Blogs

When There is Nothing Casual in a Casual Position

13 Sep 2018

Kym Gardner

by Ms Kym Gardner

Checking the accounts

A recent decision handed down by the Full Court of the Federal Court has had a ripple effect across workplaces everywhere, including medical practices. Anyone who employs people under the description of being a ‘casual’ employee needs to be aware of this decision.

In the decision handed down on 16 August 2018, the court found that a casual is not necessary a casual when their position did not have an ‘essence of casualness’.  The ‘essence of casualness’ might include aspects like ‘irregularity, uncertainty, unpredictability, intermittency and discontinuity in the pattern of work’.  The opposite leads to the conclusion that someone working regular hours over a long period of time, for example every Monday and Tuesday for a period of 12 months, may subsequently be entitled to paid annual leave. This may even be the case where the employee has been receiving the higher casual rate of pay which is designed to compensate the worker for the lack of paid entitlements, such as annual and personal leave.   

Following this decision, many employees working in medical practices may be found to be permanent employees, so practice owners and managers should be proactive and clarify terms of engagement with their staff.

The Fair Work website provides some useful guidance on potential letters of engagement for staff.

This blog contains general information only. We recommend you contact your medical defence organisation or insurer when you require specific advice in relation to medico-legal matters.

 

Library

My Career Journey with Dr Nick Coatsworth

Dr Nick Coatsworth is an expert in health policy, public administration and a practising infectious diseases physician. He held a national role in the Australian response to COVID-19 as Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Australia, becoming one of the most recognised medical spokespeople during the pandemic. Nick engaged the Australian community through a variety of media platforms most notably as the spearhead of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Dr Micheal Gannon, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, sits down with Dr Nick Coatsworth to discuss Nick's medical career journey, and what insights and advice he has for junior doctors. MDA National would like to acknowledge the contributions of MDA National staff, Members, friends and colleagues in the production of the podcast and note that this work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under applicable copyright law, you may not reproduce the content of this podcast without the permission of MDA National. This podcast contains generic information only, is intended to stimulate thought and discussion, and doesn’t account for requirements of any particular individual. The content may contain opinions which are not necessarily those of MDA National. We recommend that you always contact your indemnity provider when you require specific advice in relation to your insurance policy or medico-legal matters. MDA National Members need to contact us for specific medico-legal advice on freecall 1800 011 255 or email advice@mdanational.com.au. We may also refer you to other professional services.

Podcasts

09 Jun 2022

Career complications and contending with uncertainty

Among the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for junior doctors is how to respond to medical training impacts and career uncertainty. In this podcast, Dr Caroline Elton (a psychologist who specialises in helping doctors)and Dr Benjamin Veness (a Psychiatry registrar) share advice for coping with medical training and career delays, disruptions and unknowns.

Podcasts

10 Aug 2020