SMO & VMO Public Holiday Arrangements

Posted on December 23, 2014

Payment for Public Holidays

The “total remuneration framework” provides that payment for work on public holidays is annualised in Tier 2S.

All hours worked by an SMO on a public holiday will attract the public holiday multiplier. If the majority of hours worked by SMO on a shift are on a public holiday, the public holiday multiplier will apply to all hours worked on that shift.

Extra weeks leave  

Being in receipt of an additional weeks leave, in our view, does not mean you are only entitled to be paid at ordinary time for work performed on a public holiday. The contract documents say this week is in lieu of “additional payment” and that the payment for work on a PH is 100% loaded and in Tier2S.

Our view is that the correct construction of the contract, and what occurred under MOCA3 is that the additional weeks leave is in lieu of receiving payment in addition to the loaded rate.

For example allied health employees receive double time and a half on these public holidays (or they can elect to receive time and a half and an additional weeks leave “in lieu” of the rest).  

Rostered on

Your Tier2S should therefore include payment for any public holiday where you are rostered to work. If it does not then you should ask for your Tier2S to be immediately amended or for you to be rostered off on the public holiday (not take leave, just take the public holiday off as a public holiday).  

Rostered off

If you are rostered off (this is different from rostered on but stood down) then you get a normal days pay and don’t have to attend work. If you are called in to the hospital then this is a recall on a public holiday and paid by exception.

Rostered but stood down

This is the situation that Queensland Health have failed to accommodate in the contract framework. Under MOCA3 when you were rostered but not required you were “stood down” and paid ordinary time to not be at work. If you were called in to work however, then you were paid the Public Holiday rate for any time worked on that day through an AVAC form, ie, “by exception”. This is not, however, technically a “recall” as defined under MOCA3.

Under the new contract framework there does not appear to be the facility to pay someone for work on a Public Holiday by exception because it has been “annualised”. So this appears to create two scenarios where members are “stood down” on a Public Holiday. Scenario One is where the Service has failed to appropriately project your roster into Tier2S and has not paid you the additional loaded rate to work for the day and you are called in. Management are saying this is not a recall (because you were rostered on), and can't be paid by exception. In this case you would be working without being paid the Public Holiday rates. This is clearly unnacceptable. 

The second scenario seems to be that they pay you for the whole day at Public Holiday rates (annualised) whether you work or not. This doesn't seem very fair to those having to work and doesn't make a lot of sense but thats what an anulaised arrangement appears to require. You would think this would be a priority for Qld Health to fix - but it doesn't appear so.  

Through the Contact Advisory Committee we may be able to resolve this issue – for example creating a new category of recall for Public Holidays that allows payment of Puiblic Holiday rates “by exception”. At the moment however, the Department of Heath are just saying that is up to you and the HHS to negotiate in Tier2S. That is why we need to hear from you – check your Tier2S, ask for it to be clarified by your HHS and fill in the survey: SMO/VMO contract survey.  


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