AYTC Members’ Concerns Regarding Covid-19 Special Leave

22 May 2020

On 8 April 2020 the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment issued a new 'Determination 3.1: Employment Conditions – Hours of Work, Overtime and Leave: Supplementary Provisions for COVID-19' (here).

While the determination provides some further clarity for employees about their working entitlements in the current COVID-19 environment, there are some fundamental issues the PSA strongly believes need addressing.

The PSA welcomes the introduction of Special Leave With Pay for COVID-19. However, the PSA’s position remains that Special Leave With Pay for COVID-19 needs to be the primary form of leave for any absence associated with COVID-19, and that this leave should not be limited to 15 days.

The determination appears hastily put together and was only provided to unions late in the day on 7 April 2020 before being published the following morning. The PSA’s response to the new supplementary provisions can be viewed here.

Directions to take Annual/Recreation Leave
The new provisions state that employees with an excess of 12 months accrual may be directed to take annual leave with three days’ notice. This is inconsistent with the minimum standard for annual leave contained in the Fair Work Act 1994.

The PSA advises any member who is issued a direction to take annual leave under these terms to contact the PSA Members’ Rights Hotline on 8205 3227 immediately. The PSA will advocate for members and challenge any such breaches of your employment rights.

Your PSA Worksite Representatives and PSA Organiser have received several inquiries regarding special leave being denied and some of these appear to have been incorrectly denied.

PSA members should contact the PSA Members’ Rights Hotline by phone on 8205 3227 for industrial advice specifically regarding special leave and support in these challenging times.

The PSA will provide further information as it becomes available.