As of writing, many SMOs employed by Queensland Health are very concerned about their financial future, and in our opinion rightly so. The changes to the new contracts proposed for senior doctors have a number of clear and documented disadvantages, as follows:
- Unilateral changes to terms of employment – QHealth has unfettered power to change your terms of employment through Health Employment Directives.
- Dispute resolution – the ultimate arbiter of problems with your employment is your employer. This is arguably one-sided.
- Arbitrary and unfair dismissal – Under these contracts, senior doctors can be dismissed without cause.
- Loss of income – your current income is at risk in Tier 3 (KPIs) and this is not the case for VMOs, yet. Similarly, new employees will not receive the same income producing a divide between senior doctors performing the same work.
- Deterioration in conditions – the “no disadvantage” clauses of your enterprise agreement are being removed.
- Hours of work and location of work – the employer can force you to work anywhere and any time without your consent.
While the outcome of this process is currently unknown, the stress caused to clients (both among existing senior doctors and registrars) is still quite real. As part of our client service, we have been discussing some of the possible scenarios and how this will affect your finances, including some of the possible ways to minimise the impact of negative contract changes.
If you would like a complimentary meeting with one of our financial advisers to discuss how you might be affected, and look at what measures you can take now to ensure your finances are in the best possible shape, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or (07) 32528810.