There was a great article written by Angela Pownall in today’s “West Australian Newspaper” P19

The article highlighted the fact that 70% of the registrars at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital said they were highly burnt out – the most of any class of junior doctor in any hospital.

It stated that junior doctors worked on average the most unrostered overtime which averaged 12.3 hours a fortnight.

Rebecca Wood from the AMA said junior doctors felt undervalued when overtime was not paid, when rosters were unworkable, and rosters were not given three weeks in advance.

Consider if this was a small business, without the HR resources of a large organisation such as a government hospital. Would FairWork take a lenient line for not paying overtime? Failure to provide rosters in advance in some awards also comes with penalties. Small businesses can face investigations from FairWork for the underpayment of wages. It extends further than one employee, but to the whole workforce. The fines can be up to $63000 per breach.

These fines are being applied now but, unlike articles such as those in “The West Australian“, these cases often don’t see the light of day.  These cases are resulting in closure of businesses.  Could your business copy a penalty of any kind right now?

The question I have asked time and time again. If an organisation such as a large government hospital can’t get right because of the complexities of today’s IR environment, what chance has a small business?  The penalties may not have to be levied if the industrial relations system was easier to navigate. But one thing is for certain, the penalties applied are disproportionate to the size of the businesses.