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It is universally recognised that junior doctors have the most complex roster patterns and payment process of any hospital staff. This section is designed to assist you in getting paid correctly.

Some doctors find it hard to keep track of what they should be paid and some doctors give up trying, never looking at their online timesheet and trusting that it will all work out about right. This is ill advised! You should always check your timesheet and try to understand what and why you have been paid.

The four most important pieces of advice are:

  1. Know your award
  2. Verify your timesheet and payslip
  3. Boost your annual income by several thousands by salary packaging
  4. Inform RSU of any variations to your roster as soon as possible

The Fortnightly Pay Cycle

So, let’s cover the basics. You are paid fortnightly directly into your bank account. The fortnight runs from Monday to Sunday and you'll receive your wage by the following Thursday.

At present, your pay is completely determined by what is entered by RSU into the statewide rostering system, known as "Health Roster". It is therefore critical that RSU have access to your most up-to-date roster. For interns and RMOs, RSU prepares most of your rosters with ED and O&G being the notable exceptions, so this shouldn't be a problem. However, they still need plenty of notice about roster swaps or other variations. For SRMOs and registrars, the rosters are usually prepared by someone other than RSU so it is vital there is good communication on this front, especially in relation to late variations.

Your timesheets are uploaded to Employee Online on the Monday of the second week of the pay cycle. Use your Stafflink ID and password to login. You should review your timesheet and either 'agree' or 'disagree'. If you disagree, you should provide an explanation in the space provided. Note that this process cannot be used to notify RSU about unrostered overtime or callbacks, for which a separate on-line process is required (see below). Health Roster interfaces with the statewide payroll system, "Stafflink", on the Monday following each pay cycle and the money will end up in your bank two to three days later. 

Retrospective Adjustments

If there are any late variations to your timesheet, submitted after the end of the pay period in which they occurred - such as unrostered overtime, callbacks, unanticipated leave or late shift swaps - these should be communicated with RSU as soon as possible. However, they cannot be paid until the end of the pay period in which they are submitted. In this circumstance, you will receive payments relating to both the current pay period and the previous pay periods involving the retrospective adjustment. Your payslip will clearly indicate which cycle each payment relates to.

The fortnightly record of what you have been paid, your payslip, can be accessed on Stafflink at any time, in addition to past payslips and leave balances. You should be particularly vigilant in the following circumstances:

  1. Whenever you submit a retrospective adjustment, the system may not automatically recalculate the complete impact which this should have on your overtime, so always double check.
  2. Whenever there is a term change mid-pay period that involves you moving between Local Health Districts, there can be issues integrating the individual weeks from separate LHDs, which may lead to underpayment. Furthermore, when moving between employers mid-pay period, each employer is required to manually calculate based on 40 normal hours in a single week, rather than 80 normal hours in the fortnight. Failure to do this may also lead to underpayment of overtime.
The following documents provide additional information about your timesheet and payslip and, of course, RSU is a very valuable resource in this regard:

  • Pay Period Confirmation
  • Payslip Guide
  • StaffLink Employee Self Service User Guide
  • Medical Officers Award

    Junior Medical Staff are governed by the Public Hospital Medical Officers (State) Award 2019, augmented by relevant NSW Health Policy Directives. All staff are advised to become familiar with their award. RSU staff are the local experts in understanding and applying the award and this is the best place to start if you have any queries. You will also find useful information about conditions of employment on the NSW Health website and also on the JMO On Call App Quick Tips section which includes a JMO Payment FAQs page

    Unrostered Overtime, Callbacks and Remote Clinical Appraisal

    Unrostered Overtime

    This refers to any time you were required to work outside of the published roster. The hospital consciously encourages all JMOs to claim all overtime that they are required to work beyond their rostered shift. The DPET is very keen to here from interns and RMOs who believe that they have been discouraged from claiming unrostered overtime, or who believe that their claim has been inappropriately rejected. One of the functions of a DPET is to advise, and advocate on your behalf.

    Clearly, before you can claim any unrostered overtime, you need to be familiar with the details of your roster. For instance, while many shifts at Westmead run from 08:30 to 17:00, most surgical intern and RMO shifts commence at 07:00. Some departments, such as Upper GI Surgery, have a department-specific rotating roster with different shift times on different days. Others, such as Trauma, ASU and ICU have a seven on/seven off roster. If you are uncertain you can ask RSU and will also find your shift times on Health Roster. If your timesheet shifts seem to vary from the advice given to you by your department, you should raise this immediately with RSU.

    All claims for unrostered overtime should be submitted via UROC, the NSW Health electronic claims system. You can access UROC via an APP (download from the APP store or Google Play and search for "UROC NSW Health"). Alternatively, it is also visible as part of Stafflink, where you can see 'NSH Health UROC Creator' as an option in the top left menu. You can submit a claim from any computer or personal device, in and outside the hospital. Once submitted, claims will be directed to RSU for management. The advantage of using the electronic system is that you have a permanent record of claims and can track the approval process. In making a claim, you will be asked to select from a menu of approved reasons for unrostered overtime and, where necessary, to provide additional detail - which will often include the MRN of the last patient your were involved with. So don't forget to collect this information.

    The current NSW Health policy has streamlined the process for claiming unrostered overtime by eliminating the need for Head of Department sign-off in the majority of cases and expanding the approved reasons for being able to claim unrostered overtime.

    You should be aware that submissions into UROC  are not paid automatically - there needs to be a process of review and authorisation which will take at least several days. This means that payment of claims made late in the pay cycle may be delayed until the following pay period. When this happens, your payslip will clearly indicate which pay period the payment refers to. 


    When you participate in an on-call roster, you may be called back into the hospital. There is a very small payment for being on-call, and each callback is paid at a minimum of four hours of overtime.

    For interns and RMOs, the most common form of callback occurs through participation in a sick relief roster. This is when you are on-call in case another JMO is sick and unable to attend a rostered shift. When you are called in for this purpose, it is usually reflected on your timesheet as though you had been rostered to the shift which you have taken over, rather than as a callback. The payment should be the same, and either way, MUST be paid at overtime rates. If you are aver asked to work when you are on an on call roster and you are not paid as overtime, you should raise this with RSU.

    The more common form of callback usually only applies to Advanced Trainees from a small group of disciplines, especially the procedural sub-specialties. Once called back, registrars are required to be signed out before leaving the hospital. Further details including the documentation required are found in the policy PD2019-27, which encompasses both callbacks and unrostered overtime

    Like unrostered overtime, claims for callbacks are made via UROC.

    Claims for Remote Clinical Appraisals

    This does not impact on Interns and RMOs, but will be of relevance to certain specialty advanced trainees. The hospitals current policy for the administration of claims for payment of callbacks and remote clinical appraisals can be found on the policy database on the hospital Intranet.
    The claiming medical officer must be listed on the relevant on-call roster for the period in which they are making a claim for payment of a clinical appraisal undertaken remotely.

    Claims for Remote Clinical Appraisals cannot be made in UROC. A manual from needs to be completed and these are available in the RSU and the RMO Common Room. It is essential for the following sections in the certification section on page 2 of the form to be completed by the Medical Officer:
    • The reason for calling an on call medical officer was as follows:
      • Clinical advice:
      • Clinical advice and advice on admission:
      • Advising of an admission:
    • The reason why it was not necessary to return to the hospital to undertake the appraisal is as follows:

    The claim for payment of a remote clinical appraisal must be approved by the trainee’s department head or their delegate. Medical officers should submit claims for payment of remote appraisals no later than 4 weeks after these occurred.


    An Accrued Day Off (ADO) is an award entitlement which does not sit easily within the day-to-day running of the hospital. There will rarely be any opportunity to be replaced by a reliever, so in order to take the day off you will usually need to negotiate local arrangements with your team. Some roster patterns facilitate the rostering of ADOs, such as ED, ICU, Relief and some ward-based terms, but if an ADO has not been rostered, you are expected to organise a day off independently with your team each month. When you do this you MUST let RSU know about the ADO.

    ADOs are accrued by virtue of you being paid for a 76 hr fortnight, but being rostered to, and working 80 hours. This shows up as a four hour deduction on your payslip each fortnight. You accrue ADOs at the rate of 1 every month, meaning you are entitled to take 12 per year. However, you are not allowed to accumulate more than 3 ADOs, and all accumulated ADOs will be paid out whenever you move between Local Health Districts (e.g. when seconded to Coffs Harbour or on return). If the hospital is required to pay out accumulated ADOs, then any ADOs in excess of three will be paid at overtime rates. Policies relating to ADOs are below:

  • Medical Officers - Employment Arrangements in the NSW Public Health Service 
  • Salary Packaging

    Salary packaging is a completely legal way of reducing your tax liability and thus increasing your take home pay. Everyone is entitled to salary packaging but it requires you to take action – the hospital cannot automatically do this for you. For most medical staff, salary packaging will involve presenting evidence of eligible expenditure (which covers almost anything), and requires little more than a copy of your credit card payments. For most junior doctors, this simple activity will boost your take home pay by several thousand dollars per year.

    For interns – because the salary packaging year runs until 31st March, you have a unique opportunity to take benefit of a full year’s worth of salary packaging in the first 2 months, but you need to sign up immediately.

    All medical staff should investigate salary packaging, as almost all will benefit from it. The hospital's current salary packaging provider is a company called Smart Salary and they have an office on-site (on level 2 next to the post office) as well as a strong online presence.

    Getting Paid when on Leave

    In order to ensure uninterrupted payment during any form of leave, it is important to submit a leave form in advance, even when you you know that RSU are aware of your planned leave. Most leave types will only be paid once a leave form has been received. If you are uncertain, you should discuss with RSU. You should be aware that, if you so desire, you are able to nominate to have your annual leave paid out in advance.

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