Senior Doctors’ Recall vs Additional Hours – Update

Senior Doctors’ Recall vs Additional Hours – Update

Monday 5 November 2018

Further to the article in the July 2018 Medicus, the AMA (WA) has continued to advocate for recalls being able to be claimed even where the practitioner has not left the health service, but is effectively required, for clinical reasons, to remain at work beyond their usual professional commitment.


Following the most recent conference before the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WIARC) on 18 September 2018, the parties agreed to a 3 months trial of a new P8 which provides some uniform guidelines to Heads of Departments for the approval of recall claims in such circumstances.


Specifically the new P8 provides that:-


“Where any recall/call back submitted in this form is for a period immediately following the completion of the practitioner’s rostered shift, the Head of Department will ensure the following criteria are met in order to support the on call/recall claim:


a) The senior medical practitioner was rostered on call;

b) The senior medical practitioner had finished their ordinary rostered shift and was working beyond their professional commitment;

c) The senior medical practitioner was instructed or summonsed to return to work by a person authorized to give such a direction (this may be the practitioner themselves, where there is an immediate need for consultant led care or care by a senior medical practitioner (Year 1 to 3) or a Health Service Medical Practitioner (Year 1 to 3) who operates in a consultant capacity or without supervision); and

d) The extra work required was not for a predetermined length.


By way of further explanation, the AMA (WA) advises that:-


  • Criteria b) is met where the practitioner is not able to avail him/herself of time off in lieu of working the additional hours as part of the “no fixed hours” swings and roundabouts.
  • A “recall to work” does not require the practitioner to have left the health service;
  • Where a practitioner is not rostered on call, there is no requirement that the practitioner be ready, willing or able to remain at, or return to work beyond their ordinary professional commitment;
  • “Additional hours” may still apply in circumstances where a practitioner is asked, and agrees to work an additional session or shift with advance notice. This is done purely by agreement, and the practitioner is under no obligation to accede to the request.


The new P8 is expected to be available from mid-November, and will be trialed for a period of 3 months.


If you are submitting claims for a recall during this period and your P8 is not approved, you are advised to seek clarification in writing of the decision not to approve your claim, in accordance with clause 49(1)(b) of the AMA Agreement.


If you disagree with the written clarification, please contact the AMA Industrial team.


For any further enquiries please contact

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Dr Rebecca Cogan
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