The PSA has been in ongoing discussions with icare in relation to the current restrictions that have been placed on your access to your Flexible Working Hours Agreement.
Throughout those discussions, and in an attempt to resolve the issue, a further concern has arisen between icare and the PSA in relation to excess recreation leave, transitional flex leave balances and icare’s overall situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In progressing the issue around access to flex, the PSA expects that from the next settlement period, icare staff will be able to resume pre-COVID-19 access to their Flexibility Working Hours Agreement.
However, the PSA is in dispute in relation to icare’s position that it can direct staff to take their recreation leave if they have a balance of more than 20 days.
In an all-staff email on 19 June, icare clearly directs staff who have more than 20 days’ annual leave as of 1 July to take leave by the end of November. The same emails directs staff who will have more than 20 days’ annual leave as of 1 December to take leave in the following 39 days.
These directions are in contrast to your Award conditions, which clearly only allows for directions to take leave once your balance has reached 30 days.
There is also a specific direction to take recreation leave over the Christmas Closedown. Once again, a direction to take recreation leave can only be given once an employee reaches 30 days, regardless of if the agency will be observing a Christmas Closedown or not.
The PSA has given icare the opportunity to revise its position. Unfortunately, it has not done so and we have listed the matter in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).
At this time the PSA advises members that they should not engage in or initiate any discussions with management in relation to recreation leave balances that are less than 30 days.
It is the expectation that until the matter is resolved in the IRC that there should not be any such discussions.
If members who have recreation leave balances of less than 30 days are approached by their people leader to implement a leave plan, they should report this to the PSA by email to . Note “icare leave discussion” in the subject line note and provide details.
The PSA is committed to working with icare management in a reasonable and practical way to address the issue, but this is now a threshold issue in relation to your hard earned Award rights.
In order to assist with the dispute, the PSA has developed a short survey surrounding Flexible Working Hours and the direction to take leave. You can take the survey HERE.
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With your conditions under attack, there has never been a better time to join. Join today at www.psa.asn.au.