DiTs – know your rights: The eight-hour break

DiTs – know your rights: The eight-hour break


David Copland
Policy & Research Lead (Industrial/Political/Legal)

Monday 2 December 2019

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The WA Health System – Medical Practitioners – AMA Industrial Agreement 2016 (Agreement) sets out strict rostering provisions, developed to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of doctors in training.

 

If you are required to resume rostered duty before having eight consecutive hours free from all duty (including call-back requiring attendance at the workplace), the subsequent hours worked shall attract a 50 per cent loading until you are released from duty for eight consecutive hours. 

 

The Roster Breach Penalty applies in addition to shift and overtime penalties. Employers have previously sought to avoid paying these legally prescribed penalties in a number of ways:

 

  • Describing a second shift as an ‘on-call’ or ‘sleep’ shift. Requiring employees to remain on site does not negate HSPs’ legal obligation to pay both a practitioner’s ordinary hourly rate, applicable shift penalties and the roster breach penalty when there are two or more consecutive shifts worked, without at least an eight-hour break between shifts.
  • Allowing practitioners to finish early at the end of their second or third consecutive shift. This does not negate the employer’s legal obligation to pay penalties on all hours worked and continue to pay ordinary hours on all hours rostered.
  • Paying shift or overtime penalties, ‘in lieu’ of Roster Breach Penalty. The Roster Breach Penalty is paid in addition to shift and overtime penalties.
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The AMA (WA) is compiling a list of members who have not received the appropriate penalty payments and claiming the correct payments on their behalf. Some practitioners have been underpaid over $100,000.

 

Please contact the AMA (WA)’s IR team on 9273 3000 if you have not received the appropriate payments and wish to join others in making a claim.

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