Schools ES annual leave and 2020

  • By Kathryn Lewis
  • This article was published more than 4 years ago.
  • 27 Nov 2019
2020 is coming. Image: iStock.

With the new year just around the corner, it’s worth getting ready for 2020. Any full-time ES staff member who has worked all through 2019 will start back at work on the same day as teachers – Tuesday 28 January. However, there are a handful of conditions under which schools can request ES staff to attend during their annual leave. 

Schools can require ES staff to attend earlier if they pay them the Leave Purchase Allowance (LPA). To do this, they must: ensure ES staff are notified no later than four weeks into the preceding term (1 November); only require ES staff to perform duties consistent with their normal role; and ensure ES Range 1 staff are supervised and not working in isolated circumstances. 

In addition, ES staff can only be recalled at the beginning or end of a school holiday period and cannot be recalled in more than two term holiday periods per year – or on days they do not normally work!

If required to attend, ES staff cannot refuse, but schools must pay them the leave purchase allowance or offer time-in-lieu (TIL). TIL is attractive for some ES staff as they like to have the ability to use it during the school term.

The leave purchase allowance replaced unpaid ES recall days way back in 2013 and yet we still hear of ES staff who are being recalled and not paid. We all need to spread the word that if ES staff are ‘required’ to attend for work during their annual leave, they must be paid the allowance. This allowance is paid in addition to the ES normal salary, just like a penalty rate.

If you know of any ES who have been asked to attend work during their annual leave (post-January 2013) and have not been paid, put them in touch with us so we can go chase that money!

Dimensions of work

During Term 3 and 4 this year we have trained more than 20 ES Reference Group Leaders. These members are a new generation of ES union leaders and are enthusiastic and thriving in their new exciting roles. They have been out and about in their local regions, organising meetings at schools or at local cafes and inviting ES to provide feedback to the dimensions of work working party. 

Mostly, this wonderful group of ES members are encouraging ES staff to talk about their role and how it fits – or doesn’t fit – within the dimensions of work. If you have a view about the dimensions of work, we would like to hear it.

So many of the tasks ES staff are doing in schools are not articulated clearly in the current dimensions of work. Our aim is to fix this in the next VGSA. ES work has been undervalued for far too long and we must address the ever-increasing ES staff workload.

If you want to support this new generation of ES union leaders and be part of this growing positive change, let us know and I shall put you in touch with your local ES reference group leader.

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