Changing jobs is often an exciting time but it’s important to ensure you have considered any industrial implications of the change before you make up your mind and take the plunge.
A simple review of your entitlements before you change employers, can ensure that any historical anomalies can be addressed more easily. It will also help you to ensure that the industrial implications of your change in employment are wholly positive – or you are at least aware of any pitfalls.
If you are considering becoming casual, please ensure you first read this Member assistance information.
To help you in these considerations, ANMF (Vic Branch) has developed a checklist of things to take stock of before you finish up with your existing employer and commence with the new.
On your pay slip
- Review your classification, including any increment
Ensure your classification and grade is correct and that any increment is at the right level based on years of experience (this can include work undertaken with more than one employer). An incorrect increment at one employer can lead to the application of an incorrect increment by the future employer. Better to get it right as soon as possible so the error doesn’t compound. Note also that if you are being paid a higher increment than your experience entitles you to, this is commonly not recognised by any new employer.
- Confirm your pay rate is correct
Ensure that the pay rate listed on your pay slip is the correct pay rate for your classification, grade and increment; cross reference with your enterprise agreement. If there is an error, this should be corrected as soon as possible, as the application of an incorrect pay rate will affect the calculation (and quantum) of termination payments to you.
- Review your annual leave, personal leave and ADO (if any) accruals
Make sure that accrued leave entitlements look right. Annual leave and ADO entitlements will be paid out upon termination of your employment, and up to 180 days of personal leave may be able to be transferred (if you are changing employment between public health sector employers). It is more difficult to correct these errors after your current employment ceases.
Long service leave may not be listed on your pay slip, so make enquiries about whether you have an entitlement and seek advice about the quantum if you do.
- Check your superannuation payments and cross reference with your superannuation fund
Review the amount of superannuation that has been recorded as paid on your behalf to your nominated fund. Then cross reference this with your superannuation fund to ensure that the amount recorded on your pay slip has actually been deposited into your fund.
Years of service
- Ensure you have a record of your starting date with the employer you are leaving to demonstrate your years of service
Seek what’s called a Certificate of Service from your employer before you finish work and ensure it records your start and end date, your anniversary date for incremental advancement, and your classification, grade and increment during the period of employment. This will enable you to ensure you are classified at the correct increment in future employment.
Check and note your years of service too. If you have the requisite years of service (currently eight years’ service in the public sector), you have an entitlement to long service leave. If you do not have the requisite years of service but are close to achieving it, is it worth reconsidering your change of employer (if you are transferring out of the public sector) or transferring the entitlement? See below.
Transferring any entitlements
- If you are changing from one public sector employer to another, consider whether you will transfer personal leave and/or long service leave entitlements
Accrued personal leave up to 180 days may be transferred between public sector employers. Seek a Certificate of Service from your employer that specifies the amount of personal leave you have accrued at the conclusion of your employment so that you can provide this to your new employer.
If you have between eight and 15 years of service, and depending on your individual circumstances, you may also be able to transfer your long service leave accrual to your new public sector employer. If you decide to transfer your entitlement, you will need to let your employer know in writing, otherwise the long service leave accrual will be paid in lieu. ANMF recommends you seek individual advice about your circumstances so that you can make the most advantageous choice.
Lastly, remember if you are moving between public sector employers and wish to transfer entitlements and/or maintain continuity of service you will need to be employed with the new employer within the ‘allowable period of absence’; that is a gap between one period of public sector employment and the next (or five weeks in addition to the total period of annual leave, long service leave or personal leave for which you are paid in lieu).
Why complete the checklist before changing employment?
If you identify issues while you’re still employed, you have both informal and formal mechanisms available to you in order to assist in the resolution of the issues.
Enterprise agreements provide for dispute resolution mechanisms, but these only apply to current employees. If you are seeking to resolve an underpayment issue after your employment comes to an end, you will only have access to the much slower and more formal legal mechanisms.
In summary, an issue fixed early is much easier to resolve and far less likely to have ongoing and or cumulative impacts on your pay and conditions. A little due diligence before you finish up one job will have you on steady industrial foundation to start the next.