As per The Age – “A young Victorian doctor has won a wage theft case against Peninsula Health, a victory lawyers say will set a precedent for thousands of junior doctors across Australia fighting for hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid compensation.

The Federal Court found that Peninsula Health had breached Fair Work legislation by not paying Dr Bolton for the overtime she worked during her time as a junior doctor at Frankston Hospital between 2019 and 2020.

The court ruling paves the way for class action cases across the Victorian public sector to address, what has been described as “systemic and widespread” underpayment of wages.

Junior Doctors work on average 16 hours overtime per week, mostly unpaid, stress and exhaustion can lead to clinical errors. “When you are working that hard and don’t have enough staff your patients are at risk. We want it to be safe for them and for us,” said Dr Bolton.

This flow-on effect has a negative impact on healthcare with Allied Health Professionals already at the brink due to chronic understaffing, the effects of COVID-19 and burnout.

“The Victorian hospital system is significantly underfunded, consequently we see hospital management striving to save every dollar they can. This can lead to exploitation and wage theft. It is well past time the sector was properly funded and Allied Health Professionals given the respect, support and pay they deserve,” said the Secretary of the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, Craig McGregor.  

This court ruling is a fair ask, to get paid what you are owed, and is welcome news.

Click here for the full article from The Age.