To settle the time in lieu (TIL) dispute that AEU members lodged in the Fair Work Commission, new arrangements for how time in lieu on camps operates have been agreed by the AEU and the Department of Education. The agreement is outlined in a Deed of Agreement, revised Time in Lieu Guidelines which form part of the Deed, and a determination by Fair Work Commission Deputy President Colman which outlines how the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 (VGSA) will apply in relation to time in lieu for camps held in Australia during term time.
A school cannot put in place special deals and local arrangements which work around the settlement agreed by the AEU and the Department of Education. Local arrangements which breach the terms of the Deed may be the subject of further disputes lodged in the Fair Work Commission.
The settlement arrangements were agreed on 8 June 2023 and have retrospective effect from 1 January 2023.
Time in lieu changes
For a school camp that is held in Australia during term time, the following approach to managing time in lieu must apply:
If a teacher or ES member is required to attend a camp overnight, they will be regarded as being on call for the overnight period (i.e. between 11.00pm and 7.00am), which accrues time in lieu at 50%. Payment of this four hours’ time in lieu to cover the overnight period will be made at the following rates of pay:
• teachers – 100% of their normal hourly rate of pay; and
• education support class employees – 150% of their normal hourly rate of pay.
ES receive 150% of their rate of pay as the overnight period sits outside the span of normal hours which is outlined in VGSA clause 24(9)(c)(iv).
Payment rates effective from 1 July 2023*
|Teacher Class – on call overnight payment|
|Education Support Class – on call overnight payment|
• Any payments for camps that occurred between 1 January and 30 June 2023 will be paid at VGSA 1 January 2023 salary rates.
A member can choose to receive time in lieu rather than payment. This does not require agreement with the principal, however the default arrangement is a payment which aligns with the funding arrangements for schools which is based on a payment.
Performing duties overnight
An employee who is required to perform duties during an overnight period (such as attending to a sick student) will receive the on call overnight payment. In addition, they will accrue a further 50% time in lieu so that for the period they are on duty the total amount of compensation they receive is 100% (i.e. 50% on call overnight payment plus 50% for undertaking duties). The time in lieu accrued while on duty will be acquitted in the normal way as either time in lieu or as a further payment (if agreed between the principal and the teacher or ES employee).
The arrangements outlined above also apply to school sleepovers on school grounds.
Hours between normal hours of attendance and the overnight period
If a teacher or ES member is required at a camp for student supervision ratios (see advice below on supervision ratio requirements) then they will be at least considered on call and will be considered on-duty if they are performing duties. Time in lieu will accrue in both instances, will need to be entered on eduPay, and will be able to be acquitted in the normal way.
A teacher or ES member will continue to receive their salary for the normal hours of work when attending a school camp.
Minimum supervision requirements – student ratios
The settlement requires that the staff-student supervision ratio that is determined for a school camp is consistent with the Department’s guidance which can be found here.
The guidance enables a principal to determine the number of staff who are needed for a camp, based on a range of factors such as the experience of staff, the age, maturity, physical characteristics and gender of students, the ability and experience of the students, the size of the group, the nature and location of the excursion, the activities to be undertaken, and known or anticipated weather conditions. The final supervision ratio cannot be less than the applicable minimum outlined in the policy, e.g. overnight base camps must have at least a 1:10 staff-student ratio with a minimum of two staff.
Overseas camps during term time
The settlement arrangements such as the on call overnight payment and the arrangements for the hours between normal hours of attendance and the overnight period outlined above do not apply to overseas camps that are held during term time.
Instead, the time in lieu arrangements which are set out in the VGSA apply, which provide for time in lieu to be accrued as on call or on duty rate as outlined in clauses 24(8) for teachers and 24(9) for ES.
Camps during the school holidays
Importantly the settlement ensures that a teacher or ES member cannot be required to attend a school camp that occurs in whole or in part during a school holiday period. If a member does attend a camp during this time, then they must only do so if there are suitable and agreed compensation arrangements between the teacher or ES and the principal. The AEU advises members in this circumstance to make agreed arrangements consistent with the settlement arrangements outlined above.
Transitioning to the new arrangements
Under the terms of the settlement the new arrangements for camps apply from 1 January 2023. This means that there may need to be actions taken at the school level to ensure that accrual and acquittal arrangements consistent with the settlement are in place.
Attended a camp earlier in 2023
If a teacher or ES member has been on camp this year and:
had their time in lieu correctly accrued and acquitted then the new arrangements do not apply, and no action needs to be taken, as there is no unacquitted TIL that is related to a camp.
have not had their time in lieu acquitted then they will:
receive the overnight on call payment (unless they decide to have it acquitted as time)
for time in lieu accrued in the hours outside the normal hours and the overnight period, have this time in lieu acquitted either as time or payment (if agreed with their principal)
have any ‘off duty’ time in the hours outside the overnight period and normal hours considered as accrued as on call time or performing duties (or a combination of the two) when they were required for student supervision ratios. Where the person was performing duties, this time would be accrued at 100% and on call at 50%. This accrued TIL is then to be acquitted either as time or payment (if agreed with their principal).
was considered ‘off duty’ during the overnight period (i.e. between 11pm and 7am) then they will receive the on call overnight payment.
Any ‘off duty’ time outside the overnight period and normal hours will be considered as accrued on call time or performing duties when required for student supervision ratios. This accrued TIL is then to be acquitted either as time or payment (if agreed with their principal).
On 21 June 2023 each school should have received an updated budget (Student Resource Package – SRP) which allocates the funding for the overnight payment as a separate line item as part of Core Student Learning Allocation.
Funding is calculated based on an average three-day camp for students in year levels from Grade 2 to Grade 6; and secondary schools from every year level from Year 7 to Year 12. The per capita funding for the overnight payment also takes into account a mix of teachers and ES attending a camp, the common 1:10 staff-student ratio for mainstream schools and 1:3 for special schools, and a weighted average of the hourly rate of teachers and ES at each relevant salary subdivision. Designated rural schools receive an additional 40% loading to account for their small enrolment size.
More detailed information can be found in the Student Resource Package Guide 2023.