Check again – overpayment of registrars is common and difficult to resolve

GP training practices are being urged to double check registrar contracts and payroll after a significant number of practices have contacted GPSA having discovered overpayments of $40k – $60k.

GPSA CEO Glen Wallace said it was disturbing that such a significant overpayment could occur without either acknowledgement from the registrar that they are being overpaid or it being discovered by practice accountants and payroll clerks.

There is a dual responsibility in businesses and employees to check and ensure that payment is correct.

“Rest assured, if a registrar is under-paid they will be beating a path to your practice manager’s door. If there is any integrity at all in the registrar, the same should be true in the case of overpayment. Sadly it is seldom the case.”

“GP training practices are absolutely at liberty to try and recoup the overpayment, however like most of us, registrars live to their means. So typically they don’t have the $40-$60k sitting in a bank account for a rainy day reimbursement to a practice they need to pay back,” Mr Wallace said.

In fact, overpayment is more common than underpayment according to GPSA enquiry support logs and typically more difficult to resolve.

Mr Wallace said practices who found themselves in this situation should act with a calm head acknowledging this may be a very expensive learning experience and resolution may look like a compromise.

“If former employees and practices lawyer up, the cost of resolving such matters legally is likely to cost more to resolve than the overpayment itself. It costs the practice principal, practice manager and accountant’s time and emotional energy that is vastly better invested in getting processes right in the first place,” Mr Wallace said.

“In every respect it is cheaper to make a point of double checking a registrar’s payroll and contract and ensuring that everything is correct from day one.”