Schools Updating ES allowances

  • By Briley Stokes
  • This article was published more than 7 months ago.
  • 16 Nov 2023

Allowances are financial payments in recognition of work done by teachers and education support (ES) staff. For ES, this includes a first aid allowance and a leave purchase allowance. 

The VGSA 2022 saw an annual increase of 2% to the minimum amount required to be paid for the first aid allowance. This allowance may be paid to an ES who holds an appropriate first aid qualification and who has agreed to perform first aid in addition to their normal duties. 

Where first aid duties comprise more than 60% of an ES member’s normal duties, they do not receive the first aid allowance, as it is deemed to be a core component of their salaried role. For all other ES staff with the appropriate qualification who have agreed to perform first aid duties, the correct allowance is as follows:

Effective date First Aid allowance
1 July 2023 $ 720
1 January 2024 $ 727
1 July 2024 $ 734
1 January 2025 $ 741
1 July 2025 $ 749

Case study: Janine

Janine is an ES who works in a classroom supporting students. The school has paid for her to do a first aid course and to attend course updates. 

Janine has agreed to undertake first aid duties when they arise, and her first aid duties equate to approximately 20% of her role. When a student or staff member becomes ill, the school puts out a call. When Janine is able, she will perform first aid. 

Reading an AEU reps bulletin recently, Janine realised she was being paid an allowance based on the VGSA 2017, rather than the current rates. She spoke to her line manager, who sought approval from the principal, and the issue was rectified. 

If you’re an ES who meets the above criteria and you are not receiving a first aid allowance, approach your line manager or principal. If you need further support, please contact the MSC on 03 9417 2822 or [email protected].

The leave purchase allowance

A full-time teaching service employee (principal, teacher, ES or paraprofessional) is entitled to 152 hours (20 days) annual leave for each 12 months of service, which accrues progressively (pro rata for part-time employees). A full-time ES is also entitled to 228 hours (30 days) additional paid leave for each calendar year (pro rata part-time). 

Where an ES is required or agrees to attend for duty during some or all of the additional paid leave period, they will be paid a leave purchase allowance at 72.47% of their normal hourly rate, in addition to their normal rate of pay. The ES’s additional paid leave will be reduced by the amount of leave purchased. The maximum amount of leave that may be purchased in any year is 228 hours (30 days).

Where an employee is in receipt of a leave purchase allowance on an ongoing basis, the allowance will be treated as salary.

Where attendance is regular, the ES will be paid the leave purchase allowance on a fortnightly basis. Where attendance is expected to be six days or less in any year, or is likely to be intermittent, then it is paid as a lump sum (which may also be granted in response to an agreement between the principal and ES). 

It should be noted that an ES who was employed at 52/52, 51/52, 50/52 or 49/52 when the VGSA 2013 came into effect (10 July 2013), and who continues to occupy that position, will maintain the attendance requirements that applied to them immediately prior to that date. Their leave purchase allowance will reflect their attendance requirements, which can only be changed by written agreement between the principal and the ES employee.

Case study: John

John works in the office and performs a range of administrative duties. John’s principal provided notice to him and some colleagues during the first couple of weeks of Term 4 to attend during the last week of the January school vacation period to assist with preparations for the Year 7 start-up program. For this, John and his colleagues received payment at 72.47% of their normal hourly rate, in addition to their normal rate of pay.

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