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Locum Vet Checklist for Employers

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Employing a locum vet can happen in a rush – but there are several things that an Employer in Australia should check prior to the locum starting work. This article is based on the “10 Things to ask your Locum Vet” factsheet written by Kookaburra Veterinary Employment.

Stack of CVs1. Visa.

An overseas vet should have a valid work Visa. It is an offence to employ someone without a valid work visa, so it’s the employer’s responsibility to check. Most overseas vets should have their passport with them or be able to provide details about their visa. See www.border.gov.au for more information. You can now check to see if a worker has work rights in Australia at www.border.gov.au/Busi/Visa – you should ask for consent to check the worker’s visa details first.

2. Tax File Number.

If a vet is going to be working for you as an employee, you will need their Tax File Number. See www.ato.gov.au for more information

3. ABN.

If a vet says that they are self employed, they should provide you with their ABN – Australian Business Number. See www.ato.gov.au for more information, or consult your accountant for individual information about the best way for your practice to pay locums. Some locums are employed as casual employees, some locums are engaged as independent contractors. It’s likely that either way, the clinic will have to pay superannuation under the Superannuation Guarantee. There are Calculators online on the ATO website that help you work out whether your locum is an employee or a contractor, and in either case whether you should be paying superannuation for them. Keeping a record of your use of these calculators can support your decision if necessary.

4. CV and References.

Locum vets should be able to provide contact details for 1 or more recent veterinary referees. Clinics should make sure that any locums introduced to them have the required experience for a particular locum job. Kookaburra Veterinary Employment can provide CVs for all locums listed on their register – these CVs are provided by the locum vets to Kookaburra, and Kookaburra doesn’t provide any warranty as to the accuracy of any CV. We recommend that clinics take up one or more references for a locum prior to booking them for any work.

5. Vet Board Registration.

Following mutual recognition implementation in many States, you can now search for a particular registered veterinarian on the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council website at www.avbc.asn.au and find the State that they have primary registration with. It is good practice for vets to use their board registration number after their signature when signing certificates etc. See www.avbc.asn.au for information about registration of overseas qualified veterinarians.

NB: In Western Australia there is the requirement for a veterinary surgeon who appoints a locum to give written notice to the WA Vet Surgeons’ Board of the name of the locum, and the period of the appointment before, or as soon as possible, after the appointment commences.

6. Professional Indemnity Insurance.

The practice insurer may cover all vets working at the practice, or the Locum vet may have their own PII. It’s a good idea to make sure that all your locums and employees have adequate cover. In South Australia this is a requirement for all vets registering with the SA Vet Board.

7. Workers Compensation.

The locum vet may or may not be covered by the Practice workers compensation scheme – check with your Insurer.

8. Medical Insurance.

The locum vet may have their own medical insurance or, if from overseas, may be covered by a reciprocal agreement with Medicare.

9. Other Professional Registration.

For example, some States require vets to be licensed to use Radiation equipment.   Vets may also need to be registered or licensed to perform other duties such as microchipping, preg testing, certification for export etc.

10. Contract

Although practices and locums may not decide to formally enter into a contract, it could be a good idea to set down terms of employment and working conditions in writing prior to the start of the locum period. Things to consider include:

  • Pay rate;
  • after hours remuneration;
  • days off;Signing a Contract
  • overtime;
  • normal hours of work;
  • type of payment arrangement and when the vet is to be paid;
  • type of employment (casual employee, contractor);
  • Superannuation;
  • GST;
  • Travel Costs;
  • Professional registration costs;
  • Responsibility for keys – for the clinic and for scheduled drugs
  • Accommodation and responsibilities of the locum with respect to the accommodation and use of facilities if applicable (eg phone, internet, food in the pantry);
  • provision of vehicle for work – and private use – and fuel costs;
  • any provision for short term cancellation of the locum period by either party.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Contact the AVA HR Hotline for more information on 1300 788977 or email avahrhotline@whr.com.au (you must be an AVA member).

Author:

Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

17/08/2020 |

TIMELESS VETERINARY SYSTEMS, TELEMEDICINE SERVICES

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Use a professional information exchange tool to improve your case management.

  • Timeless is a telemedicine platform focused on Interconsultation. In other words, we are a bridge that connects clinics with leading specialists from Australia and New Zealand.
  • When you have a case that you would like a specialist opinion on, you can use the Timeless platform to request interconsultation or interpretation of images from another expert colleague.
  • This service enables you to manage the patient to a higher standard, all while keeping them under your care.

Your clinic will be able to attend a greater number of cases, and therefore increase the loyalty of your clients.

12/08/2020 |

Working as a Locum – Part 1

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To work as a locum, vets should have a minimum of 2 years’ experience, and preferably over 3 years for sole charge practices. Not only is locuming a great way to finance travel, it is also a good way to gain additional experience in working with different people, in a wide variety of different conditions, and improve your veterinary skills.

photo of vetsIn major cities, although there are more clinics in a smaller geographical area, there is usually more competition for locum work, therefore to be assured of a constant supply of work, locums should be willing to travel – and you can miss out on amazing experiences if you don’t consider travelling to work in more rural and regional areas. Country jobs will usually supply accommodation and maybe a vehicle for work and private use, however, city practices very rarely supply either accommodation or a vehicle.

Locum vacancies can range from a single shift to 5 or 6 months’ work, and include full time and part time hours. Locums help cover for temporary staffing shortages, illness, periods of leave and holidays, and parental leave. Jobs can be advertised up to 4 months in advance, however, they can also be listed at very short notice (next day). On average, locum jobs listed with Kookaburra Vet Employment are to start within 1-2 months.

Work

Most clinics require a locum with a minimum of 2-3 years’ experience who doesn’t require direction for most clinical judgments, but who will ask for help if it’s required or if they get out of their depth. Surgical experience is necessary – you must be able to do at least routine surgery including desexings in a timely manner (ie. not take too long).

It can be important to stick to clinic protocols, within a perceived duty of care. Clinics may see a high proportion of particular types of cases – eg ticks; snake bite; poisonings – ask the regular vet before they go away if there is a clinic protocol or for any tips on these type of cases.

Record keeping is extremely important – the locum may move on, but the clinic owner or regular vet then has to continue with ongoing care. Make sure that your handwriting is legible, and you use any computerised system to keep comprehensive clinical notes. Locums should try to fit in with existing staff and not rock the boat!

Make sure that you stick to practice pricing – please don’t undercharge just because you perceive the practice prices to be excessive.

Try not to put things off until the regular vet gets back.

Conduct

Practices expect a locum to be honest, punctual, friendly, polite, and able to take direction if required without taking offence. Derogatory, sexist, and discriminatory behaviour and comments are absolutely not acceptable.

If a work vehicle, or a vehicle for private use is supplied, it should be kept clean on the inside (if not the outside!), and driven with due care and attention. Establish the protocol for paying for petrol before commencing work.

If accommodation is supplied, it should be left clean and tidy. Talk to the employer about any use of private items or groceries if you are staying in their own house BEFORE you use anything, and establish whether you are expected to replace any items used.

CVs and References:

You should be prepared to send your CV to clinics when you apply for a vacancy. It should contain up to date information and be accurate, particularly with up to date contact information for you including a mobile number preferably with a message bank. Include contact details for recent referees, and email addresses, particularly if your referees are overseas.

Contract

Although practices and locums may not decide to formally enter into a contract, it is a good idea to set down terms of employment and working conditions in writing prior to the start of the locum period. Things to consider include:

  • Pay rate;
  • after hours remuneration;
  • days off;
  • overtime;
  • normal hours of work;
  • type of payment arrangement and when the vet is to be paid;
  • type of employment (casual employee, contractor);
  • Superannuation; GST;
  • Travel Costs;
  • Professional registration costs;
  • Responsibility for keys – for the clinic and for scheduled drugs
  • Accommodation and responsibilities of the locum with respect to the accommodation and use of facilities if applicable (eg phone, internet, food in the pantry);
  • provision of vehicle for work – and private use – and fuel costs;
  • any provision for short term cancellation of the locum period by either party.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Contact the AVA HR Hotline for more information – 1300 788977 or email avahrhotline@whr.com.au  (you need to be an AVA member (Australian Veterinary Association).

Author:

Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

05/08/2020 |

Carestream Xray Unit

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  • Including 3 x Plates
  • Excellent condition
  • Selling due to new upgrade

Quick sale needed!

Located on the Gold Coast QLD

Price: $10,000 ONO

Contact Tess: tess@thepoint.vet
Tel: 07 5564 2822

29/07/2020 |
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