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POSTED ON 18-03-2021

Employment Contracts and Conditions for Australian Doctors


Employment contracts, Independent contractors, emmployees

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Many GPs in Australia are occupied as an employee or contractor in a private medical practice. This includes Part-time and locum work arrangements. In Australia it is common and appropriate to sign either an employer/employee contract or service agreement when engaging with a practice.

 

Employee

A Doctor is considered an Employee if they:

•          Are paid for the time worked

•          Receive paid leave – for example, sick, annual or recreation, or long service leave

•          Are not responsible for providing the materials or equipment required to do their job

•          Must perform the duties of their position

•          Agree to provide their personal services

•          Work to hours set by an agreement or award

•          Are recognised as part and parcel of the payer’s business

•          Take no commercial risks and cannot make a profit or loss from the work performed.

As Employees you have many advantages, including the ability to focus on your clinical work. This is particularly appropriate for doctors who wish to have flexibility in their work life and do not want to accept the responsibilities and financial risks.

 

Independent Contractor

Independent contractors run their own business, negotiate their own working arrangements and fees. Doctors are generally considered an independent contractor if they:

•          are paid for results achieved

•          provide all or most of the necessary materials and equipment to complete the work.

•          are free to delegate work to other entities

•          have freedom in the way the work is done

•          provide services to the general public and other businesses

•          are free to accept or refuse work

•          are in a position to make a profit or loss.

 

Contracts

 

An employment contract is simply what identifies the working relationship, rights and responsibilities, and expectations between the employee/independent contractor and the employer.

 

The contract/agreement is important for both parties as it helps understand what involves in their business relationship. It similarly prevents any misunderstandings or risks associated with signing a contract.

 

If you are a GP about to sign an employment contract, the RACGP Employee guide suggests that the contract should include certain key details.

 

 

Contracts for Employees

 

The employment contract for employee should include details of the following:

 

       Salary

– fixed salary or percentage of billings

– frequency of billing cycles

– percentage of PIP

– percentage of PNIP

– SIP

– any other allowances or expenses

       Description of the job, duties and responsibilities

       A commencement date and type of employment (full time, part time, casual, other)

       Location of employment, including on-call and after-hours requirements to attend

patients’ homes, hospitals, and workplaces

       Hours of work or number of sessions, patients per hour

       Leave entitlements

– annual leave

– personal leave (sick leave, carers leave and compassionate leave)

– long service leave

– parental leave

– study leave

– sabbatical leave

       Superannuation

       Post employment restrictions (if applicable)

       Performance management

       Renegotiation

       Dispute resolution

       Termination of employment (including notice period)

 

Contracts for Independent Contractors


The employment contract for employee should include details of the following:

       Salary

– percentage of billings

– frequency of billing cycles

– payment method

– percentage of PIP

– percentage of PNIP

– SIP

– any other allowances or expenses

       Identification of the parties (medical practice and independent contractor)

       Commencement date and duration of the contract

       Hours of work and location of work

       Results to be achieved and services to be performed

       Insurance and professional indemnity responsibilities

       The terms of the contract

       After hours work and on call requirements

       Provision of tools and equipment necessary to undertake the work

       Reporting arrangements

       Confidentiality obligations

       Intellectual property rights

       A clear dispute resolution process

       Leave entitlements (unpaid)

– annual leave

– personal leave (sick leave, carers leave and compassionate leave)

– long service leave

– parental leave

– study leave

– sabbatical leave

       Termination of the contract

For more details on contracts for Independent Contractors, see the Independent Contractors Essential Handbook which is a simple guide to the rules and regulations and the rights and obligations of the business.

 

If you need further details or clarifications on employment conditions and contracts, including work arrangements and income potential, our recruitment consultants are fully capable to assist you. Simply drop an email to feed@medfutur.com.au with your questions or contact details and we will get in touch with you.

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