At our TestSafe TEAMS meeting on Thursday 10 June 2021 a number of issues were identified for clarification, including conservation of recreation leave at 30 and 40 days.
The Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009, requires employees to take two consecutive weeks of recreation leave every 12 months. This is a Work, Health and Safety requirement fought for by unions and their members to support employees’ wellbeing.
Under the Award, employees should be notified when their recreation leave balance is more than 30 days. They may direct an employee to take two weeks’ leave within three months of that notification. At this point, staff should make a plan to take leave. This should include discussion with your manager. Where the employee is prevented from taking leave, for reasons such as a global pandemic, staff who wish to conserve their leave to a time when they can travel should discuss this with their manager and book in dates for future leave. Closer to the time of travel, if the employee is prevented from taking their leave, they should discuss their circumstances with their manager and make a new plan.
Where PSA members’ reasons for not taking leave are not heard or considered, please contact us and we will look to advocate on your behalf.
An employee can also be directed to take leave when their recreation leave balance is more than 40 days. The Department is able to direct employees to take a least two weeks of recreation leave within six weeks to reduce their balance. As above the employee’s personal circumstances should be considered.
Please also be aware that your employer can refuse access to the taking of flex days until your leave balance is reduced. This is why you should arrange a leave plan with your manager, so you can still access flex and leave.
The PSA advises members to monitor their recreation leave balance, start a conversation with their manager where their balance is high and make plans for leave that suit their needs.
Evidence of Illness
Requirements for Evidence of Illness under the Award was also raised. Where an employee is on sick leave for more than two consecutive working days, when submitting their medical certificate members are reminded to include the nature of illness. You are not required to provide extensive detail, references to the flu or nausea are sufficient. The PSA reminds members that under this Clause, if they have concerns about confidentiality, they are also able to send their medical certificate to be reviewed by an alternative manager or HR representative.
We also discussed training opportunities offered by the PSA. The PSA runs full-day courses at PSA House in the CBD, these courses are generally popular and sessions fill up quick! Our trainers are also available to come out to run group sessions where there is interest. All PSA Members are able to access training and are entitled to 12 days’ special leave (in any two-year period) to attend.
The link to PSA training, including information on courses and training timetable, is HERE.