As a new graduate nurse or midwife, it’s important you are aware of your basic entitlements*.
Do I have a ‘probationary period’ in my graduate year?
Most employees are required to complete the minimum six-month period of employment before they are eligible to make an application to the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal.
Graduate nurses and midwives asked to attend a disciplinary or performance management meeting are encouraged to contact the ANMF graduate and final year support officer or ANMF Member Assistance to seek advice.
Under your applicable enterprise agreement (EBA) you’ll likely be classified as:
- RN/M1 (known under the old grades as Grade 2 Year 1 or commonly in the general public sector by the pay code YP2 or YS12 for midwives)
- RPN 2 Year 1 (public sector mental health)
- Grade 2 Year 1 (major private sector)
- EN Level 2.3 (public and some private acute ENs)
- PEN Level 1.7 (public mental health ENs).
I’ve just graduated as a registered nurse. Is my previous experience as an enrolled nurse taken into account?
If you were employed as an enrolled nurse immediately before starting your graduate year, you may be entitled to a different pay rate.
The public sector agreements and some private hospitals ensure that enrolled nurses who commence their graduate year will progress to the Grade 2 increment immediately above the rate of pay they received as an enrolled nurse.
The ANMF has put this in place in order to make sure that graduate nurses and midwives do not face a wage cut once they start their graduate nurse year.
Generally, full- and part-time employees are entitled to payment for overtime if:
- in the public sector, you work beyond your rostered shift length, are recalled to work, or you work more than 76 hours in a fortnightly pay period.
- in the private sector, you work more than full-time hours. ‘Full-time hours’ means the hours a full-time nurse/midwife employee works – usually 7.6 hours on a day shift or 10 hours on a night shift, or where you work more than 76 hours in a fortnightly pay period.
Overtime rates are generally:
- Monday to Friday – 1.5 times your ordinary hourly rate of pay (also known as ‘time and a half’) for the first two hours; 2 times your ordinary rate of pay (also known as double time) for each continuous hour thereafter.
- Saturday/Sunday – all overtime is paid at 2 times your ordinary hourly rate of pay.
- public holidays – overtime is paid according to weekday or weekend overtime rate.
The ANMF advises all nurses and midwives to claim the overtime they work. You cannot be forced to take time in lieu instead, but you can choose to take time in lieu within 28 days.
If you don’t, you must be paid for your overtime in your next pay.
Public holidays include: Australia Day, Labour Day, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday, Grand Final Eve, Melbourne Cup Day (or another day in lieu in some regional areas), Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
If you work on any of these days you are entitled to be paid at double time, or if the public holiday falls on a weekend, double time and a half. For weekend employees, where these holidays fall on a weekend, the original day remains the public holiday even if the government declares another day to be the public holiday.
If you are full-time and a public holiday falls on your normal day off, you are also entitled to an additional day’s pay. This is normally pro rata for part-time nurses and midwives.