We had a great victory with the Fair Work Commission last week granting some paid pandemic leave, but unfortunately it didn't include the Social Community, Home Care and Disability Award (SCHAD). The paid leave was granted to employees covered by the Aged Care Award, as well employees working in residential aged care who are covered by the Nurses Award or Health Professional and Support Staff Award. This decision does not flow on to employees covered by enterprise agreements, which is the case for most aged care workers in Tasmania.
The decision in relation to paid pandemic leave for SCHAD was set aside meaning that we can ask for it to be brought on again, and we're currently looking at doing that given that there has been an outbreak within at least one disability service provider in Victoria and unfortunately it doesn’t seem like this will be an isolated event. We'll update you once this gets moving again.
We have of course already had some disability employers commit to providing this leave, and we’ll continue to push more employers to do so.
We know that for disability support workers, life revolves around rosters. In a sector made up of an abundance of casuals or workers with very limited hours, many work several jobs just to pay the bills. When you’re juggling jobs, it’s essential that rosters are put out in a timely manner or in accordance with your agreement or award.
We often hear from workers concerned the roster period they've been given is insufficient, which makes it difficult to work out where you can spread your time across worksites and makes it difficult to plan your life outside of work in general.
If you're unsure what your roster notice period is, please give HACSUassist a call to help you find out.
A message from Mark:
“I'm back on board at HACSU after leaving my post earlier this year and will be out and about now COVID-19 restrictions are easing here in Tasmania and hope to catch up with you soon. I’ve started to catch up with worksite to get a feel for the big ticket concerns you're currently facing in your respective workplaces. I’ll also be observing and following all recommendations from your employers and public health advice as I get out to your workplace to catch up with you.
I understand how challenging this year has been for many of you, not only personally at work, but also with partners and spouses that have lost their incomes and jobs during the pandemic that has gripped us all this year.
It has been a while since we have spoken or even caught up for a chat, so let’s change that. I’m keen to come see you or even hold member meetings for a general catch up here at our HACSU offices. Let me know what suits you – I’m looking forward to talking soon.”
We recently assisted a member who worked in a community organisation who had received allegations from their employer. We helped the worker respond to the allegations and represented them at the subsequent meeting with their employer, where we raised several concerns about the process the employer was running.
When the worker was given a show cause letter after the meeting, we responded on their behalf with concerns about the lack of evidence and process that had been run. Despite our concerns, the employer decided to continue with termination anyway – so HACSU looked into unfair dismissal, ran a case and represented the member at the Fair Work Commission.
We won the unfair dismissal case for the member.
If you ever find yourself in need of representation, please contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032. We’re here to help.