Ministry of Health – Christmas closedown 2018/19
The PSA encourages all members to regularly take recreation leave for their own health and well-being.
The Christmas closedown will take place between Monday 24 December 2018 and Friday 4 January 2019 inclusive.
The PSA understands staff received information from Workplace Relations about the closedown which doesn’t quite give the full picture.
Here are the facts:
Can I work during the closedown period?
While the NSW Government encourages all non-frontline areas to shut down, you are not obligated to take recreation leave over this two-week period. Nor are staff required to present a justification or ‘business case’ to explain why they wish to keep working.
Unless you can be directed to take leave (see below), it is your choice whether you work or not.
If your manager advises that your branch will close down, a reasonable alternative work arrangement must be made available for you.
This could include a temporary assignment to another branch that is not closing down for the period or working from home for some or all of the time.
Remember, the State Government and the Ministry keep telling us about their commitment to flexible work.
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 costs of travel.
Can I be directed to take recreation leave due to the closedown?
You can be told 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.
If you need assistance, please contact your PSA delegates or call the Member Support Centre 1300 772 679.