The PSA encourages all members to regularly take recreation leave for their own health and well-being. For non-frontline staff, the Christmas closedown will take place between Monday 26 December 2022 and Friday 6 January 2023 inclusive.
Can I work during the closedown period?
While the NSW Government encourages all ‘non-frontline’ areas to shut down over the Christmas-New Year period, you are not required to put up a justification or a ‘business case’ to explain why you do not want to take leave.
Some agencies will be required to maintain full or reduced services. This means at least some staff will have to work through this period.
Unless you can be directed to take leave (see below), it’s your choice of whether you work or not. If your office is going to be shut, a reasonable alternative work arrangement must be made available for you. If practicable, this could include working from home for some or all of that time. You may have to work at a different location, but you cannot be expected to travel unreasonable distances and you may be entitled to be reimbursed for the additional cost of your travel.
Can I be directed to take recreation leave?
You can be directed to take recreation leave only if you have an ‘excess’ leave balance:
- If you have accrued eight weeks’ (40 days) recreation leave, you can be directed to take two weeks’ leave sometime within six weeks of being notified of the excess leave balance.
- If you have accrued 6-8 weeks’ (30-40 days) recreation leave, you can be directed to take two weeks’ leave sometime within the following three months after the original notification.
This accords with the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Award 2009 – clauses 77.2.3 & 77.2.4. Other than these particular circumstances, you cannot be directed to take recreation leave.
Public Service Holiday
In addition to the public holidays observed in NSW, Ministry of Health employees are entitled to a Public Service Holiday. This holiday is to be taken during the period between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
The Secretary has decided the day to be observed as the Public Service Holiday will be Wednesday 28 December this year.
Employees directed to work on the 28 December are entitled to be absent from duty on one of the other working days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day without loss of pay.
- Employees directed to work on all of the working days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are entitled to be paid overtime at the “public holiday” rate for work performed on the day determined as the public service holiday for their agency.
- Part-time employees are entitled to be absent on the public service holiday and receive ordinary pay if they would normally have worked on that day. Those who do not normally work on that day are not entitled to compensation.