UROC Declaration - have you been pressured to sign?
ASMOF has been contacted by a number of JMOs regarding messages received from their managers directing them to complete a declaration when completing a UROC submission and warning that if not completed, it will be assumed that they have made all claims for overtime.
ASMOF has now lodged a dispute in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, seeking the Commission’s assistance in resolving our concerns. The first step will be to meet with the Ministry at the Commision to discuss ways we can resolve this matter.
In the meantime we continue to recommend that you do not accept the declaration.
We understand the need for NSW Health to know how much overtime people are doing. We have made simple and easy suggestions to the Ministry that would make this declaration acceptable without creating risks for you. One suggestion could be simply adding the words “… to the best of my knowledge…”.
It’s concerning for us that the Ministry of Health continues to assert that they will rely on these declarations from now on. As we have seen in the recent court case in Victoria, employers are generally unsuccessful in using these declarations as an estoppel defence. Estoppel is a legal argument that someone has relied on something to their detriment, and it is unclear how NSW Health could argue that they have relied on your declaration.
This raises the question of their motivation behind proceeding with this declaration. The most plausible explanation is that their intent is to deter claims or they want to make it more difficult to recover unpaid amounts in the future.
In the meantime, we continue to recommend that you do not accept the declaration. You should still ensure that you submit all claims for overtime, meal breaks and remote clinical appraisals as soon as practicable. If you have (to the best of your knowledge) claimed all hours worked, their assumptions will not affect you.
If you are contacted by your JMO manager or anyone else about making the declaration, please contact ASMOF ASAP at [email protected].