Sherryl Saunders is an industrial officer for IEU-QNT and Lisa James is an organiser for the NSW/ACT IEU. They answer your industrial and legal questions as they relate to state laws and regulations.
Your questions answered
I work as a full time assistant, supporting two groups of children (start of the week group and the end of the week group). The program offered to children and their families has always been on the basis of a five day fortnight. The committee wants to change the contact time to make the children attend on only two days (albeit very long) days. It means I would no longer be needed on a Wednesday and I would be part time. I’m not sure what my rights are in this area?
Employers are required to consult with staff over major changes in operation that are likely to have a significant effect on employees. A proposal to change the teaching program at the kindergarten, particularly where this may result in employees losing their full time status, would be considered a major change requiring consultation with staff. Has the committee consulted with all staff, including you, about the need for the change and the ways to minimise the impact on employees? You have the right to be consulted over the change and to have your views taken into consideration. You may be able to suggest an alternative proposal to your employer, such as being redeployed into another role.
If, after consultation with staff, the committee decides to move ahead with the change and working part time is not suitable for you, you may be entitled to a redundancy from your full time role. You should contact your Union for advice on your options.
To ask Sherryl a question email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have worked for my employer since 2000, working between one day per week and five days per week during that time. I am currently working three days but next year this will be reduced to two days. I would like to know if I can take my long service leave on the other three days each week (the days I will not be working next year) as I would like to be working five days per week, but there is not enough hours available at my workplace.
The Long Service Leave Act 1955 (NSW) provides that for every year of service you accrue 0.8667 weeks of long service leave which may be taken after 10 years of service. The Act also states that it is to be taken in week ‘lots’. Your employer would have to enter into a legally enforceable agreement, preferably in an enterprise agreement, that converts your long service leave accumulation from weeks to days. This would then allow you to take one day at a time.
To ask Lisa a question email email@example.com