The budget has a number of overwhelming changes that could seriously impact your practice. Here we cover the two most important ones, and provide a practice solution for your organisation.


On the 1st July 2014 wage rates should be increased by 3% p.a. For practices that predominantly receive the Medicare Benefit Schedule rebate, the rebate has been frozen in 2013 and will be frozen in 2014. Recently there have also been increases and changes in superannuation, tax and industrial laws including the 2013 General Practice Registrar arrangements.


This is an important opportunity to engage positively with recruitment and retention of your staff. This includes improving the sustainability of your practice. Our newly revised employment kit will allow practices to offer a better employment package to key staff in the short and long-term that provides a solid career structure which includes employer paid training.

1. Employees and employers must give each other 13 weeks notice if they want to end their employment arrangement!


Did you know under the recently amended Awards all new employees from December 2013 who do not have a legally valid employment agreement and/or the employer are required to provide at least13 weeks notice! This is rather expensive and inconvenient and can harm staff morale. This is quite amazing, given most employers and employees are more than happy to offer two weeks notice to avoid an awkward work environment. People should be allowed to leave a lot earlier if they are not happy. Our latest employment kit addresses this problem as well as the new Award and employer super increases.


2. New national wage increase 3% p.a. and Employer Super to increase from 9.25% to 9.5% p.a. from 1st July 2014.

Regardless of the budget, it is more than likely a four year freeze on increasing the Medicare rebate for General and medical practices will continue; see the Greedy Doctor  article about the impact of the Medicare freezes. This increase can be absorbed into over award payments, if you have documented your employment arrangements correctly. Clients who have correctly implemented our latest “Employment Kit” update (see below) released last month should have this option available.


These are the latest Awards commencing 1st July 2014

2. Nurses Award 2010

3. Health Professionals and Support Services  Award 2010

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The main changes include:

  1. Fair Work penalties have increased to a maximum of $51,000 per breach from $33,000.
  2. 3% new Award rates for the Medical, Nursing and Health Support Staff Awards effective from 1st July 2014;
  3. 0.25% increase in employer super to 9.5%;
  4. New default 13 week notice period should you need to let go a staff member for staff commencing employment from December 2013;
  5. Requirement to confirm employment terms to ensure your employment agreements are legally binding, regardless of whether you have a signed employment contract. This is important if you wish to avoid an underpayment of wages claim.

Do you have legally binding and sustainable employment arrangements?

patients see

If you do not have signed and up to date employment contracts, your staff may be entitled, from 1st July 2014, to a 3% p.a. national wage and a 9.5% super guarantee increase. Practices should have updated their payroll software programs to reflect and pay these changes.
Currently wages represent 60% of a practice’s total overheads so it is a significant investment. Freezing staff wages can significantly hurt morale, however any significant cost increases will have to be met by either reducing quality or increasing patient fees.  Share this article with your staff and

Good staff employment contracts are good for staff morale.

Generally staff prefer to work with practices that are open and transparent. This can only build trust and prevent any further feelings that they have been taken advantage of in these unprecedented and changing times.

3. The new and revised 2014/15 Health and Life Employment Template


There are quite a number of significant and sensitive changes, that can become quite complex to implement.


At Health and Life we have developed since the new Federal industrial laws in 2010 and  an employment kit to help you meet these obligations. From current Award implementation advice, employment contracts and job descriptions we have addressed the major issues that can affect your place of employment.


We can confirm new amendments to our national Fair Work friendly and tested employment template kit bring the current changes and easy solutions into alignment with the latest significant Award and National Employment standards. This may be a solution to reversing the negative impact the current healthcare reforms will have on your practice.

The new variations to our employment kit are designed to minimise any significant statutory employee on-costs. More importantly the revised templates allow practices to pay for staff training e.g to the Australian Association of Practice Managers conference ( (which is a great motivator). This can also significantly improve practice efficiencies and viability. This will allow for better structured long term career progression and a fairer remuneration package. The new terms will help identify, train and reward your key staff plus offer flexible working arrangements without significant risk to the practice. It is a win win for everyone.


This solution will enable you to continue to reward your staff on merit and provide high quality services and minimise patient fee increases.

In order to achieve this objective we have updated our employment kit to include:

  1. Absorption of future statutory increases in Employer Superannuation contributions not based on productivity currently 9.5%;
  2. Employers can choose to absorb annual  Award wage CPI increases (i.e. e.g. 3% p.a) into any existing over award payment;
  3. Updates to the Individual Flexibility Agreements to keep them Fair Work Australia compliant;
  4. Confirmation of employment terms to ensure your employment agreements are legally binding, regardless of whether you have a signed employment contract;
  5. Motor vehicle and indemnity clause for vehicles used during work hours;
  6. Education and conference salary sacrifice clauses;
  7. Revised sustainable team based profit sharing arrangements based on productivity;
  8. Protection from the new 13 week notice period staff and employees need to pay out or work out if their employment is being terminated by either party;
  9. Addition of a useful Delegations Policy for your Practice Manager / CEO so owners no longer have to micro-manage the Practice;
  10. Updated the hyperlinks and referencing to the appropriate awards and legislation (this is a legal requirement);
  11. The most common and latest awards as at 1.7.2014 for the healthcare industry (also included for your convenience)
  12. Employer paid staff recruitment and retention clause to improve practice efficiency and pay for staff training and future remuneration increases.

Offer of initial free advice

If you are not sure whether you can benefit from our template, you can confidentially send a sample of your practice employment agreements and we can provide some no obligation tips. If you have any queries,  before making any changes, please contact us at no obligation, by email at on 1800 077 222 to find out more.


Do you want to purchase an Employment Template Kit or Upgrade?


Commencing 1.7.2013, if you have purchased the Employment Kit in the past 12 months, we are issuing you this upgrade free of charge (valued at $320+GST). If you have not purchased a kit or want to update the one you have purchased from us download our . The content of the employment kit including useful job descriptions and a quote. Email us at to order. We strongly recommend you consider reconfirming your employment agreements in order to implement these changes at your next 6 monthly staff performance appraisal. 

We continue to provide this unique and exclusive template in Australia. This will enable you or your practice to save thousands of dollars on expert advice and time. Most importantly this process will only add to your staff morale and recruitment and retention strategies.

This may be a perfect solution for your practice if your staff are concerned about their  future wages or working conditions.

For more insights visit our blog.

About me: David Dahm BA (Acc.), CA., FCPA, CTA, FFin, CPM, FAAPM, FAIM, FGLF.

Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser, Registered Tax Agent, Former AGPAL Surveyor 10 years of service

David Dahm is CEO and founder of the national medical and healthcare chartered accounting firm Health and Life and global Founder and CEO of the not for profit project the International Healthcare Standards and Ethics Board (

After a serious work related car accident in 1989, and nine operations later I continue to be a patient and provider advocate. I enter my third decade as a national Chartered Accountant for Medical and Healthcare practices in Australia. I am a former 10-year Australian General Practice Accreditation surveyor. I come from a medico family. I have served on the AAPM national Board and was the inaugural national Chair of the Certified Practice Manager CPM post nominal. I continue to provide accounting tax and practice management advice to many practices all over Australia.

You know who you are and I thank you for this real honour and privilege to serve you and your community through you. Note, I am not a lawyer please seek appropriate legal and accounting advice. This information is for general information and discussion only.

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