Parental Leave Portability for Medical Officers



Over the last six months ASMOF has implemented a strategic multi-disciplinary campaign to win positive changes to parental leave provisions for medical officers in NSW. This has included running industrial disputes and negotiating with the NSW Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Public Service Commission.

Currently NSW Health does not recognise interstate service for the purposes of medical officers meeting the 40 weeks continuous service requirement under the Public Hospital Medical Officers (State) Award 2019 (Award)*.

Several members were denied maternity leave because they had not had 40 weeks continuous service in NSW. But in each case the members, who were undertaking a rotation to an interstate facility as part of their vocational training, would have met this requirement if interstate service had been recognised.

Under the Award interstate service is recognised for the purposes of Long Service Leave (LSL) accrual but not parental leave. This discrepancy is outdated, does not reflect the needs of a contemporary society and represents a significant career barrier for female employees.

Interstate recognition should be extended to Parental Leave entitlements; particularly transferable recognition of the qualifying period required to access paid leave. The change would ensure workplace conditions better meet the needs of families noting that doctors are regularly required to move interstate for reasons of training and education.

As a result of our advocacy, the MoH has provided the attached draft Determination to allow for this interstate service recognition of medical officers.

The Ministry has advised they want to finalise this determination next week and they are seeking our feedback on the draft.

With the short timeframe for consultation, please provide ASMOF with your feedback or comments in relation to the proposed Determination to no later than 12pm next Monday, 29th July 2019.

We are particularly interested in your views on the restrictive wording of this proposed Determination should you either Elect (on your own volition) OR are Directed to undertake rotation to interstate facilities from your employing hospital, which is separate from the relevant medical college.

*Refer to the ASMOF article which outlines the rights and entitlements of junior medical officers to Maternity, Adoption and Parental Leave under the Award, available here