2014/2015 Christmas closedown
The NSW Government has released advice regarding the 2014/2015 Christmas closedown.
Public Sector Agencies will closedown from Monday 22 December 2014 until Friday 2 January 2015 inclusive.
Can I be directed to take recreation leave because of the Christmas closedown?
Just because your office may be closed does not mean you can be directed to take recreation leave to cover the closedown period.
You cannot be directed to take recreation leave if you have accrued less than six weeks recreation leave. The choice to take leave is yours.
Clause 77.2 of the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award 2009 deals with the circumstances where a staff member may be directed to take recreation leave.
When can I be directed to take recreation leave?
You can only be directed to take recreation leave if you have accrued more than six weeks recreation leave.
If you have accrued between 6-8 weeks recreation leave you can be directed to take at least two weeks recreation leave within three months of notification at a time convenient to the Department.
If you have accrued eight weeks recreation leave, you can be directed to take at least two weeks recreation leave within six weeks of the notification at a time convenient to the Department.
An application for recreation leave must be dealt with by the Department according to your wishes and the operational requirements of the Department.
Additionally, where the Department Head (or their delegate) is satisfied that you are prevented from taking leave due to operational or personal reasons, the Department Head may approve the ‘conservation of leave’ to allow you to reduce your leave to an acceptable level (4-6 weeks) at a ‘mutually convenient time’ in the future.
What if my office is shut?
If your office is shut over the Christmas New year period, and you have less than six weeks recreation leave, and you want to work over this period, then a reasonable alternative work arrangement must be made available for you at your convenience.
You can seek approval to work from home or work, from a different location or a different office. If you are experiencing difficulties in negotiating appropriate arrangements please contact your workplace delegate or call the PSA for assistance.
Your Department may ask you to work at another location but you cannot be expected to travel unreasonable distances.
If you are required to work at an alternative workplace you may be entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of travel to and from work.
Am I required to put up a justification or “business case” why I do not want to take my leave?
Can I be directed to take extended leave?
You cannot be directed to take extended leave (or long service leave) under any circumstances.
What can the union do for me if I have a problem?
If you have been directed to take recreation leave outside of the provisions of Clause 77.2 of the Award, and you are a member of the PSA, we will lodge a dispute on your behalf to prevent this occurring.
What else does the Christmas closedown mean for me?
- Christmas Day public holiday is Thursday 25 December 2014
- Boxing Day public holiday is Friday 26 December 2014
- New Year’s Day public holiday is Thursday 1 January 2015
The arrangements for the half concessional day are the same as previous years and consistent with the terms of the Personnel Handbook.
The concessional leave only applies if you are required to work on Christmas Eve.
You must be required to be on duty that morning and must work half your standard full time daily hours. If you are directed to remain on duty for the full day on 24 December you are entitled to a half-day’s concessional leave on 31 December 2014.
Public Service Holiday
The Public Service holiday is set by your Department Head between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
If you are directed to work on the date set as the Public Service holiday, you are entitled to be absent from duty on one of the other working days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
If you have any questions regarding this advice or want the PSA to support you with any problems you have regarding your rights at work over the Christmas and New Year period please speak to a PSA delegate.