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 through the complexity and ensure you get 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’ll all work out about right. But this is ill advised! You should always check your online timesheet and you should try to understand what and why you have been paid.
The information below is aimed at helping junior medical staff. Summarising it all, the four most important pieces of advice are:
- Know your award
- Verify your online timesheet at Employee Online (wseol.ros.health.nsw.gov.au) and your payslip on Stafflink (spzsso.cit.health.nsw.gov.au)
- Boost your annual pay by several thousands of dollars by taking advantage of salary packaging
- Let RSU know of any variations to your roster as soon as you can
So, let’s cover the basics. You are paid fortnightly directly into your bank account. The fortnight runs from Mon-Sun and the pay will be in your bank by the following Thursday. (click here for 2019 pay dates).
At present, your pay is completely determined by what is entered by Resident Support Unit (RSU) into the statewide rostering system (called 'Health Roster'). It is therefore critical that RSU have access to your most up-to-date roster. For interns and RMO1s, RSU prepares most of the rosters (with ED and O&G being notable exceptions), so this shouldn't be a problem, but they still need plenty of notice about roster swaps or other variations from the published roster. For SRMOs and Registrars, the rosters are usually prepared by someone other than RSU, so it is vital that there is good communication between the person preparing the roster and RSU, especially in relation to late variations.
Your timesheets are posted online on Monday in the second week of the pay period at wseol.ros.health.nsw.gov.au
. Your login for your online timesheet will the same as for your health e-mail, My Health Learning and Stafflink. You should review your timesheet and either 'agree' or 'disagree'. If you disagree, you should provide an explanation in the space provided. However, you cannot use this process to notify RSU about unrostered overtime or callbacks, for which a separate claim form is required. Health Roster interfaces with the statewide payroll system, (called 'Stafflink') on the Monday immediately after each pay period and the pay will end up in your bank 2-3 days later.
If there are any late variations to your timesheet after the end of the pay period (such as unrostered overtime, callbacks, unanticipated leave or late shift swaps), these should be communicated with RSU as soon as possible, but 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 period. Your payslip will clearly indicate which pay period each payment relates to.
The fortnightly record of what you have been paid – i.e. your payslip – will be e-mailed to your health e-mail, and you can log in to Stafflink
at any time, via the internet, to view the details of your current and past payslips as well as leave balances. You should be particularly vigilant in the following circumstances:
- Whenever you submit a retrospective adjustment
The system may not always automatically re-calculate the impact this should have on your overtime, so you should always double check
- Whenever there is a term change mid pay period which involves you moving between Local Health Districts
On occasions the system has difficulty in reconciling the information coming in from two LHDs and may ignore some information, leading to underpayment. Furthermore, when moving between employers mid pay period, each employer is required to calculate overtime after 40 hours in a single week (rather than 80 hours in the fortnight). Failure to do this may lead to underpayment of overtime. For JMOs on the 5 term rotation, each term change in 2019 occurs mid pay period and timesheets at the term change should be scrutinised very carefully, as it is easy to miss out on overtime.
The following documents provide additional information about your timesheet and payslip and of course RSU is a very valuable resource in this regard:
Checking your your Timesheet on Line - Pay Period Confirmation
StaffLink Employee Self Service User Guide
Junior Medical Staff are governed by the Public Hospital Medical Officers Award, 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
Below is a copy of the Award and a FAQ sheet pertaining to common award and payment questions.
Public Hospital Medical Officers Award
JMO Payment FAQ
This refers to any time you were required to work outside of the published roster. Over the past 12 months the hospital has consciously encouraged all JMOs to claim for all hours when they are required to work beyond their rostered shift in order to complete their work.
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 08:30-17:00, all 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 7 on/7 off roster. If you are uncertain, you can ask RSU and will also find your shift times online in HealthRoster.
If your paid shift times on your timesheet seem to vary from the advice given to you by your department, you should raise this immediately with RSU.
Unrostered overtime needs to be claimed on the approved RSU unrostered overtime claim form. This is currently being reviewed and an electronic version may be introduced in 2020. This will always need to include the reason for the unrostered overtime - including patient names and MRNs. NSW Health has recently introduced a new policy (PD2019-27 Section 9 - Click here for details
) which streamlines the process for claiming unrostered overtime by eliminating the need for Department Head sign off in a variety of defined circumstance.
Callbacks occur when you participate in an on call roster and are called back into the hospital. There is a very small payment for being on call, and each callback is paid at a minimum of 4 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 is the same either way and MUST
be paid at overtime rates
The more common form of callback usually only applies to the 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 on the callback claim form
are found in the policy PD2019-27, which encompasses both callbacks and unrostered overtime:
Claims for Remote Clinical Appraisals
The hospitals current policy for the administration of claims for payment of call backs 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. Claim forms 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.
Claims submitted beyond 12 weeks after the service was provided require approval by the Division.
ADO – or Accrued Days Off are an award entitlement which do not sit easily with 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 (e.g. ED, ICU, Relief, etc.) but if an ADO has not been rostered (e.g. most ward based teams), you are expected to organise a day off independently with your team each month.
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 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.
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.