The PSA has become aware that management within SafeWork and SIRA at Gosford have given staff the direction that accumulated recreation leave needs to be fewer than 30 days at all times.
Awards and agreements negotiated by the PSA set out the circumstances in which employees can be directed to take leave.
For members covered by the Crown Employees (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009, such a direction can only be given when the balance exceeds 30 days.
In this case, the leave should be taken within three months of the employee receiving written notification, or within six weeks if the balance exceeds 40 days.
The Award states that, whenever possible, the staff member’s wishes should be accommodated as to when leave is taken.
The PSA can assist members in making sure this intention is respected by agencies and employers.
The PSA has now written to management seeking cooperation in sorting out this issue with the view to reissuing a clear communication to staff as to their Award rights in regard to recreation leave balances. We also indicated we are prepared to dispute the matter at the Industrial Relations Commission if it isn’t dealt with urgently.
We will update you as the matter progresses.
Also, it is worth noting the Crown Employees Award and other awards and agreements negotiated by the PSA allow members to purchase additional annual leave by reducing their salary by a proportionate amount.
These arrangements may assist members looking to plan for longer periods of leave.