Correction to meal allowance rates for WA Health medical practitioners | AMA (WA)


Meal allowance rates_payroll and salaries

Correction to meal allowance rates for WA Health medical practitioners

Thursday October 5, 2023

We recently became aware of an underpayment of meal allowances affecting all practitioners employed under the WA Health System – Medical Practitioners – AMA Industrial Agreement 2022 (Agreement).

Clause 52. (2) of the Agreement provides that the rates for meal allowances are to be automatically adjusted in accordance with the adjustments to rates prescribed in Schedule H – Overtime Allowance of the Public Service Award 1992 (Award).

Meal Allowance Rate Increase

Upon reviewing the Award, we found the rates for meal allowances increased when the Award was varied and published on 31 March 2023, with the increased rates expected to be paid from 10 April 2023 – the first pay period following 28 March 2023, as per the Award variation terms.

This increase did not occur for practitioners employed under the Agreement, with practitioners continuing to receive the previously applicable rates.

We raised this matter with System Wide Industrial Relations (SWIR) seeking that the new rates be immediately implemented, with backpay issued for practitioners who had received the incorrect meal allowance rates.

Following our correspondence raising this issue, SWIR confirmed the new rates were implemented as of 20 September 2023, with the new rates to be received on the pay day falling 28 September 2023. Backpays for the period commencing 10 April 2023 – 10 September 2023 were to be received on the pay day falling on 28 September 2023.


Meal allowance rates

Meal Allowances on Recalls

Earlier this year we raised another meal allowance issue with SWIR regarding practitioners’ entitlement to a meal allowance when working a recall or overtime of greater than 10 hours (exclusive of rest breaks) shift, and who were not receiving any meal allowance.

SWIR confirmed our interpretation that practitioners who work 10 hours or more (inclusive of recall, exclusive of rest breaks) are entitled to a meal allowance pursuant to Clause 52. (1) of the Agreement.

If you believe you have been entitled to a meal allowance and have not received it, or did not receive the increased meal allowance rates/backpay in the 28 September 2023 pay cycle, please first raise the issue with your Medical Workforce team to allow an opportunity for them to resolve the matter. If your matter is not resolved, please contact our Industrial Relations Team by emailing, calling (08) 9273 3000, or submitting an online query here: