You probably know that when your wages agreements were negotiated by HACSU last year, we won better provisions around Christmas leave.
Now, if you work in an area that’s closed or at reduced capacity, you’re supposed to get the days that are not public holidays gifted to you without having to use your own leave.
The Head of Agency or Secretary of your Department has the final say on what constitutes whether you’re open, closed or otherwise – and it’s usually based on the nature of the service provided by your area over the Christmas break.
While the new leave system is better, what we also argue is that most of our members, especially those in health and ambulance, might not ever be eligible for this leave.
We think that 3 days of extra leave a year would be more equitable – and we’ll keep fighting for these 3 days until it’s a reality.
Here’s what the Department have told us to expect during this closedown period:
• If the service is open and fully operational during this period – there’s no access to the Christmas closure days
• If the service is closed, workers will have access to the Christmas closure days to use within 6 months. A work area is considered closed if it’s offering limited/reduced services (but workers may still be on call or directed to return from leave where required).
This means those that are on leave are entitled to be recredited the Christmas closure days and those that are directed to work (who have closed or reduced services) are able to access the closure days within a 6-month window following Christmas.
We know that some managers are being proactive and making arrangements now, and we know that some still don’t fully understand how these new provisions operate – so if you have any issues, please call us on 1300 880 032 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org