Great Win for JMOs in Orange Health Service – JMO After Hours Meal breaks




Following a visit to Orange Health Service by the Alliance, Industrial Organiser Kerrie Seymour identified that there were a number of after- hours rosters that incorporated an unpaid meal break. This practice is contrary to the award provisions as outlined in Clause 10 Meal Breaks and the MOH Circular no 83/250 of 19 August 1983 which advises that;

  • (i)          Shifts Other Than Day Shifts Monday to Friday
Because of the widespread difficulty in officers leaving hospital premises (including the taking of meal breaks) during ‘Out of hours shifts’, it has been decided that except where agreement is reached between a hospital and the Association in respect to arrangements for the taking of meal breaks (in which case the time involved shall not count as time worked), henceforth in all shifts other than Monday to Friday day shifts, all time an officer is required to be in attendance shall be regarded as working time and paid for accordingly. Payment for the whole of the elapsed time between the starting and the finishing time of the shifts will be made irrespective of whether the work is overtime of forms part of the officer’s normal hours.


ASMOF subsequently wrote to Orange Health Service advising that there were after hours rosters including, the ED, Anaesthetics and General Medicine rosters, where a half hour meal break was being deducted from JMOs pays. Orange Health Service was advised that this practice was to cease immediately and that all rosters be reviewed to ensure that they were compliant with the award provisions.

ASMOF also requested that affected JMOs should be paid for the time that had been deducted, for example if it was a shift that was 10.5 hours, that they should be paid for the full length of the shift i.e. 10 hours at ordinary hours and .5 at overtime rates. We also requested that Orange Health Service pay all JMOs who had worked these shifts, retrospective payment for the last 6 years in accordance with the Statute of Limitations.

Orange Health Service advised that they would only be able to pay retrospectivity for the previous twelve weeks due to changes in staff and information which may have been lost. ASMOF subsequently sought advice from Healthshare to see if it was possible to generate a report in order to identify those JMOs who may be affected and the advice received was that Healthroster is able to generate such a report from the time that Orange Health Service transitioned to Healthroster. Given ASMOF’s involvement in the Healthroster JCC meetings, ASMOF were aware that the Orange Health Service transitioned to Healthroster in late November early December 2012.

ASMOF has now written to Orange Health Service advising that they should liaise with Healthshare in order to generate the report an identify those JMOs who have been affected by this error.

Management have advised that they are currently reviewing the request and discussing it with Healthshare and will come back to ASMOF within the next week. A further meeting will be set up shortly in order to discuss and progress retrospective payment for affected JMOs.

For more information : Watch this space

Any comments and/or concerns should be directed to Kerrie Seymour via email