Woodlands - Leave Entitlement Policy

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Woodlands believes that our employees’ health and wellbeing has a tangible impact on our organisation’s performance and working environment. We are committed to ensure and promote a workplace which is supportive to the health and wellbeing needs of all our employees, by ensuring they are utilising the leave provisions available to them.

 

National Quality Standard (NQS)

Quality Area 4: Staffing Arrangements
4.1 Staffing arrangements Staffing arrangements enhance children’s learning and development
4.1.2 Continuity of Staff Every effort is made for children to experience continuity of educators at the service.
4.2 Professionalism Management, educators and staff are collaborative, respectful and ethical
4.2.1 Professional Collaboration Management, educators and staff work with mutual respect and collaboratively, and challenge and learn from each other, recognising each other’s strengths and skills
4.2.2 Professional Standards Professional standards guide practice, interactions and relationships

 

Quality Area 7: Governance and Leadership
7.1 Governance Governance supports the operation of a quality service
7.1.2 Management systems Systems are in place to manage risk and enable the effective management and operation of a quality service
7.2 Leadership Effective leadership builds and promotes a positive organisational culture and professional learning community

 

Education and Care Services National Regulations

Children (Education and Care Services) National Law NSW
123 Educator to child ratios - centre-based services
126 Centre-based services - general educator qualifications
135 Illness or absence of early childhood teacher or suitably qualified person
168 Education and care service must have policies and procedures
170 Policies and procedures to be followed
171 Policies and procedures to be kept available

 

Related Policies

  • Parental Leave Policy
  • Staff Arrangements Policy
  • Code of Conduct
  • Relief Staff Policy
  • Staff Grievance Policy
  • Educator and Management Policy
  • Privacy and Confidentiality Policy
  • Governance Policy

 

Purpose

Woodlands aims to ensure that it sets out guidelines for managing and taking planned or unplanned leave reflecting the entitlements as stated in National Employment Standards (NES) and the Fair Work Act (2009) Cth (the Act).

 

Scope

This policy applies to staff and management of Woodlands.

 

Implementation 

Annual Leave

All annual leave accruals will be paid and accrue in accordance with the applicable Award or individual agreement as covered by the employee, position and ordinary hours of work as stated in their employment contract. Casual employees have no entitlement to annual leave.

An employee's entitlement to paid annual leave accrues progressively during a year of service (other than periods of employment as a casual employee) according to the employee’s ordinary hours of work, and accumulates from year to year.

  • The employee is expected to:
    • Follow the applicable payroll process to submit a leave application
    • Should they wish to extend their leave, must do so in the same manner as applying for leave in the first instance. All leave must be approved prior to commencing the leave
    • Must supply a medical certificate to the employee’s direct manager, if the extension of leave is of a personal/carer’s leave nature 
    • Provide at least two week’s notice
  • The employee is encouraged to:
    • Apply and use all their accrued annual leave entitlement each year, so it does not excessively accrue to ensure they are well rested following the company’s leave approval process.
    • Lock in their plans for each calendar year on their intentions to take leave by the end of February
  • In addition to the Company directing an employee to take annual leave, employees can be directed to take annual leave in accordance with the relevant award or agreement that applied to them.
  • Without limiting the Company’s capacity to direct, employees may be directed to take annual leave where it is reasonable. This might include where the employee has accrued an excessive amount of paid annual leave, or where the Company is being shut down for a period such as Christmas or New Year.
  • Annual leave will be paid at the employee’s current base rate of pay for the employee’s ordinary hours of work in the period. Any loading will be applicable as per the relevant award. The payment will be processed at the usual pay cycle.
  • If the period during which an employee takes paid annual leave includes a day that is a public holiday in the place where the employee is based for work purposes, the employee is not taken to be on paid annual leave on that public holiday.
  • Annual leave must be accumulated before it can be taken as paid leave.
  • Annual leave applications will be limited to 25 working days, the equivalent of five weeks.
  • All leave will be subject to approval.
  • Only two employees will be approved for annual leave at one time. This is subject to management approval depending on occupancy and attendance levels.

 

Payment of annual leave on termination

Subject to the terms of the employment contract and relevant award, if when the employment of an employee ends, the employee has a period of untaken paid annual leave, the employer must pay the employee the amount that would have been payable to the employee had the employee taken that period of leave. Payment will be the amount that would have been payable to the employee at the current base rate of the employee ordinary hours of work in the period.

 

Personal / Carer’s Leave

The Company provides personal/carer’s leave in accordance with the FWA Act (2009). Personal/carer’s leave encompasses sick leave and carer’s leave.

  • Employees, other than casual employees, will accrue 10 days of personal/carers leave each year for full time and part time employees.
  • An employee’s entitlement to paid personal/carers leave accrues progressively during a year of service, according to the employee’s ordinary hours of work, and accumulates from year to year.
  • Personal/carers leave continues to accrue when an employee takes a period of paid personal/carer's leave or paid annual leave.
  • Personal carers leave and compassionate leave will not accrue on unpaid leave unless it is community service leave, or it is provided in an award.
  • If the period during which an employee takes paid personal/carer’s leave includes a day that is a public holiday in the place where the employee is based for work purposes, the employee is to be taken not to be on paid personal/carer’s leave on that public holiday.
  • If the period during which an employee takes paid personal/carer’s leave includes a period of paid family and domestic violence leave, the employee is taken to not be on paid personal/carer’s leave for the period of that paid family and domestic violence leave.
  • An employee may take paid personal/carer’s leave if the leave is taken:
    • Because the employee is not fit for work because of personal illness, or personal injury, affecting the employee
    • To provide care or support to a member of the employee’s immediate family or a member of the employee’s household, who requires care or support because of: personal illness, or injury, affecting the member; or an unexpected emergency affecting the member.
  • In order to access an entitlement to personal/carers leave, an employee must:
    • As soon as practicable, preferably 2 hours before shift start time, inform their direct manager and advise that they will be absent or leaving work early due to an illness or injury, of the period or expected period of the leave.
    • In the circumstances where the employee's absence is relating to carers leave, the employee will also need to provide details of which the Immediate Family or household member is, and the nature of the illness/injury.
    • To satisfy acceptable notification of absence protocol requirements, other than in the event of serious illness or injury, calls should be made by the employee personally, and not by a partner, friend or relative, or employee representative.
  • If the absence duration is going to be longer than initially indicated, the employee is required to update their return to work dates as soon as the employee becomes aware of the need to extend their absence from work and provide an updated medical certificate. Preferably notifying the Campus Leadership Team by no later than 4pm that day before.
  • Pre organised medical appointments:
    • When an employee is absent due to medical appointments that have been organised in advance, all employees are required to apply for leave via the Company’s process prior to or on the day to inform them of the appointment and the required length of time off.
  • Paid personal/carers leave for employees, other than casuals, will be paid at the employee’s base rate of pay for all ordinary hours of work in the period. This will not include payment for any allowance, loadings, penalties or the like. The payment will be processed at the usual pay cycle provided the employee has complied with the notice and documentation requirements.
  • Contact the direct manager as soon as reasonably practicable and inform that they will be absent from work because of an illness or injury in their immediate family or household.
  • If an employee is suspected of taking unauthorised leave or has acted in a manner that is inconsistent with this policy, the matter will be investigated as the Company’s applicable policy.
  • Should an employee have any doubt as to the requirements in relation to these absences, or their entitlements, rights and obligations in relation to Personal Leave (Sick, Carers, and Compassionate), they should seek advice from their direct manager or the People and Culture team.
  • An employee is not entitled to take or accrue any leave during a period when the employee is absent from work because of a personal illness, or personal injury, for which the employee is receiving compensation payable under a law about worker’s compensation.

 

Notice and Evidence Requirements

Personal Leave

  • Employees must provide a medical certificate or suitable evidence that indicates the employee is unfit to work due to personal illness or injury, in all circumstances, including the following:
    • The absence is for 2 or more consecutive workdays
    • On a day immediately prior or following a public holiday (Please note, employees will not be paid for a public holiday, prior or following a personal leave day, if a medical certificate or suitable evidence has not been provided.)
    • On a days or days immediately prior or following a period of annual leave
    • As reasonably directed by the employees direct line manager
  • Where it was not possible to obtain a medical certificate, a statutory declaration may be accepted in specific instances.
  • The Company will recognise a medical certificate from a registered general or specialist medical practitioner. Leave that is not supported by a medical certificate (where required in accordance with this policy) will be deemed unauthorised leave which is unpaid until correct documentation is received. Any suspected fraudulent medical certificates, the direct line manager may contact the general or specialised practitioner as stated on the supplied certificate to ensure authenticity.
  • An employee who repeatedly or seriously breaches the rules on notification, or is suspected of fraudulently claiming may be subjected to counselling or disciplinary procedures.

 

Carer’s Leave

  • Employees must provide a medical certificate or statutory declaration whenever the unplanned absence is due to carers leave.
  • The medical certificate is to verify the employee’s caring responsibilities, their relationship to the person being cared for, and the nature of the unexpected illness, injury or emergency.
  • In specific instances, a statutory declaration may be accepted.
  • Casual employees and those full-time and part-time employees who have used their entitlement to paid carer’s leave, are entitled to up to 2 days’ unpaid carers leave for each occasion when a member of the employee’s Immediate Family or household requires care or support because of:
    • A personal illness or injury of the member; or
    • An unexpected emergency affecting the member

 

 Returning to Work

  • Following an instance of absence (irrespective of type or duration), an employee may have an informal Return to Work interview with their direct manager. A Return to Work Arrangements Form should be completed to support all parties in returning to work. (See Return to Work Arrangements Form and Procedure)
  • The purpose of this meeting is to:
    • Acknowledge the absence
    • Confirm the reason for absence
    • Check fitness to return to duty
    • Obtain suitable evidence
    • Check welfare and offer any appropriate support
    • Update the employee up on what they missed during their absence
    • Ensure the leave application process is completed
    • Complete the Non Work-Related Return to Work Plan

 

  • Persons who can raise return to work requests
    • The employee
    • A representative of the employee
    • The employee’s manager or supervisor
    • The return to work co-ordinator
    • The provider of occupational rehabilitation services to the employee
    • The worker’s treating health practitioner

 

Return from Extended Leave

The Campus Leadership Team will work with both the educator who has been on leave and educators at the Service to ensure a smooth return to work by:

  • encouraging the educator to visit a few days before they return to work to reacquaint themselves with the environment and take in any changes. 
  • notifying the educator of any policy changes.
  • notifying families of the educator’s return.
  • offering training and development if necessary.
  • discussing any special conditions or considerations and drawing up an appropriate plan to manage these.
  • If the period is due to an illness the educator must produce a medical certificate stating they are fit to return to work. 

Compassionate Leave

The Company provides compassionate leave in accordance with the FWA Act (2009). Employees (other than casuals) are entitled to up to 2 days paid Compassionate Leave for each occasion:

  • When a member of the employee’s Immediate Family or a member of the employee’s household contracts or develops a personal illness or injury that poses a serious threat to his or her life, or dies; or
  • A child is stillborn, where the child would have been a member of the employee’s immediate family, or a member of the employee’s household, if the child had been born alive; or
  • The employee, or the employee’s spouse or de facto partner, has a miscarriage

 

An employee may take compassionate leave for:

  • A single continuous 2 day period; or
  • 2 separate periods of 1 day each; or
  • Any separate periods to which the employee and employer agree

 

  • If an employee, other than a casual employee, takes a period of compassionate leave, the employee will be paid at the base rate of pay for the employee’s ordinary hours of work. This will not include payment for any allowances, loadings, penalties or the like. The payment will be processed at the usual pay cycle provided the employee has complied with the notice and documentation requirements.
  • Compassionate leave cannot be cashed out.
  • Casual employees are entitled to up to 2 days off unpaid for each occasion when a member of the employee’s Immediate Family or a member of their household has a personal illness or injury that poses a serious threat to his or her life, or dies.
  • As compassionate leave is an event-based leave, it does not accrue accordingly, and will not be paid out on termination of employment.

 

Notice and Evidence Requirements

  • To access an entitlement to compassionate leave, employees must as soon as practicable, inform their direct Manager that they need leave to
    • Grieve following the death of a member of the employee’s Immediate Family or a member of the employee’s household; or
    • Attend the funeral of that Immediate Family member or a member of the employee’s household; or
    • Spend time with an Immediate Family member or a member of the employee’s household because that member has a personal illness or injury that poses a serious threat to his or her life.
  • An employee must also provide the Company with any evidence required to substantiate the fact that the leave is to provide care and support for an immediate family member suffering from a personal illness or personal injury (such as a medical certificate or statutory declaration), or is for one of the reasons for compassionate leave listed above.

 

Long Service Leave

Long Service Leave will be paid in accordance with the state based Long Service Leave Legislation.

 

  • Where the employee has an entitlement to Long Service Leave, the employer and employee must mutually agree to the period of leave.
  • Subject to any agreement, the employee should as soon as reasonably practicable provide notice of their intent to take leave when it becomes due and provide in writing to their direct line manager, who will consult with the People and Culture team.
  • During the decision-making process the employer may take into consideration the notice of taking such leave and ensure there is no significant impact placed on the business.
  • When terminated, an employee's entitlement is calculated in accordance with the state jurisdiction for Long Service Leave.
  • The Long Service Leave entitlement is paid at the ordinary rate of pay applicable at the time the leave is taken. Ordinary pay does not include shift premiums, overtime, penalty rates and allowances.
  • For part-time and casual employees, the hours payable are calculated by averaging the number of hours worked during the entire duration of the employee’s employment. This calculation is done when the employee’s hours have varied during the course of their employment.
  • Long Service Leave is generally paid at the ordinary rate of pay. An exception occurs where an employer and employee agree that the employee may postpone their long service leave to meet the convenience of the employee. In this situation (unless the employer and employee agree otherwise) payment will be at the rate that was applicable when the leave accrued.
  • Cashing out Long Service Leave is as directed by the applicable state-based legislation.

 

Community Service Leave

The Company provides Community Service Leave in accordance with the FWA Act (2009). Community Service leave incorporates jury service and voluntary emergency management activities.

 

  • An employee is entitled to be absent for a period:
    • Time when the employee engages in the activity
    • Reasonable travel time associated with the activity
    • Reasonable rest time immediately after the activity

 

Jury Service

  • Employees are entitled to be absent from work in order to perform jury service.
  • Subject to the details below, employees (other than casuals) who are absent from work in order to perform jury service are entitled to receive payment at their base rate pay for ordinary hours of work for which they are absent for the first 10 days of absence on jury service only. This will not include payment for any allowances, loadings, penalties or the like. The payment will be processed at the usual pay cycle provided the employee has complied with the notice and documentation requirements.

 

Voluntary emergency management activities

An employee is entitled to be absent from work to undertake voluntary emergency management activities if:

 

  • The employee engages in an activity that involves dealing with an emergency or natural disaster; and
  • The employee engages in the activity on a voluntary basis (whether or not the employee is paid a gratuity or similar payment); and
  • The employee is a member of, or has a member-like association with, a recognised emergency body. Recognised emergency management body’s include:
    • A body, or part of a body, that is coping with emergencies and/or disasters
    • Fire-fighting, civil defence or rescue body
    • Securing the safety of persons or animals in an emergency or natural disaster
  • Is requested by or on behalf of the body to engage in the activity; or 
  • It would be reasonable to expect that is the circumstances had permitted the making of such a request, it is likely that such a request would have been made.
  • The employee’s absence is reasonable in all the circumstances.

 

The amount of time which the Company will permit an employee to be absent from work for voluntary emergency management activity will depend on whether the employee’s absence is reasonable and will be reassessed from time to time. 

 

Notice and Documentation for Community Service Leave

To access an entitlement to community service leave, an employee must:

  • Comply with any requirements in their award, agreement and contract
  • As soon as practicable, inform their direct Manager that the employee will be absent from work due to either voluntary emergency management activity or jury service leave and advise the employer of the period, or expected period, of the absence
  • Provide evidence that the absence is because the employee has been or will be engaging in an eligible voluntary emergency management activity or jury service leave
  • An employee must provide evidence of the total amount of jury service pay that has been paid, or is payable, to the employee for the period. An employee will not be entitled to payment unless the employee provides this evidence. The amount payable to the employee is reduced by the total amount of jury service pay that has been paid, or is payable, to the employee as disclosed in the evidence provided.

 

Public Holiday

The employee is entitled to a paid day off on each public holiday and at the ordinary hours of work on the day at the Employee’s base rate of pay.

 

  • Woodlands Long Day Care and Kindergarten campuses will be closed for all public holidays.
  • Where the Employee does not have ordinary hours of work on the public holiday the Employee is not entitled to payment.

 

Family and Domestic Violence Leave

All employees (including part-time and casual employees) are entitled to 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave each year. The entitlement to paid family and domestic violence leave comes from the NES. 

 

Family and domestic violence is violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s close relative, member of the employee’s household, or a current or former intimate partner that:

  • Seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • Causes them harm or to be fearful

 

A close relative is an employee’s:

  • Spouse or former spouse, de facto partner or former de facto partner
  • A member of the employee’s immediate family
  • Is related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

 

Family and domestic violence leave may be taken as:

  • A single continuous 10 day period; or
  • Separate periods of one or more days each; or
  • Any separate periods to which the employee and the employer agrees

 

The employee may take paid family and domestic violence leave if:

  • The employee is experiencing family and domestic violence; and
  • The employee needs to do something to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence; and
  • It is impractical for the employee to do that thing outside the employee’s work hours

 

Payment for paid family and domestic violence leave

  • For an employee other than a casual employee - at the employee’s full rate of pay, worked out as if the employee had not taken the period of leave; or
  • For a casual employee - at the employee’s full rate of pay, worked out as if the employee had worked the hours in the period for which the employee was rostered
  • As family and domestic violence leave is an event-based leave, it does not accrue accordingly, and will not be paid out on termination of employment.
  • Paid family and domestic violence leave for employees will be paid at the employee’s base rate of pay for all ordinary hours of work in the period. This will not include payment for any allowance, loadings, penalties or the like. The payment will be processed at the usual pay cycle provided the employee has complied with the notice and documentation requirements.
  • An employee must provide evidence from a third party supporting the employee through the period of family and domestic violence situation 

 

Confidentiality

  • Woodlands Long Day Care and Kindergarten will take steps to ensure information concerning any notice or evidence an employee has given of the employee taking leave under this is treated confidentiality as far as reasonably practicable to do so.
  • The information provided will not be used to take adverse action against any employee.
  • Woodlands Long Day Care and Kindergarten will not be prevented from dealing with information provided by an employee if doing so is required by Australian Law or is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of the employee or another person.

 

Special Leave Requests

Employees may request special leave that sits outside of the NES. Each of these requests will be managed on a case-by-case basis.

 

Consequences

Breaches in this policy will not be tolerated by the Company. Any stakeholder outlined in this policy who is found to be in breach of this policy may face further action including but not limited to disciplinary action including the termination of employment, cessation of care and cancellation of contract.

  

Source

  • Fair Work Act (2009)
  • National Employment Standards
  • Children’s Services Award
  • Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010
  • State based long service leave acts

 

Review

Policy Reviewed Modifications Next review Date
August 2023

New Policy added to library

Branding and formatting

Policy statement added

Centre specific information adjusted

August 2024
October 2023

Information regarding Public Holiday pay requirements added

Oct 2024
 

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