The PSA is writing with regards to Electorate Officers accessing special leave entitlements.
The PSA has been in contact with management recently regarding communications sent out on Tuesday 31 March. The PSA sought clarification regarding the leave Electorate Officers should access when there is no work available. Management’s response was that Electorate Officers should avail themselves to the 20 days’ special pandemic leave if required. Once special leave has been exhausted, and there is no work available, management would look at this on a case-by-case basis.
The PSA reminds members of their entitlements during the pandemic, which is contained within the Premiers Circular, titled C2020-01 Employment Arrangements during COVID-19:
- The general hierarchy is that staff should be able to work flexibly, which includes working from home or an alternate location where available.
- When an employee is not sick, but is directed not to attend due to isolation requirements, agencies should identify options for employees to work from home during the quarantine period. Where work is unable to be provided, you are entitled to up to 20 days’ paid special leave.
- You are entitled to up to 20 days’ special leave, before other leave entitlements need to be accessed, if you are:
- Caring for sick family members;
- Caring for members due to closure of schools and caring facilities; or
- Unable to attend work due to transport disruptions
- If the workplace is closed, working from home or another location should be considered. If that is unable to be provided, you are to be paid as normal and placed on special leave.
- If you are sick – stay at home and apply for sick leave as usual. If you exhaust sick leave, Agency heads may grant special sick leave on a case-by-case basis.
If there is no work available, at the office or at home, Electorate Office members who are not provided work should not be compelled to take personal leave. As per the Premier’s Circular, “where the workplace is closed, flexible work arrangements should be considered either at home or from another office location. Where work is unable to be provided to these employees, they are to be paid as normal and are placed on paid special leave”.
There is no 20-day limit in this circumstance.
The PSA would prefer for work to be available, but Electorate Officers should not be disadvantaged if there is none.
For further questions or concerns regarding accessing special leave, please contact your PSA Delegates Tom Harris-Brassil (Tom.HB@parliament.nsw.gov.au) and Tilly South, (Tilly.South@parliament.nsw.gov.au) or your PSA Organiser Davis Murphy (email@example.com). Your communication will be kept private and confidential.