GP registrar employment contracts under spotlight at AMA NatCon

8 May 2019

Whether all GP registrars should be employed under a single employer contracts will be the topic of a policy debate at AMA National Conference. The policy session will explore the practical application of a single employer model for GP registrars to enhance flexibility for GP Registrars with their training terms and in completing their training, including portability of workplace entitlements.

GP registrars experience a lack of parity in remuneration compared to their non-GP registrar counterparts and are disadvantaged by an inability to transfer leave and other entitlements as they progress through training.

The National Rural Generalist Pathway (NRGP) has recommended a “duration of training” contract which is essentially a single employer model for the duration of rural generalist training in their region or community. Whilst incentivising training through the NRGP, this creates further inequities in employment conditions for GP registrars not enrolled in the NRGP.

The failure to reach an agreement in 2018 on a new National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER) agreement reinforces the fragility of the general practice environment which is under sustained funding pressure.

Having no expiry date, the NTCER will continue to operate in its current form. This presents an opportunity to explore alternatives to the NTCER that will deliver equitable employment conditions for GP registrars, while recognising the efforts and commitment of supervisors, especially at a time of significant financial pressures in general practice.

Clearly there is an appetite for change and ultimately GP registrars and supervisors will have to own the solutions which may take some time to sort out. The issue of remuneration and billings reform will be a key challenge as well as continuity of entitlements and access to leave provisions. Additional funding to support reform in this area will be required as the burden of fulfilling all contractual agreements must not lie with general practices employing registrars.

AMA National Conference is asked to consider how employment conditions and working arrangements for GP registrars could be improved to achieve fair and equitable employment conditions that meet the needs of registrars and supervisors alike.

This could include extending the proposed six-year, single employer contracts for rural generalist GP registrars to all GP registrars.

The AMA policy debate sessions will be streamed live on Saturday 25 May 2019 and will be accessible via the AMA National conference website.

Access the AMA National Conference website here.