Are you missing team members?

In most workplaces along with the usual “we’ll miss you!” when a colleague resigns, is the accompanying dread of “how long are they going to take to fill that vacancy”.

The short answer has too often been, “too long!”, sometimes followed by an, “if at all”.

Clause 91 of the new Allied Health Professionals Agreement provides Allied Health Professionals in the Public Sector with significantly improved entitlements around the advertising of vacancies.

We would encourage you all to read about these new entitlements and then take action to lodge any MISSING PERSON REPORTS relevant to your team or department.

The new Agreement is only as good as we are all vigilant and active; your new Agreement needs you!

if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact VAHPA.


What must an employer do?

Clause 91.1 says that “Where a vacancy arises within the Employer, the Employer will advertise the vacant position or available hours”

So this applies to both new and/or vacant positions, as well as hours that become available as a result of someone dropping EFT.


How or where must they advertise?

Clause 91.1 goes on to say in relation to advertising that it must be, “internally in the first instance and then externally if necessary”.

This means that there should not be concurrent internal and external advertisement of positions, and that there should only be external advertisement if necessary i.e. if the position can’t be filled internally.

Where this is not adhered to by an employer, VAHPA will pursue this matter.  In the case of some employers we are already doing so.


When must they advertise?

Clause 91.1(a) specifies that “where a vacancy will arise at the end of the notice of termination, immediately after given notice of termination (by either the Employee or Employer)”

To be clear, if there is going to be a vacancy at the end of the notice period – which of course in most cases there will be – then the advertisement is required immediately notice is given. 

VAHPA have previously indicated that we believe 48 hours is a reasonable time, remembering that these are not new positions; but for the AHP resigning, the position was ongoing.

There is provision for the advertisement to be later than this but only where the vacancy will not arise immediately e.g. if someone resigned whilst on Parental Leave and their position was already being filled in a fixed-term capacity, the vacancy would not arise until the end of that contracted position.


Why is this important?

Every day that there is a delay in advertising increases the chance that there will be a gap between the existing AHP finishing and the new one starting.  In the gap are the rest of the team, struggling to manage the same amount of work with less staff.

It’s potentially good for hospital budgets but incredibly bad for AHPs and patients!

We have a vacant position in our team, what should I do? 

Download our Missing Person Flyer here and display this in your workplace. At the bottom of this newsletter you’ll find a red MISSING PERSONS REPORT button.

This will enable you to make a quick report to VAHPA with the details of the vacant position.


We’ve had someone resign recently but the position hasn’t been advertised yet.  What should I do?

Lodge a MISSING PERSONS REPORT via the red button below and display a Missing Persons Flyer on your noticeboard.


What happens then?

VAHPA have resources and processes in place to follow these up with employers.   Our preference is to resolve these issues directly with employers however, if this is not possible we can and will seek the assistance of the Fair Work Commission.


What else?

VAHPA Members worked incredibly hard over an extended period of time to get this new and vastly improved Agreement.

It’s going to take that level of energy and activity – and probably then some – to ensure that we’re able to enforce those entitlements.

We do this not because we enjoy being the ‘enforcement police’ but because these entitlements are what you wanted and needed – and what you fought for – to make AHP jobs good and sustainable jobs into the future.

The resources which go into ensuring this Agreement is enjoyed by AHPs to its fullest extent are provided by VAHPA Members.

If you’re not already a Member, we need you on board.  Join and help make a difference.


Missing Person Flyer

This is what our Missing Person Flyer looks like, which you can download here. If you would like some hardcopies for your workplace, please give us a call on 1300 322 917


In Unity
VAHPA Organising Team (AKA Missing Persons Unit)