILL GET WORSE WITH TIME 2. CHANGE EMPLOYEE DOCTORS’ LEGAL STATUS TO A SELF EMPLOYED PRACTITIONER NOW!

2.0 New Topics and Seminar Dates – 2009/10 New Topics! 2009/10 Presentations 3.0 New Doctors Pay Calculator Upgrade – New Income Earning Feature (watch new video – now operating)


4.0 New Free Business Coaching /Mentoring Service – The Good, the Bad and Ugly Report 5.0 Catching Up with David Dahm and the Team 6.0 Where to from here?


The New Medical Practitioners Award 2010 & Miscellaneous Award!

1.0 The Fair Work Act 2009 - Putting It All Together - Overview of the Legislation Just to recapitulate the background to the new Fair Work Act 2009 law. These are the most important points: 1. Many if not all State Award employer obligations are being transferred to the Federal system. Transitional rules apply over a five year period with Awards to allow a catch up commencing 1.1.2010; 2. The Fair Work Act 2009 is the legislation that covers the National Employment Standards which apply to all Award and Award free employees. Federal Awards sit underneath this including any transitional issues that apply to industry specific Awards (including the Miscellaneous Award (which applies to employees who do not fit in to industry specific Awards); 3. Fair Work Australia is the government body empowered to implement and monitor the new industrial relations system. See http://www.workplace.gov.au/workplace/Publications/Legislation/FairWorkBill.htm 4. As a minimum you must obey the Fair Work Act Laws or face fines of up to $33,000 per breach, for example unreasonable overtime exceeding 38 hours per week; 5. State Laws still apply. An example may be the Long Service Leave Act which the Federal Awards are less prescriptive, but they still apply; 6. Common Law is the final area. This relates to employer and employee agreements i.e. employment contracts. Employers cannot legally contract outside the above laws however these contracts do specify additional special terms and conditions of employment in addition to the above minimum employment requirements, for example a salary sacrificed motor vehicles or allowable variations to the Award. Specifically for Award employees there are enterprise flexibility clauses in each Award such as allowing the payment of above Award rates in lieu of overtime that is legal so long as there is mutual consent. However it is important your common law employment agreements are worded correctly in accordance with the above laws or these over award payments can be ignored and an employee can still sue for an underpayment of wages in addition to these over award payment. 1.0.1 The National Employment Standards (“NES”) The NES apply as a minimum and the relevant Modern Award may add (not remove) additional terms and conditions to the national minimum standards below. The following are the highlights of the various minimum standards. • maximum weekly hours of work – must maintain for example an average of 38 hours a week over a 4 week cycle, employees must work reasonable hours and can refuse overtime. To avoid weekly excessive over time claims we recommend all staff move from weekly and fortnightly pay cycles to monthly. This will allow for swings and roundabouts between a 4 week period; • the right to request flexible working arrangements – employers must take personal family commitments into consideration, for example if a parent is looking after a child they can request for their working arrangement to change, however an employer can refuse on reasonable business grounds;


• parental leave and related entitlements – after 12 months of employment, parents are able to request parental leave, for example 12 month unpaid maternity leave and use existing leave entitlements such as sick and annual leave entitlements. Paid maternity leave will be payable by the government via the employer. This is to apply after 2011 but is yet to be confirmed; • annual leave – 4 weeks paid annual leave and 5 weeks per annum for shift workers, also see relevant industry Award; • personal / carer's leave and compassionate leave – paid 10 days personal or carers leave which means for sick leave or for looking after a dependent e.g. elderly parent. Two days unpaid carers leave applies. Up to 2 days paid compassionate leave applies for example a life threatening serious illness. An employer can request reasonable evidence from an employee. Employees can cash out of this leave. • community service leave – employees are entitled to be paid and their normal pay for jury duty or volunteering for emergency services, however for example jury duty pay will be reduced by any payment that the employee receives for that service and is for a maximum of ten days. • long service leave – practices are referred to the Awards and the relevant State Acts. No specific leave entitlement is mentioned. • public holidays – employees are paid for their public holidays and can refuse to work them if the request is unreasonable, the nature of the work must be taken into consideration; • notice of termination and redundancy pay – the new notice periods follow if an employee is to be made redundant; Notice Period Employee’s period of continuous service with the employer at the end of the day the notice is given Period 1 Not more than 1 year 1 week 2 More than 1 year but not more than 3 years 2 weeks 3 More than 3 years but not more than 5 years 3 weeks 4 More than 5 years 4 weeks then increase the period by 1 week if the employee is over 45 years old and has completed at least 2 years of continuous service with the employer at the end of the day the notice is given. Where an employee is made redundant in addition to their notice period based on the NES rate table redundancy pay will range from 4 weeks up to 12 weeks based on the numbers of years of service see section 60 of the NES for details. See below for details of the National Employment Standards. http://www.workplace.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/1955FD28-3178-44CD-965456A3D5391989/0/NationalDiscussionPaper_web.pdf

1.0.2 The Modern Awards Modern awards are industry or occupation-based. Modern awards may include terms that represent the needs of a specific industry. The Modern Awards that apply to medical practitioners and allied health are: 1. Health Professionals and Support Service Award 2010 – covered in our Best Practice News Alert No. 164*. This affects receptionists, administration staff, practice managers and allied health workers;


2. Nurses Award 2010 covered in our Best Practice News Alert No. 165* nurses employed in private practice; 3. Medical Practitioners Award 2010 – employed doctors and registrars including overseas doctors that are employed under 452 visas, 422 visa applicants are not affected if they are self employed doctors for example tenant doctors (not contract doctors where they could be deemed as employees) see below for further details and/or: th

4. Miscellaneous Award 2010 – to be finalised by 4 December 2010, any person that does not fall under an industry specific Award is covered by this Award. We will cover th this in detail after the 4 December time permitting, contact our practice in the meantime if you are concerned. * Visit our home page at www.healthandlife.com.au see under the “Special Announcements” section for these back issues and links to the actual Awards. In general terms the Awards refer to: • minimum wages, including piecework rates • types of employment (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual) • overtime and penalty rates • work arrangements (e.g. rosters, variations to working hours) • annual wage or salary arrangements • allowances (e.g. travel allowances) • leave, leave loading, and taking leave • superannuation • procedures for consultation, representation and dispute settlement • employing outworkers and the work they perform • an industry-specific redundancy scheme. 1.0.3 Award Flexibility Clause – Big Opportunity or Problem? Modern awards must also have a flexibility clause, which means employers and employees will be able to negotiate changes to meet their individual needs relating to issues specified in the clause, for example using over award payments to cover any overtime claims. It appears these can only be negotiated after the person has started work. An employee can terminate an over award payment with 4 weeks notice. To avoid having to continue to pay this over award payment as well as overtime it is important your employment contracts clearly state the Award entitlement that is being covered by the Award payment line by line and that it will revert to the Award base rate payment should the flexibility clause be revoked by the employee. Our template agreements will cover such an instance. This represents an excellent example of how tricky the new laws are and therefore stating people base Award pay in their contracts is critical should they change their mind and reject the over award entitlements. To the contrary you could find yourself paying the over award rate plus time and half penalties based on this rate without a written contract where consent has not been given by the employee. All existing employees should have their existing employment contracts re-written to accommodate these new enterprise flexibility rules to avoid this problem. The most important thing is that the employee volunteers to enter into the arrangement which they can revoke anytime with notice. Should you wish to purchase our template agreement as a guideline, emails us at pa@healthandlife.com.au and we will notify you as soon as the agreements are finalised.


1.0.4 When Will The Awards Not Apply? These modern awards cover employees who are already covered by awards. 1.0.4.1 High Earning Employees Earning > $108,300 pa They won't cover employees who earn more than a guaranteed in writing $108,300 a year st (pro rata for part-time employees) indexed annually on 1 July 2010. The employer and employee must reach agreement about the undertaking before it commences operation. A guarantee can be entered into before employment commences. These employees and their employers will be free to agree on terms in addition to the National Employment Standards without reference to an award. Normally this applies to contracts greater than 12 months; however it also applies to short term contracts such as locums. A key concern is in the area of employee doctors. Where they are offered a percentage of their gross fees e.g. 60% technically they can be caught by these new Award provisions under the Medical Practitioners Award referred to below. Introducing a guaranteed minimum in writing will be mandatory to avoid any Award application including the Miscellaneous Award. Most importantly the ability to waive reference to the Award only applies if the employee consents in writing that the Award does not apply due to their salary exceeding the guaranteed minimum of $108,300. If you do not have this in writing preferably in their employment contract then the Award still applies irrespective of the fact they are high income earners, the employee must volunteer to be part of this. 1.0.4.2 Take Home Pay Order - you can’t just cut existing penalties under the new Modern Awards! A very important warning in the legislation is if the Award or NES causes a reduction in an existing employees take home pay, for example reception permanent staff are no longer entitled to overtime after hours and only a shift allowance, the employee can make an application to Fair Work Australia to have this pay reinstated. Clearly this would mean some employers would be tempted to appoint new permanent and not casual staff into these positions to take advantage of the lower penalty rates. Be careful your casuals are not regular casuals as they may be treated as permanent employees and have access to the unfair dismissal laws. 1.0.4.3 Fair Work Act and Enterprise Agreements have Precedence and the BOOT! The Fair Work Act has precedence in the event there is any conflict with State Awards and NES have precedence over any Modernised Award if there is a conflict. The bottom line is that between the Awards and any employment agreement the employer must satisfy the Better Off Overall Test (known as the BOOT) for the agreement to be legally enforceable. All enterprise agreements remain current until they meet their 5 year expiry date or key expiry term whichever comes earlier. 1.0.4.4 Self Employed Practitioners are excluded from the Awards At this stage treating overseas doctors/practitioners can convert their 457 visas to 422 to become self employed. Any non-registrar doctors can move to a self employed status which will not only eliminate your employer obligations under the Act but reduce malpractice insurance premiums and claims as well as the individual treating practitioner’s tax bill and costs. Under the General Practice Training program Registrars must be employed. Having


said this we question the legality or the necessity for this which we will address below under the Medical Practitioners Award section. Any treating practitioners that pay a management fee for example 40% of their receipts to a practice and are charged GST by the practice based on this management fee will not be treated as employees and therefore not subject to the Awards, superannuation guarantee and payroll tax if they are not incorporated. Practices will also not be liable for vicarious liability claims due to malpractice. It is important that these practitioners bill in their own name with their own ABN and not the practice’s. Therefore only the treating practitioner’s name and ABN should appear on practice invoices and letterheads. Effectively the practitioners are independent tenant practitioners and not sub-contractors or employees. Furthermore they need to sign service agreements to keep the malpractice lawyers and the Tax Office away as well as Fair Work Australia. The Tax Office have publicly stated unless there are management or service agreements in writing, the treating practitioner will be denied a tax deduction on their management fees. This is a simple and clear and correct example of a self employed practitioner. To purchase template agreements from our office email us at pa@healthandlife.com.au for further information. 1.0.4.5 Clarification – Shift Allowances One small clarification we would like to make in relation to the Health Professionals and Support Service Award 2010 which we reported on in our news alert no. 164 in relation to shift allowances, the shift allowance where the ordinary rostered hours of work of an employee finish between 6.00 pm and 8.00 am or commence between 6.00 pm and 6.00 am, the employee will be paid an additional loading of 15% of their ordinary rate of pay. A 15% shift loading will apply for the whole period of the shift and not on just the hours commencing before or after the time periods specified. 1.1 What is the Medical Practitioners Award 2010? This new Award sets the minimum pay and working condition standards for all employed doctors specified in the Award. This Award covers day surgeries and community healthcare centres with a specific reference to General Practice. Specifically mentioned are Registrars. To the contrary as the AMA are contesting the applicability to private medical practice which we believe given the recent pronouncements is unlikely to be successful, these Award provisions will apply. Should they not then we believe the Miscellaneous Award would most likely apply to cover all employees not covered specifically by an occupation or industry based Award, despite this not being the Governments initial intentions. GP Registrars Minimum Term Conflicts with the Fair Work Act? In relation to GP Registrars we note a major concern that this legislation is not consistent with the National Minimum Terms & Conditions for GP Term 1 and GP Term 2 Registrars. Through the Australian General Practice Training Program (“AGPTP”) these minimum terms and conditions apply, by agreement between General Practice Registrars Australia (“GPRA”) and the National General Practice Supervisors’ Association (“NGPSA”), apply to all GP Registrars engaged in GPT 1 and GPT 2. The GP registrars are supposed to be employed by the practice concerned under this Agreement. Our key concerns are: 1. The new Federal Awards do not recognise these organisations as parties to the instrument only the employee and employer and the employee must consent to representation; 2. The GPRA and NGPSA may be in violation of the Australian Competition Commission regulations by restricting access to training practices and determining the price of wages. Concern is raised as to the legal validity of this Agreement as it is not cited in the Award or in any Federal legislation and therefore is best considered non-binding and unenforceable and at worst illegal. Please consult your adviser for further clarification. We did attempt to contact NGPSA to clarify their position and did not receive a return call at the time of broadcast.


The bottom line is that practices should not use this Agreement with their Registrar without also taking into consideration the new Fair Work Act rules. The current agreement does not appear to be Modernised nor consistent with the legislation in all areas. We note the Award minimum pays are less than the GP Term 1 and Term 2 Agreement. Contact us to purchase a template agreement if you are concerned. These should be complete in a few weeks. The key messages which also apply to the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 and the Nurses Award 2010: •

Make sure your staff are compliant with the new laws as there is up to a $33,000 fine for breaches. For example working in excess of 38 hours which are deemed to be unreasonable additional hours.

Paying staff over award payments means you can still be liable with an underpayment of wages claim from an aggrieved staff member. Therefore preparing employment documentation correctly is the only thing that can protect you. (Contact us to find out about our template contract documentation (we are currently finalising) and to go on our waiting list to be contacted when they are available to purchase).

Doing nothing will cost your practice more as the default provisions will cost the practice in additional penalties and allowances. st

The new Medical Practitioners Award 2010 comes into effect on 1 January 2010; the most significant but not limited issues are as follows: 1. EMPLOYER PENALTY - $33,000 per breach •

Penalty of up to $33,000 per employee breach! The person most likely to report a practice is an aggrieved employee due to poor performance.

2. EDUCATION & DISCLOSURE •

All employee medical staff, need to be classified under the new staff Award provisions. There is greater emphasis on the fact that if you want higher pay you should undertake more formal education externally.

The Awards must be clearly accessible electronically or in the lunch room so everybody knows the basis of their pay;

Practices cannot force staff to sign contracts that contravene the Award, in the absence of an agreement that allows Award variations, the new Award applies, you cannot contract out verbally or in writing out of the minimum Award and National Employment Standards;

You must consult all staff and discuss changes if hours are going to be altered, and mitigate its impact on individuals where possible.

3. ORDINARY HOURS DEFINITION EXPANDED Ordinary hours - 6.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday The span of hours for full-time day work Medical Practitioners except Senior Doctors is 6.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday. For Senior Doctors it is between 7.00 am and 6.00 pm Monday to Friday. 4. AVERAGE 38 HOURS PER WEEK MANDATORY – UNREASONABLE HOURS PROHIBITED The ordinary hours of work for an employee will be an average of 38 hours per week and may be worked by agreement between the employer and employee in one of the


following ways: (a) over five days per week or over 19 days per four week period; (b) over 40 hours in any period of seven consecutive days or 80 hours in any period of 14 consecutive days; or (c) 38 hours per week or 10 sessions per week over five days per week or, as agreed between the employee and the employer, averaged over four days per week or a longer roster period. •

Employers must not require or request their employees to work more than 38 hours per week, plus “reasonable additional hours”. See our News Alert No. 164 for guidelines these still apply. General Practice doctors must have 8 hours off between shifts

5. FULL TIME, PART TIME & CASUAL STAFF The employer must inform their staff if they are employed full time, part time or casual: • • •

Full time staff are rostered on average for 38 hours a week; Part time are less than 38 hours that are predictable and pre-agreed and guaranteed; Casual staff are employed on an hourly basis which is unpredictable plus 25% loading Part time Staff Move to full time staff where possible, avoiding part time and casual especially – ensure staff work to rules, otherwise large overtime penalties(see overtime below) arise during normal work hours; You cannot change rosters unless in case of an emergency within 7 days before the rostered shift; Casual Staff Casual staff receive an additional 25% of the loaded rate – convert casuals into permanent staff as they could be deemed permanent because they are regularly rostered and guaranteed hours in writing – no flexibility is allowed in the Award to remain as a permanent casual as in some State Awards. Permanent casual staff paid at a loaded 25% rate leaves the practice open to being sued for under payment of wages such as leave entitlements including annual and sick leave. The Award remains silent unlike the Health Professional Support Staff Award 2010 that states in lieu of full time paid leave entitlements.

6. ALL EMPLOYEE DOCTORS ARE AFFECTED •

All employee medical staff are subject to this. The following is a guideline outlining where your employees may belong. Clearly many practices pay above Award rates, but this does not automatically exempt staff from additional overtime, allowance or penalty payments. Classification is a critical first step process. There are many pay points based on working 1,824 hours per annum in a position. As there are multiple pay points within each class, we have taken the top pay point in each classification. Please consult the Award for details of classification criteria and individual pay points. We have made suggestions here of which classifications are more likely to affect your practice. Maximum Award based on annual full time classification: The classification definitions are contained in Schedule A —Classification Definitions. Employers must advise their employees in writing of their classification upon commencement and of any subsequent changes to their classification.


Minimum annual salaries Community Medical Practitioner – General Practice Pay points From To

Pay point 1 Pay point 8

7. ALLOWANCES ON SALARIES/WAGES

TOP

OF

BASE

AND

INCLUDED

Per annum $ 61,460 76,695 IN

ABOVE

AWARD

Based on Award Classifications doctors are entitled to Allowances which are increased with the Consumer Price Index annually. These are in addition to any above Award payments, unless included in a signed employment contract (see below). Practices may need to reconsider the real benefits of paying above Award wages as this may or may not lead to a wage freeze and capping of wages. Note the Award is not supposed to increase any existing over award payments. The following allowances do apply under the Award: 1. Managerial allowance for Senior Doctors based from 5.56% to 20.50% of the standard hourly rate. 2. Board and Lodging applies reduced by $50.00 per week if provided by the employer; 3. Telephone Allowance reimbursement including installation costs; 4. Clothing and equipment - out of pocket re-imbursement for uniforms or the lesser of $1.23 per shift or $6.24 per week in addition to the laundry set rate which is the lesser of $0.32 per shift or $1.49 per week. This works out at circa $444 p.a. per employee on average; The laundry allowance is not payable if on leave; 5. Meal Allowance – $10 if > 10 hours and another $10.00 > 15 hours; 6. Travelling and Transport Allowance – set rate 74c per kilometre, a log book is required or re-imbursement of fares, meals and accommodation receipts required; 7. District Allowance in WA & NT (ceasing in 2014). . 8. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WORK •

Time and half from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday;

9. OVERTIME & SHIFT ALLOWANCES OVERTIME Overtime penalties: • If working greater than 38 hours a week it is deemed as overtime; • If overtime between Monday to Saturday, time and half for the first 2 hours and double time thereafter; • Sunday double time and Public Holidays are double time and a half; • Recall to overtime – a minimum of 3 hours must be paid at time and half on week th days and double time on weekends and public holidays plus 1/38 of their weekly rate for travel time; • At the employee’s (doctor in training only) election and if the employer mutually agrees then overtime can be taken in lieu of payment. If it is not taken within four weeks it must be paid; SHIFT ALLOWANCES These apply to doctors working their normal hours outside the ordinary hours of the practice between 6:00 am to 6:00pm. Community Medical Practitioners – General Practice


For ordinary hours worked between the following times payment will be made at ordinary time plus the appropriate penalty: (i) for any shift starting between 5.00 am and before 6.30 am and or finishing between 6.00 pm and before midnight—2.5%; (ii) for any shift or part of a shift which is rostered between midnight and 5.00 am—4%; or (iii) for shifts permanently worked within the times set out in clause 25.2(d)(ii); permanently worked means any period in excess of four consecutive weeks—5%. Where duty performed attracts more than one penalty, only the higher penalty will apply. For the purposes of this clause, the term penalty will include overtime. 10. ANNUAL LEAVE ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS Five Weeks Leave An additional weeks leave in total 5 weeks applies to full time employee shift workers (not part time or casual) including shift workers. Payment for annual leave Before going on annual leave, an employee will be paid the amount of wages they would have received for ordinary time worked had they not been on leave during that period. Penalty rates would apply. Annual leave loading – 17.5% In addition to their ordinary pay, an employee, other than a shift worker (who get the higher of penalties or loading), will be paid an annual leave loading of 17.5% of their ordinary pay. Personal/Carer & Compassionate Leave Personal/Carers and Compassionate leave applies. 11. NEW REDUNDANCY RULES • • •

Need to pay 1 to 4 weeks termination notice and it is dependent on age and length of service see National Employment Standards – No.164 News Alert Edition; Staff transferred to lower paid duties are entitled to redundancy payments Terminated staff, are permitted one day with proof of attendance to a job search allowance for every week the notice period applies.

12. TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS • •

• • • •

Existing AWA and practices apply until expired; You cannot make over award payments and contract out of penalties unless appropriate employee written consent is given and the permissible Award variations are limited. New agreements need to be in place to avoid default Award provisions and new systems need to be established to cope with the new Award conditions. Doctors currently remain Award free except training program requirements for registrars and a possible Miscellaneous Award. All employees whether part of an Award or not are affected by the National Employment Standards in particular the 38 hour rule. New transitional rules apply, see Award.

WHAT TO DO NEXT? This applies to all Awards including the Health Professional and Support Staff Award 2010; 1. DON’T IGNORE THE ISSUE – IT WON’T GO AWAY and IT WILL GET WORSE WITH TIME


Up to $33,000 per breach! The most likely person to dob in a practice is an aggrieved employee. Practices need to budget for higher wages and new implementation costs of up to $10,000. 2. CHANGE EMPLOYEE DOCTORS LEGAL STATUS TO A SELF EMPLOYED PRACTITIONER NOW With exception to Registrars which depends on whether you follow their rules or not as discussed earlier convert all doctors to self employed tenant doctors. Email us at pa@healthandlife.com.au if you wish to purchase template service agreements as described in this edition.

2.0 New Topics and Seminar Dates – 2009/10 New Topics! Australia’s most successful practices will have some of their trade secrets presented at our Practice Sustainability Series. Go to our website for an updated 2010 new seminar topics list with descriptions. You can forward this to your local healthcare association and we can do the rest and arrange a local presentation near you. See our website at www.healthandlife.com.au home page under “Special Announcement” for more details under Seminars. We have now introduced a full day seminar on all three Awards plus the NES with practical healthcare specific explanations as well as strategies. 2009/10 Presentations Below is a summary of dates for our seminars across Australia. At each seminar there is an opportunity to meet with us face to face to discuss any practice issues you may have at no obligation. Email us at pa@healthandlife.com.au to pre-book an appointment. If you would like your local medical organisation to host a seminar, send them the attachment with our seminar details and copy us at pa@healthandlife.com.au into your email. We will contact them directly about presenting in your local area. We thank you in advance for your interest and support. You would be surprised how it only takes one person to make things happen! New programs confirmed for the rest of 2009/10 are detailed below. Please contact the organisations directly for details about the course program, content and costs. More seminars will be announced during the year.

Host and Where

Date

Southern Division of General Practice GPNS

November 26, 2009

Contact Name

Contact Details

Joslyn Hibberd

(08) 8374 7018 jhibberd@sdgp.com.au

1

Topics The NEW Fair Work Act 

see our website home page Special Announcement for a  copy of the flyer

SA

 

The National Employment Standards The New Health Professional s and Support Services Award 2010 The New Nurses Award 2010 The New Medical


Practitioners Award 2010

2

3

Melbourne East GP Network VIC Bankstown GP Division

TBA - 2010

TBA

TBA

Practice Sustainability Program

TBA - 2010

TBA

TBA

Practice Sustainability Program

NSW

3.0 New Doctors Pay Calculator Upgrade – New Income Earning Feature (watch new video – now operating) We apologise at the time of the last broadcast the video was not working. We have since rectified the problem to watch the video click on the link below http://www.screencast.com/users/DDMG6870/folders/Default/media/19cc33e1-824a-41bb8c22-55e919941270 Our Doctors Pay Calculator has just undergone another upgrade with a new important feature. For practices that are aware you can legally avoid payroll tax and employment obligations including the new Industrial Awards if you charge a management fee plus GST on provider fees received. For example charging a 40% service/management fee to a doctor of their gross receipts received. The Doctors Pay Calculator helps you quickly complete and reconcile using a database (not a messy spreadsheet!!) accurate Tax Invoices, BAS & Income Tax Extract Summaries for your practice and your providers simultaneously. This new feature allows practices to offer up to 7 different types of management fees or percentages with clear descriptions for tracking purposes. These include calculating a guarantee minimum, the program allows you to entice providers to take advantage of the higher dollar Medicare item numbers for services such as the chronic disease management. Remember you need a signed medico-legal, commercially tax friendly service agreement signed off in writing before you do this. Contact us about purchasing template agreements if you do not have a service agreement with your providers. See our video demonstration of the Doctors Pay Calculator at www.healthandlife.com.au. 4.0 New Free Business Coaching /Mentoring Service – The Good, the Bad and Ugly Report At Health and Life we have been extremely concerned about the tsunami of changes affecting the healthcare industry. From the national hospital healthcare reforms, Industrial Award changes to Medicare Audits. As result we are pleased to introduce a free 6 monthly teleconference business coaching program for all of our clients who request our “Good, Bad and Ugly” Report in addition to their annual tax and financial returns. We cannot offer this service unless a formal report is prepared. After the end of each year a report will be prepared to discuss the practice’s strategy for the next 12 months. Then after the first six months we check up with you to see how you are progressing and how to fast track any agreed changes. This offer is available to existing clients and new clients who join our firm in the next 12 months. The Good, Bad and Ugly report is a detailed annual written benchmarking and strategic report that recommends changes to your practice at a macro and micro level. We


review issues such as staff productivity right through to maximizing government revenues, succession planning, healthcare reforms and how to best position your practice. We have decided to introduce this service because it is very difficult to prepare news alert topics on every major issue and it is for busy practitioners. The service is a fast track way of presenting, tailoring and monitoring information for your practice that is relevant and timely. This will make a difference to your bottom line and risk management profile. Contact us for further information. 5.0 Catching Up with David Dahm and the Team If you would like to catch up with us next time we are in your neighborhood feel free to email us at pa@healthandlife.com.au or call for a no obligation chat in relation to these or any other issues you may be concerned about. We are planning trips to Melbourne and Sydney in the next couple of months. Alternatively feel free to contact one of our State Offices to arrange a no obligation appointment. 6.0 Where to from here? 1.

Consult your professional adviser in relation to any advice suggested;

2.

If you require any back issues of our news alerts please email us;

3.

If you are not sure about any issues raised in this broadcast contact David Dahm on 1800 077 222 for an initial no obligation consult, or email us at pa@healthandlife.com.au. Health and Life provides comprehensive practice consulting, accounting, taxation and financial planning advice for group practices and individuals.

Which topics would you like to be covered? If there is a particular topic that you would like covered in one of our future News Alerts, please email pa@healthandlife.com.au and let us know what it is. We will then endeavour to cover your requested topic. Do we have your email address? It is apparent in feedback we are receiving that there are persons receiving this regular email who are not on our email list. If you are receiving this email ‘second-hand’ from another source, we would be delighted to receive your email address and we will add you to our database so that you can receive it first-hand on the day it is sent. This invitation is open to all medical practices. Please send your email address to pa@healthandlife.com.au Do you wish to unsubscribe from our list? Please email pa@healthandlife.com.au if you wish to be removed from our distribution list Copyright Notice This email, including any attachments, is for the personal use of the recipient(s) only. Republication and re-dissemination, including posting to news groups or web pages, is strictly prohibited without the express prior consent of Health & Life Pty Ltd. Disclaimer Notice Health & Life Pty Ltd’s Best Practice News Alert is designed as a comprehensive and up-to-date Accounting and Practice Management news service to alert readers to the latest in practice and related developments affecting the medical, dental and allied


health professions as they happen. It is published when there is news to report. No responsibility can be accepted for those who act on its content without first consulting us or obtaining specific advice. Health and Life Pty Ltd Accounting & Practice Management Services. “Looking after your future� PO Box 8145 Station Arcade, ADELAIDE SA 5000 Telephone

(08) 8415 5400

Fax

(08) 8231 6767

Email:

pa@healthandlife.com.au

Web Site

www.healthandlife.com.au

Medical Practitioners Award 2010 Miscellaneous Award Update Best Practice News Alert 166  

STOP PRESS Welcome to Health & Life’s free email newsletter service. Tell a friend that we would be happy to add their email address to...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you