Public Hospital Doctors: Your rights and responsibilities at work | AMA (WA)


Employee rights and responsibilities

Public Hospital Doctors: Your rights and responsibilities at work

Thursday April 27, 2023

The AMA (WA) represents the interests of all doctors in Western Australia. We protect the interests of our members at every career stage, including Senior Doctors and Doctors in Training (DiT) in our hospitals.

Senior Doctors are often in positions that involve the supervision or management of Doctors in Training, and should be well apprised of changes in the industrial relations environment in WA. The AMA (WA) is aware that you may not have been provided with information about these changes by your health service and believes that everyone should be aware of their rights and responsibilities at work.

New provisions in the AMA (WA) Industrial Agreement 2022

A new WA Health System – Medical Practitioners – AMA Industrial Agreement 2022 was registered in September, and applies to all medical practitioners working in WA public health services. All staff involved in the hiring, rostering, and management of medical staff should be familiar with the Agreement.

  • Requests for annual leave must receive a response within two weeks. When an application is declined an alternative period where accrued leave may be taken must be provided.
  • Amounts of annual leave accrued over 12 months ago may be taken at any time suitable to the practitioner by providing two weeks’ notice.
  • Rosters for DiTs must be provided, or made readily accessible, to DiTs at least 14 days prior to commencement at minimum, however, should be provided at least 21 days prior where practicable, and must be posted for a minimum 28-day period. Rosters must also comply with the provisions of the Agreement – a handy roster checklist is available here:

Changes to state employment laws in WA, increased penalties, and personal liability

From 20 June 2022, new safeguards for employees’ entitlements have been applied in the state industrial relations system. These include increased penalties, the introduction of personal liability, and new provisions for ‘serious contraventions’ (including wage theft).

For the first time, these penalties provide for individual liability. Now individuals who are knowingly involved in contravening an entitlement in an industrial agreement can be personally liable for a civil penalty. In serious cases, penalties can reach $130,000.

There are also new provisions to prevent ‘damaging action’ (retribution) against employees who make an employment-related inquiry.

For more information on the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Act 2021:

See here to review our previous Medicus coverage on the legislative changes (pg 6-7): Medicus July 2022 (

The AMA (WA) can advise members of their responsibilities

We encourage AMA (WA) members who are responsible for managing staff to ensure they are aware of the Agreement provisions and industrial obligations relevant to their duties. The AMA (WA) is available to provide advice to ensure that Senior Doctors are not placed into inappropriate situations by health services, and are not placed at risk of personal liability.