SARA – PSA replies to leave directions

SARA – PSA replies to leave directions – February 2019 (PDF version)

In early February, the PSA became aware Collections Access Agency Management emailed a memo to staff in which it wrote:

By 15 February, you are required to:

  • determine whether you will have rec. leave in excess of 30 days by 30 June 2019 in SAP. Note that you may not have 30 days at the moment but may accrue enough leave that will put you over the threshold by 30 June so please calculate leave carefully.
  • enter into SAP a leave application which will reduce your leave to under 30 days by 30 June 2019, in consultation with your supervisor/manager and take that leave.

It is essential that these actions are taken.

The same requirement was also emailed to GRR staff.

The PSA subsequently wrote to Management advising them of our industrial position – namely, that the only time staff can be directed to take leave is when his/her recreation leave balance reaches six weeks, per Crown Employees Award 2009 Clause 77.2.3.

We wrote:

… our view is Management is entitled to require staff “to determine whether you will have rec. leave in excess of 30 days by 30 June 2019 in SAP,” however Management is not permitted in any way to direct staff to keep the balance below 30 days. The only time Management can require staff to take leave is when s/he has reached 6 weeks (30 days).

This interpretation should be uncontroversial.

Could we kindly seek clarification on whether or not SARA Management has plans to direct or require staff to take recreation leave in the circumstance where their leave is projected to be in excess of 30 days as at 30 June?

If it is the case that Management will be requiring staff to make a leave application to reduce their leave balance to under 30 days by 30 June 2019, then the next step for the union would be to request from SARA the actual policy or industrial instrument that SARA Management will be relying upon when it gives such directions.

If, on the other hand, it is not the case then please advise accordingly.

We are pleased to advise that Management has responded (in what appears to be a complete reversal of its original position), saying that:

There is currently no direction to take leave. What we have asked is that staff make a forward projection of their leave (as at 30 June 2019) taking into account any planned leave and the leave that will be accrued between now and the end of the financial year. In the event that the projected leave liability exceeds 30 days we are asking staff to make a leave plan now to avoid being in excess of 30 days and therefore the need for us to trigger 77.2.3.

So there you have it; it’s official – there is no direction to take leave where rec leave is below 30 days!

The PSA hereby advises members to bear this in mind.

The PSA further advises that it is entirely up to individual staff members if they wish to engage in a “leave plan” where management suggests it. Should individual staff members in any way feel pressured into participating in a leave plan, please contact your delegate.

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