Terminating an employment agreement before completion of a training term is a serious matter. This is reflected in section 19 of the NTCER:
“The employment of a registrar should not be terminated before the completion of the term by the registrar or employer, other than in exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious misconduct) and only where there has been extensive discussion between the employer, practice, supervisor, the registrar and the GP specialty training College.”
This situation is very stressful for all parties and has practical implications for the registrar, in terms of progression through the training program and feeling they are leaving patients “in the lurch”.
GP Registrars should seek support and pastoral care from their Registrar Liaison Officer (RLO), Medical Educator, relevant College and/or GPRA in this difficult time. Also, be aware of the effects on the training practice, in terms of losing clinical workforce and the patients’ access to care.
All GP registrars need to be aware that resigning prior to completion of a training term can have implications for their training time and that they will need to work with their GP specialty traiining College to gain a new placement or, if this is not possible, they may need to take a period of leave from AGPT. Therefore, it is essential that registrars involve their relevant College in any decision to terminate employment prior to the end of their contract.
Assuming that you have discussed in detail with your medical educator, RLO and/or others at your relevant College the issues leading to this decision and they will support you in this decision then, according to section 19 of the NTCER, unless a specific notice period is included in your employment agreement you need to give at least one week notice of termination.
It is generally best to resign in writing and keep a copy of your resignation letter. You can then prove that you gave the correct amount of notice and, if necessary, why you have resigned. An employer does not have to let you work out the notice period, but if they say they do not want you to work out the time given, then they have to pay you the difference between the time worked and the notice given.
In a written resignation letter you should specify the date of your resignation and clarify that all accrued entitlements including annual leave and percentage of billings or base salary should be paid on termination. In addition, in accordance with the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992, all unpaid compulsory employer contributions must be made to your nominated superannuation fund.
If you do not give the correct amount of notice when resigning, your employer may be entitled to recover the amount of notice which should have been provided plus further amounts for any damage your employer may have suffered as a result of you not giving the correct notice.