9 key points

Here are 9, not to be missed points, to remember when negotiating your employment as a GP registrar

When you negotiate your employment agreement, remember:


The NTCER is the minimum; you can negotiate for terms and conditions higher than the NTCER. Negotiate based on the value you bring to your practice; you are more likely to negotiate higher terms and conditions past GPT2/PRRT2.

Negotiate with a win-win attitude; aim for the best possible situation for you and the practice. Practices often operate on a profit margin of about five per cent; large increases in your pay can mean big losses for the practice. Be willing to trade or compromise beyond money (for example, offer to work late on Friday if you need to leave early on Monday).

Do not start work at a practice unless you have a signed employment agreement — this protects both you and your employer against employment problems and ensures your expectations are both on the same page.

Do not rely on verbal agreements — get everything in writing; even if it seems small, such as dates for your annual leave or rostering arrangements. Get everything confirmed in writing.

GP registrars are employees — legal advice GPRA has obtained, and information provided by the Australian Tax Office, states registrars are legally viewed as employees; GP registrars should not be engaged as contractors.

On top of your percentage, you will also get superannuation, annual leave and associated on-costs as an employee. Annual leave is paid to you upon termination if you do not use it. According to the NTCER, annual leave is paid at your base rate. If you have a fortnightly billing cycle and want to take two weeks annual leave, align your leave with your billing cycle.

Try to negotiate to be paid via billings rather than by receipts. Being paid via receipts means that your income can be spread out over a longer period.

Negotiate a short billing cycle (the amount of time after which your practice calculates your billings/receipts vs your base wage). Shorter billings cycles can be financially advantageous.
Read and understand everything in your employment agreement.


Contact your Registrar Liaison Officer (RLO) or GPRA if you do not understand anything.



Key NTCER resources:

Dr Kari Sims talks about what you need to know before signing your first employment agreement as a GP registrar.

Have issues with your employment? Contact GPRA for confidential advice and support.

Watch our free webinar on how to negotiate your employment agreement.