For Medical Professionals: Pay for After-hours & Overtime

Doctor with clock

After hours medical work and overtime pay will depend on your contract details and will be subject to the practice location, the type of work undertaken, private or public billing, whether you are working part-time or full-time, and your status as an employee or contractor.


A 38-hour working week is fairly standard for Australia and New Zealand and typically any hours worked beyond that will be considered overtime and will attract after hours pay. An award, enterprise agreement or other agreement sets out when overtime pay rates apply for each role.


Health professionals may be able to claim after hours pay if they work more than the maximum number of ordinary hours or outside the spread of ordinary hours which can be anywhere from 6am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 6am to 12pm on Saturdays depending on the type of business. Shift workers are eligible for after-hours pay if they work more than the maximum number of ordinary hours of work (per day or per week).


The payment system for General Practitioners in Australia is complex and is essentially based on the number of patients and types of illnesses they see each month. Overtime pay in Australia is very generous and usually paid at double time. A GP in Australia can expect to earn around $240,000 up to $380,000 in rural areas combining salary, allowances and bonuses. With after-hours pay this can rise to about $400,000.

In both the UK and Australia, locum shifts are typically paid at a much higher rate to mitigate the need for medical professionals to work excessive overtime hours which may impact negatively on work-life balance.

Canada has a similar set up to Australia with most doctors being paid via a fee-for-service system. Depending on where they are employed, they may also receive a base salary depending on the facility they work out of and which province or territory they are located in. Some physicians are paid for on-call services when providing care to patients in emergency or after-hours medical situations and nurses can add to their salary at any pay grade by 20% or more by working overtime.

Most facilities require you to keep a log of any overtime worked and submit the details in order to receive after hours pay.

If you need assistance with finances, earnings, or simply finding employment in your chosen area, then choose HealthStaff Recruitment. To find job opportunities, please refer to our job vacancies.